Why Do People Hate Cats? What's Behind This Feline Frustration?

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 06, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Oct 11, 2021
Little cute kitten coon looks up.

The hate for cats has existed for centuries among human beings.

People who have immense affection for cats are commonly called ailurophiles. On the other hand, the fear or hate for cats is known as ailurophobia, and such people are called ailurophobes.

The internet today is filled with uncountable content of people displaying their affection for cats and funny moments with this cute, feline pet.

However, this has been quite a recent transition, considering the animal has been stereotyped as uncaring and evil, which leads to cats being hated by generations of people. There are many historical as well as scientific reasons to explain why a person might dislike cats.

One of the critical reasons is regarded to be the fact that a domestic cat is almost always compared to dogs, which have been domesticated through centuries of human history.

It has been seen that many dogs and cat owners have very different mindsets when it comes to domesticating their pet animals. While in some cases, a person hating cats is entirely justifiable, there are others where people have no valid reason to hate any feline.

Let's uncover some facts about cat hate and clear out the common misconceptions.

To learn more interesting facts related to a cat's behavior, you can check out our fun facts articles on Why do cats bring you dead animals? and Why do cats wag their tails while lying down?

Why Do People Hate Certain Types Of Cats?

Many people carry a dislike for only specific species of cats. Such a person generally reacts to particular conditions or certain characteristics of the cat out of fear or irritation.

Some of them hate being surrounded by wild cats. Let's explore these exclusive factors that result in cat hate and what types of cats are more prone to being disliked.

It seems there are several reasons why people do not like cats. A typical condition that can make a person repulsive to particular types of felines is because they tend to catch allergies from the cat.

Many people's allergic symptoms towards cats are also justified and explained well in science. Protective proteins are released from a cat's body and onto its furry coat, which triggers mild to severe allergic symptoms. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, rashes, swelling, watery eyes, nose redness, and souring of the throat.

Apart from allergic reactions, there are several breeds of these feral cats that are way too aggressive for humans to deal with. Some breeds of cats that are not easy to tame, making them more prone to being hated by humans are the siamese, Bombay, sphynx, savannah, Cymric, Korat, and pixie bobcats.

Managing and training these breeds is very difficult for the owners, whereby it is perhaps quite natural for humans with no former interaction with the animal, to dislike the behavior of these breeds of cats.

All felines are natural-born predators, but it is also important to distinguish between the hunting instincts and needs of a wild cat and that of a pet cat.

Generally, cats that are born and raised as pets have no hunting experience, and will mostly fail even if it goes out looking for prey.

However, some of these felines can retain their strong instincts of a predator and go out hunting. Any other person can develop a dislike for cats if it keeps bringing in dead prey in or around the house.

However, there are cat owners who can usually understand this as their natural behaviour, and might even appreciate the efforts of a cat in cleaning the house and surroundings from small pests and rodents.

Along with people, it is also considered that dogs hate cats as well. However, this is a complete myth. A dog can react instinctively to moving objects and start chasing them.

Much like in the case of cats, the wild ancestors of dogs were also predators. As such, the natural hunting instincts of a dog become active when they see a moving cat, and they start chasing the cat. They do not do so out of hate or with an intent to kill, dogs actually love chasing cats.

Religious Reasons Why People Hate Cats?

The religious sentiments held by people have also had a strong impact on how the larger society perceives cats. Although such religious sentiments against cats were actually based on misconceptions, there are people who still believe in the ideas to justify their hatred for cats.

Here are some of the false religious beliefs due to which people from such communities do not like cats, and the actual truth behind those beliefs.

The Black Death was a severe plague that decimated a large population in Europe over the course of seven years. The plague hit Europe in 1346, leading to the death of nearly 25 million people.

The society of the time was filled with people that had strong, medieval religious beliefs and trust for superstitions. The 14th-century society of Europe was fixated on black cats as the cause of the plague.

This immense, yet baseless hatred towards cats, especially black cats, seems to exist since the 13th century, with Pope Gregory IX propagating superstitious beliefs by associating black cats with witches and bad luck.

In reality, the plague was spread by rats infested with fleas that carried the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Unfortunately, cats are still dishonored and shunned by people, due to misconstrued religious ideas that many people still consider to be valid.

Although all religious people are not inherently hateful of cats, some research studies have found that religious people are more likely to consider having a pet companion, primarily a cat.

Religious people might generally disregard owning a pet since their need for companionship is already satisfied through their religious community. On the other hand, the personality characteristics of the pet seem to be a significant factor for a religious person to decide the kind of pet they want.

This makes potential religious pet owners choose dogs because of their prosocial behavior.

Thus, while some religious people might not necessarily develop hate for cats, comparing the animal to a dog to decide if it is a good pet will naturally make them lose any affection for the furry felines.

It is important to point out that in ancient history, popular myths and folklore considered cats to be shapeshifters and have evil powers.

