What Bothers Cats?

Understanding what bothers your cat helps you keep him happy.
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Cats have mood swings as varied as their markings. One minute your cat is happy and affectionate, and the next minute out come his claws. While a cat's behavior may seem strange to his owners, to him it makes sense as it reflects how he feels about his environment.

Territory Invasion

Cats are very territorial and are bothered by perceived space encroachments. While some cats enjoy meeting people, the presence of anyone new sends other cats fleeing to hide and can even trigger hissing and anti-social behavior. Allow time to socialize your cat to a new pet or house guest, and don't expect your cat to be a friendly host to greet visitors.


A cat that has enjoyed your attention and suddenly bites you is likely one that is overly stimulated. The same may be true for the cat that suddenly wants down after happily being held or carried. Your cat's alert senses that make him such a prolific hunter also render him very sensitive and subject to overstimulation. Pay attention to your cat's behavioral cues, and don't ignore any sudden quests for freedom.


Cats are designed to hunt and kill their own food. Consequently a domestic cat that has all of his food provided for him can become bored. Behavior that seems to you like mischievous, chaotic frolicking may actually be your cat's attempt to cope with boredom. Biting, scratching, pouncing and scrambling up furniture are just a few signs that your cat may benefit from recreational enrichment. Cat entertainment doesn't have to be expensive: A simple cardboard box to hide in or a crumpled piece of paper to bat and chase may be just what your cat is looking for.

Getting Wet

Cats are well known for their aversion to getting wet. They lack the oil in their fur and the guard hairs that dogs have, making them vulnerable to being soaked to the skin. Avoid bathing your cat unless absolutely necessary, but if you must, use warm water rather than hot or cold. Line the tub with a rubber mat to make his footing secure. Use shampoo specifically designed for cats, and ensure that he stays in a warm area afterward until his fur is completely dry.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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