Not liking cats?

krycek1984September 2, 2010

So, I have an interesting topic I wanted to discuss on this forum.

Why do you think some people don't like cats? I've encountered many people who really can't stand cats, and I don't understand it.

My partner is not all that fond of cats, but he loves animals, so he treats my cats with a lot of respect and love. They still aren't his favourite things on Earth, though.

I have a couple theories. One of my theories is that people that don't like cats don't like having an animal that they can't control. You can train dogs pretty well, but it's very difficult to train cats, and even if you can, they still have a mind very much of their own. They are very independent and some people don't like that.

Another reason could be that they go where they please when they please. You can't gate a cat out of a room. The only way to stop them from going in certain areas of the house is through a door. I think this bothers my partner, that we can keep the dogs in the family room and kitchen with us but the cats can go wherever they want whenever they want. I think my partner is turned off by the thought that when we aren't here they could be curling up in our clothes or bed, hiding under the couch ready to pounce, etc.

Yet another reason could be something as simple as people hate how they stare. I've known several cats that will just sit there and stare at someone. They don't do it malevolently...they just do it because they are cats. If you're a dog person it can be weird because if dogs stare that's real bad.

Also I think some people are turned off by the litter box. My partner hates the litter box. I think it's fantastic because I don't have to search our yard for poopers like we do when cleaning up dog poo, and I don't have to let the cats out 5 times a day. But the thought of them scratching around in kitty litter bothers him, I think.

And one final reason I can think of is how cunning, intelligent, and finicky they can be. I think some people are uncomfortable with how smart cats are, and how they can make devious plans for so much.

What are all of your thoughts?

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We actually had a cat (he just passed) that everyone adored - even the cat haters. We attributed it to a) his looks and b) his personality. He was a big giant tom cat with huge, huge, huge rabbit sized feet (with extra toes, too) and he always had a 'happy' face on. I just don't think that you could look at him without smiling. His front paws would actually take up most of the palm of your hand. And he had a killer personality, so friendly and playful. He was never bashful and would even approach strangers at an attempt to make friends. I think that because he always received such a warm welcome he never developed any reservations about people. I believe because cats are typically stand-offish around people that a dislike develops from there.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:05PM
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I think the whole idea of a cat scratching around in litter and then jumping up on your kitchen counter or dining table gets many upset ---- our cats are outdoors so this doesn't apply to us. As much as I love our cats (all 7), when we are invited to dinner at a house where cats roam, I have to force myself not to think of possible traces of feces or cat hair on dishes, glasses, etc.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 8:33AM
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"Cat said, 'I am not a friend, and I am not a Servant. I am the Cat who walks by himself, and I wish to come into your Cave.'" - Rudyard Kipling, from the "Just-So Stories"

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:19AM
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My friend's DH, when they first married, was not fond of her cat. He did not like how the cat jumped on end tables and furniture -- they also had a dog but dogs belong on the floor and not on the furniture.

I think people who are used to dogs have a hard time with cats because cats don't run up to you the minute anyone walks in the door -- they are selective in who they give their attention to. That is hard for "dog people" to understand!

It is funny about the litter box thing because cats are amazingly clean! My cat spends the better part of his day grooming himself. In five years he has never had a bath and I can stick my nose in his fur and smell absolutely NOTHING. Can't say that about a dog!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:27AM
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I think it's because people have either never had cats or had a cat that was more independent. Our cats have all had wonderful, loving, unique personalities. However guests would never have known that about some of them because they made themselves scarce when visitors came around. Some of my cats would come right up to strangers and be friendly but they're still not like dogs. I like all animals but I don't particularly care for dogs who enthusiastically greet you by jumping up, slobbering on you and/or sniffing your swimsuit area. I realize good owners train their dogs not to do this but a lot of dogs still do. I think the jumping on the tables and counters after they leave the litter box is probably also a turnoff. And even if you think you have them trained not to do this I think they still do it when you're not around.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 10:16AM
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I would add that most people don't like cats due to the biting and scratching and never knowing when it may happen, whereas those who are familiar with cats can read the signs and usually avoid injury.

