16 Things That Emotionally Hurt Your Cat

Despite their reputation for aloofness, cats have delicate feelings.
In this video, we will talk about 16 surprising ways you could be hurting your cat’s feelings.


Pulling on your cat’s tail, blowing in their face, scaring them during a deep sleep, and cornering and picking them up against their will —such behaviors confuse and agitate your cat. Remember, what’s amusing to you is not always fun for your cat. One of the basic needs a cat has is to feel safe and secure in your home.

Neglecting them

Offering your cat no attention, no affection, no interaction, no conversation, and no playtime can leave your pet depressed.
Many people assume that cats are not social animals, but that is far from the truth. Cats benefit from interaction and affection from their human.

Calling them for something they don’t like

Cats get excited when you call them because they expect treats or rewards. When you call your pet when something unpleasant is about to happen, like being forced into a carrier to go to a vet, it can hurt their feelings.

Disturbing them while eating

It’s natural for cats to be on high alert if there is a lot of noise and activity around them during dinnertime. A loud and busy location may cause stress and keep cats from eating or force them to eat too quickly.
A calm and quiet space allows cats to chow down in peace.

Punishing them

Punishing cats does inform your pet that you are angry, but they’ll have no idea why. Fear will often make a cat’s behavior worse rather than better. Anger does not teach your cat to “behave,” it simply teaches them to be afraid of you.

A dirty litter box

Cats are very clean animals and they devote a large portion of their day towards self-grooming.
Cleaning your cat’s litter box every day will make for a happy cat.

Pushing them away

Cats are curious about their environment. This means your cat might be getting in the way of something, so you might feel compelled to push them away. Before you do, consider if you would like it if someone pushed you away just for wanting to be a part of something that interested you.
Instead of pushing your cat away, try gently redirecting them somewhere else.

Not Providing Mental Stimulation

A bored cat means a sad cat. Humans can do a lot of different things with their lives, but your cat is limited to the environment you provide them with. This means that it’s up to you to offer your cat things to do.
Cats need plenty of mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.
And remember, it’s best to adopt two cats at the same time. The two cats will grow together and feel less lonely.


Raised voices will terrify your cat. Feline ears are extra sensitive to loud and high-pitched noises. They can perceive the person making these noises as a threat, and will begin to avoid them.

Skipping the small stuff

Never grooming your cat. Ignoring frequent hairballs, which can signal a digestive issue. Allowing their nails to grow too long that they snag them around the house. These are things that can harm your cat’s well-being. Remember, your cat is a living being that have basic needs to stay happy and healthy.

Ignoring their fears

Cats have a good reason for jumping and hiding whenever they hear a loud or startling sound. Our feline friends can hear sounds around 1.6 octaves higher than humans.
Common sounds such as the vacuum cleaner, videogames, fireworks, balloons, or loud TV cause stress and anxiety in cats. Make sure you are providing your cat with a calm, relaxed environment.

Forcing New Friendships

Most cats are reserved around strangers.
When you force your cat to interact with new people, you’re essentially disrespecting their feelings.
It’s always best to let your cat make new friends on their own. Don’t force them to interact.

Leaving old food out

Food that has gone bad is no better for your cat than it is for you. It can result in illnesses like food poisoning. Moreover, cats appreciate being served fresh food.
It could be part of their finicky personalities, or it could stem from an ancient instinct that protected their ancestors from eating rancid meat. Either way, cats feel appreciated and understood when their families respect their desire for fresh food.

Ignoring their pain

Cats don’t speak human language so it’s often up to pet owners to decipher clues about their cat’s condition based on physical and behavioral changes.
Whether because an infected tooth makes eating difficult or a urinary tract infection makes litter box visits painful, it is up to us to recognize the subtle signs and give them the help they need.

Declawing them

Declawing is torturous to cats. It would be akin to cutting off our fingers at the last knuckle, leading to pain and mobility issues.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, because scratching is an innate cat behavior, declawed cats can suffer from emotional stress when they cannot scratch.

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