These ideas are largely accentuated in the beliefs of religious communities, and it is a clear sign that people with such beliefs are more inclined towards hating cats.

What Are The Signs That People Hate Cats?

Cat haters are quite easily recognizable by how they act when they are around a cat. While some people maybe just feeling some discomfort from being near a cat, others might perhaps even leave the place on seeing a little, innocent kitty. Let's find out what are the common signs to identify cat haters.

Cat lovers will know that their feline pet enjoys living an unbothered, independent life. This is very different from the personality of a dog, who enjoys the company of humans or other known dogs.

Cat haters might not be aware of a cat's natural personality. They are mostly aloof, rarely social, and can sometimes turn aggressive when someone pets them too much.

This is a very common reason for people to hate cats, which you can notice in a person who avoids touching or being touched by a cat. However, it is important to know that this supposed unfriendly behavior of cats is nothing but a cruel stereotype.

Cats do have an unsocial personality, but all cats are not the same. You just have to be patient and gradually figure out what the cat might like or dislike.

Humans are able to easily develop affection and build a relationship with dogs, since our species has been domesticating dogs since the beginning of civilization. On the other hand, people had begun domesticating cats fairly recently in terms of world history, with several instances in between when hate for cats was more prominent.

Therefore, it is still quite early for cat haters to let go of their misconceptions and strong beliefs and begin appreciating the innocence of a little kitty or the pride of an adult cat.

A prominent sign that a person cannot even stand being around a cat is if you can notice them avoiding a place where they smell cat food or avoid sitting in a place that has cat fur.

When a person is trying to get peace and constantly hear meowing from their neighbor's houses, they cannot stop themselves from shouting and asking their neighbors to handle their domestic pet cats well.

Furthermore, there are also baseless religious beliefs or strong sentiments within a family that can be significant signs to distinguish cat haters.

Kitten sleeps resting its head on a ball of yarn.

Why Do Cats Like People Who Hate Them?

Cats are more fond of people who are passive towards them. It is challenging for humans to understand a cat's behavior many times. Read along to find out the reason behind cats preferring to linger around humans who would rather avoid them.

You must already know by now that cats are independent animals, who prefer to be left alone to roam around and return as they like.

This seems to be the very reason that a cat might like being around a person who is passive towards cats, rather than being with a bothersome cat lover.

A study on animal behavior indicates that children and adults who have pet cats or identify as cat lovers seem to have a higher tendency of fussing over and bothering the cat when compared to people who do not like cats.

As such, the cat enjoys more independence and control over their domain around passive people, instead of people who interrupt them.

However, cats will not necessarily be around people who hate them and use violence or other measures to keep them away.

In recent times, more and more people have grown obsessed with cats. The obsession is very real and widely evident all across social media pages, where people upload videos and pictures of their cute, funny, and good-looking cats.

Alongside, there are numerous social media profiles that are dedicated to cats.

Despite some people developing hate towards them, there are many humans who are blown away by their features and peculiar actions.

Some obvious reasons that you can hear from any cat-obsessed person are - their big eyes and almost round head, their soft and smooth fur that feels amazing to pet, they are the perfect size to play dress-up or carry around anywhere, and their cries that are similar to human cries makes it easy to fall for them.

An interesting reason why humans might become obsessed with cats is speculated to be due to the Toxoplasma Gondii parasite, which has infected above 40 million Americans.

The parasite can be present in cat poop. Although harmless to humans with a good immune system, it can invade a person or animal and make them less afraid of predators by altering their behavior.

In that sense, obsession with cats is probably a result of being infected.

Why Do People Hate Cats For Killing Birds?

Catching a bird to kill and feed on it is a natural predatory behavior of cats, especially feral cats. This seemingly normal behavior has become quite a grave reason why some people cultivate hatred against cats. This excerpt provides an explanation as to why bird-hunting makes people hate cats.

Cats are carnivores and predators of birds, mice, and rats. As cat populations increase around the world, several people groups consider feline creatures to be a threat to the local ecosystem.

Some reports claim that the hunting activities of cats have become a serious threat to several species of migratory songbirds and small animals. While birds are considered the primary prey for outdoor cats and millions of birds are hunted or killed annually, it is quite rare that a cat is actually able to hunt down a bird.

Furthermore, house cats that are raised as pets have no hunting experience, while outdoor cats are not experts.

Thus, only feral cats that mostly live in the wild have the ability to seriously threaten the sustenance of birds. Pet cats and outdoor cats have access to enough food sources to ignore bird hunting.

However, there are several environmentalists, animal enthusiasts, and groups of people who do not like the killing nature of a cat, and strongly stand against it. Although there is no hard evidence against them, these furry creatures are still considered a nuisance, with most reasons targeting their natural way of life.

This seems hypocritical since the earth has several species that are far more dangerous and can cause more devastation than cats are capable of or interested in.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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