I just recently rescued a kitten who will now be an indoor cat due to predators in our area. Using a litter box is not an issue since it keeps her much cleaner than if she were outside digging in dirt.

What my dog gives me that my cat can't is outdoor companionship. He can travel with me, be my 'protector' when in the house, and he loves hanging out with me while I garden.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 11:35AM
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My SIL is very nervous around cats because they move quietly and appear suddenly ... they startle her.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 1:21PM
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I never iked cats because the ones I knew were passive-aggressive and not very much fun. I love dogs and horses but never liked cats. Well, I wanted to get a pet and a horse wouldn't fit in the living room. Dogs are great but they need lots of attention and walking. I decided to adopt a cat and went to a big cat shelter here in town. I was determined to let the cat find me and not pick one because of their looks. She did find me. A little sable Burmese cutie who talks a lot, purrs a lot and loves to cuddle. All the time. She isn't passive aggressive - just pushy. Loves to go for walks on a leash. She is great company and a joy to have around.

Finding the right cat is the key.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 1:36PM
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Our latest litter of four kittens are now 4 mos. old and outdoors (like our others). Because they were raised with us from the beginning, they come running up to us when we go outdoors and each one knows its name now. They come when called and are all extremely affectionate to us and the two dogs.

How they are raised in the very beginning is important, I think. All 7 of ours are great companions outdoors when we are gardening or just hanging out on the screen porch.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 8:55AM
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Like with most relationships, adjustments successfully made make for successful overall relationships. Would you believe that the head of the rescue I volun. for was once very afraid of cats?- now she saves their lives! My husband was very ambivalent about all pets. I believe my philosophies (clean litter boxes, no catpaws on certain horiz. surfaces, manners required by canines, etc) allowed him to truly see the possible joys/fulfillment that can be fostered in companion relationships. While we are all a "product of our environment" (which prob. explains alot of the preference thing), genetics will never be denied - "a horse is a horse, of course, of course" .

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 9:26AM
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Why do you think some people don't like cats? I've encountered many people who really can't stand cats, and I don't understand it.
Yes, an interesting topic, one I have often wondered about--especially because I just LOVE cats and it hurts me when I meet people who either do not like cats or are indifferent to them (most of the people I have met since we moved are stictly 'dog lovers'..).

Some observations: (for whatever they are worth... and please, I know generalisations are BAD!)

1. People I know who love/own dogs all seem to be outgoing, sure of themselves, self-confident, 'leaders' (which goes along with the idea a dog can be trained to obey you, not a cat)
I am personnally very withdrawn, unsure of myself. SO maybe, this is just a feeling..

2.There are so many, many cats (compared to dogs), that they may appear.. too common???

3. You can take a dog on the road.. not so with cats!

On the other side of the issue.. although I do like many dogs, I have not yet found the connection/bond I instantly feel around cats, all cats. The barking, and the fact you have to take your dog on regular walks, will probably always keep me from adopting a dog.. I also (deep down in me) resent the fact that cats are 'second-class citizens'.

I also resent that vets are much more interested in dogs than they are in cats (animal shelters, too)... Since we moved up here, I still have to find a vet that will show the same caring..

I am sure my attitude might change if I were to have a dog..

Again, just my humble opinion,

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 12:57PM
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I have to say I'm not a cat person and not for any of the reasons stated.I think they are pretty and I read the cat topics to but they are just not my choice of a pet.I guess you could say I'm indifferent to them.It seems from reading some of the post they are a lot more trouble than dogs.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 5:00PM
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Very interesting topic ! We're all dog people . We had 3 dogs & we adopted our first cat - FREE - from a rummage sale. He acted like another dog ... LOL .. but he was just so stand-offish . He only liked people when they were eating. That gave us the mindset that all cats must be like that . But we loved and took care of him - he lived to be 20 !!!

-- THEN -- I visited a no kill cat shelter here. People donate stuff & they have a yearly auction to raise money to keep the unwanted cats. I donated ALOT . I came in the room with all the cats to fill out the paper work . I couldn't believe it -- cats were rubbing all over me - sitting on my shoulder... one even curled up in my purse !
I'm telling you - my heart broke. I never knew cats could be so lovable . Just writing this makes me want to go get one ! LOL

My best friend from grade school - takes in every cat she can . At one point - she had 9 . They were the best cared for and spoiled cats I ever saw ! You'd think a cat person & a dog person wouldn't get along ... but we both love animals .

Visiting that shelter definately changed "my" mind ( not my DH's )

I hated Catbox duty ... but I hated picking up dog poop ,too ! Boy - this post sure tempts me to visit that shelter again ! LOL be continued

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 9:23PM
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I have both, but I will be always and foremost a cat person. It does depend on the individual animal, but in general I adore cats. I love my dogs, but those two are WAY more work than my five cats. My deepest loving animal relationships have been with cats. I have had 15 in the last decades and have loved four or five with a passion. Right now it's Phoebe , my Russian Blue rescue in 2001, the day before my greyhound died. She's not my most beautiful cat but she is my soul mate and I love her to pieces.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 1:07AM
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I am very allergic to cats and couldn't own one if I wanted to, but wouldn't have one even if I could. I have no problem with their personalities, instead it's their habits.

The walking on the kitchen counters and table is a big turn-off and I don't like to eat at the home of someone with a cat who does that.

An even bigger turn-off is the possibility of spraying. When we bought our first home we discovered too late that the previous owners' cats had ruined the carpet in several rooms. Dog pee can be cleaned reasonably well, but cat pee involves tearing out carpet and padding, sometimes removing wood trim and floor boards, and applying sealers to the floor. Drapes may need replacing too. It was a huge expense to get rid of the smell and even after all that, you could smell a faint odor on humid days.

I've known people whose cats were fine for several years and suddenly started peeing in the house. These were cats who were fixed at young ages. What can you do when a pet suddenly begins ruining the biggest investment of your life but get rid of it? I wouldn't want to be faced with that decision and would never allow a pet to just roam outside, so that wouldn't be an option.

I don't know how common this problem is, but for me even the possibility of it would be a deterrent, even if I wasn't allergic.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 10:54AM
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I love cats. I love all animals, but cats are by far my favorite. Intelligent, clean, and so beautiful.

Through years of rescue work, I came across hundreds of cats. Hundreds I fostered and hundreds I trapped and fixed. All unique and different, and there sure is a personality for every one looking for a cat, to be a perfect match.

I love the fact cats are not in my face. I love how clean they are..I love their cute little paw pads...

Jumping on the counter is not a common thing. It is like saying "I do not like dogs because my friend's dog jumps all over me and pees in the house" Train the cat! My cats, however clean they are - and yes they are - they are not allowed on tables and kitchen counters where food is potentially served. A spray bottle and booby traps are great for that (we used sticky tapes and motion sensor that emits an unpleasant to cats' ears sound when they jump on tables, with great results)
Spraying and peeing should never be a problem if cat is treated right,vetted and fixed, not declawed and not abused or overcrowded.
A happy cat is a great cat to live with.

From Powder Puff

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece." Â Leonardo Da Vinci

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 1:52PM
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I just like to look at my cats. Each pose is a masterpiece. They are intelligent thoughtful beings and not needy like dogs.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Oh but I disagree --- they are absolutely needy. We have 7 outdoor cats and although four are still kittens, each and every one of them need everyday attention. The three adults are the most vocal when we aren't out there to pet and love them daily. The little guys are learning soon that they need that attention and love every day also.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 7:26PM
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My five cats are strictly indoors and get tons of kisses and hugs every day. The dogs want out, the dogs want in, the dogs want out...two mile walk a necessity every day plus I can't go away for a night and two days like I can with my cats.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 7:59PM
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I like cats and have owned several over the years, but would not want one now. Maybe I'm weird, but it's a little bit disgusting to go to someone's house and they don't even realize that they have cat hair all over their furniture, clothes, bed, even the DISHES. I've gone to visit friends and relatives, sat on their sofa and had the whole back side of my clothes covered with cat hair. I am NOT a cleanliness freak, just a normal person whose house is sometimes messy like everyone else's, but when my last cat passed away, I decided I no longer wanted to deal with it. Needless to say I feel the same about dog hair, too, but it is (in my experience) easier to keep a dog off the bed, furniture, etc. than it is a cat. The last cat I had insisted on getting on my bed, no matter what I did, unless I closed the bedroom door.
I now have 2 mini-schnauzers who do not shed.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:43PM
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I love all animals, and I certainly adore my dog. But, if I had to chose sides I think I'd say I'm in the cat camp. This time last year I had five cats and each so completely different in their personality and needs. One was my mother's whom I took in after she passed away. Three were inside female cats and one was a big tabby boy inside/outside barn cat mouser. They all died within one year of each other from different causes ranging from renal failure, to cancer, to FIP to just plain being ancient. The house is just terribly empty without a cat gracing it and when the right one comes my way, who needs a'll have one here.

I find them much easier to care for than dogs but that isn't an issue with me. I am attracted to their personality, because I think if I were not human, I'd have certainly enjoyed being a cat and relate to them.

My husband OTOH is a dog person. He actually disliked cats until he grew to love mine with some reservation. But were he not human, I'd think he'd have made a good dog. He puts me in mind of a big clumsy puppy sometimes and I can understand why he relates to them.

You cannot demand love or attention from a cat. You have to earn it. Like Lily said, several of my cats were my soul mates. It was like we could read each other's minds.

As for cats on furniture.......door sills........on top of the fridge........or tucked up next to me under the covers at night, well they were welcome there. Mine were seldom on my counters because I never kept anything on my counters a cat would find interesting other than my siamese who loved to get into my flower arrangements and tear them apart. That was an issue with my husband. A cat on the counter! Well, there is justice in this world. Our new dog, an Italian Greyhound, jumps on our counter every time we exit the house just because he can. He knows better but he does it anyway. And, he'll probably do it until he is so old he can't fly up there anymore. That's what bleach is for. Funny how the DH protests but laughs when he does it but didn't find it funny when a cat did it. ;-)

Most folks aren't ambivalent about cats. They either 'get it' or they don't. I usually watch my friends and acquaintances to see who does and who doesn't appreciate cats. And I just can't seem to let my guard down all the way with those who don't appreciate a good cat. No windowsill should be without one.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 12:23AM
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Well said Calliope. You need to earn the trust and love of a cat. Dogs usually love anyone who likes them. Of all my cats, only one was a purebred, a Siamese who loved to 20. My first cat and my kids' pet thru out their childhoods. He ranks up there in the top 3 or 4. . I comb my cats a lot but I have hair. That's what vacuum cleaners are for. Their dishes are on my kitchen island,(so the dogs don't eat the food) but I don't prepare food there. My counters get washed down a couple times a day and all cutting is on dishwasherable boards. We are rarely if ever sick. I do draw the line at animals sleeping with me. None ever do, dogs or cats, even my precious Phoebe. I have taken naps in another bedroom with her and she sits on my back and kneads my hair.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 1:21AM
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I have never really understood the whole cats-are-dirty and they walk all over everything argument.

I don't know about you, but we eat off of plates on the dining room table. We do not eat directly off the table. So even if by some chance some microscopic fecal matter got onto the table, it wouldn't contaminate the food. Not to mention I regularly wipe the table down. My cats can go everywhere they want except the counters - there are just too many things to get into up there.

I also don't understand the whole cat hair thing...I mean, they're animals, they shed hair. It can be annoying, but by no means do I think it's gross. We as humans shed pounds of dead skin cells every year that collects in sofas and beds. But we don't see them so it's different from cat or dog hair. Hair doesn't disgust me but it is a nuisance.

And well taken-care of, non-abused cats that have been spayed or neutered *generally* don't spray in the house. Usually it is due to a behavioral or physical issue, both of which can almost always be solved. Sometimes it happens in old age but I would see it as no reason to get rid of an animal...that's like getting rid of my partner if he starts puking all over the house from cancer or something.

As far as cat behavior, they are all so different, it's just hilarious! Our one cat Baloney, he's kinda a "special kitty", if you know what I mean. But he's loving and cuddly and that's all I can ask.

Our other kitty (his name is Fatty) is a big Maine Coon, and he's goofy and smart as can be. He has chosen me as his best friend and he follows me around, curls up next to me (rarely on me though as Maine Coons are known to sit near but not on people), and he's just the goofiest thing ever. He doesn't really think too much of my partner. He tolerates him, and asks to be petted every once in a while, but the cat sees him as more of a fixture than anything.

My partner is not a "cat person" and he doesn't have a particular affinity for cats so he doesn't really know how to react to Fatty's antics and personality. A few times my partner has went to pet Fatty and he 'scratched' my partner...knowing my kitty, I know that he was just trying to play and his claws weren't out or anything. He did it to me today...I walked by his little tree and he stuck his giant paws out to grab my shirt and play. My partner just doesn't get it.

He's much more of a dog person. I love our dogs but I have a special bond with my kitties, especially Fatty. He's my little soul mate. I'm so glad I have them. My partner tolerates them. HE likes Baloney but Fatty he's indifferent towards.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 7:21PM
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I have often told my DH that I will always have a cat because they look so pretty in the window -- like a fine vase of flowers or a beautiful statue.

Of course I do have a stunningly handsome cat...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:32PM
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:-) Don't we all?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 8:50PM
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Yes we do!!..I think of cats as works of art.>> As for walking on tables, that was my thought. Although I wash down tables they walk on, my plate is on a place-mat, and the cats don't walk on my plate. As for the hair, human hair annoys me more...especially long hair.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 2:02AM
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I love cats, and so does my husband. We also have 2 dogs and love them dearly as well. But we recently found out my increasingly troublesome asthma is caused by a severe dog allergy, so once our 2 pass on, we won't be able to have dogs.
I feel sad about this, but I have to admit that I would feel much worse if I had a cat allergy and we'd never be able to have cats again.
I sometimes wonder if personality has a lot to do with pet preference. The cat people I know are definitely more introverted than dog people. I fall sort of in the middle and so does my husband, but we both lean more toward introversion. I've also noticed the dog people I know seem to like children more than the cat people I know (and I am not saying that's the case with everyone, just with the people I personally know). I don't have much interest in children myself.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:52AM
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I love them equally.

Dogs are fun; cats are funny.

I like what someone above said about cats looking beautiful on the window sill. I never thought about it, but, that IS part of the draw.

I've had mice, dogs, cats, fish (nice to look at), birds (nice to look at and listen to), reptiles (not my cup ot tea) my whole life.

I'll take cats and dogs any day.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 12:18AM
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I have to add, most of the charm, for me, about cats is the wildness and unpredictability.

I like having a miniature version of a wild animal. I like that they jump and climb and walk over all surfaces. It's like being on a mini-safari every day.

I guess the wildness is what non-cat people dislike.

As I said, dogs are great to play with; cats are great to watch. They're both great to cuddle with.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 12:50AM
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Petra, you said what I was trying to say in my earlier reply much better than I did. I am glad that, you, too, see the owner's personality as a big factor in the reaction to cats and dogs. Since we moved up here, most of the people I know are 'strictly' dog people, and I miss my old cat people friends a lot!

bbaird, yes, cats are awfully fun to watch, but to PLAY WITH as well... I love to play with cats, both at the shelter where I volunteer or at home!


    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 8:00AM
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