When a person says that their cat hates them I think the cat behaviorist should look more closely at the person than the cat.
Judging by Google search results, quite a lot of cat owners think that their cat or one of their cats hates them. They want help to create a warm relationship.
I am not sure that cats hate people. It may happen if the cat owner is very poor and mistreats their cat. Even this is more likely to result in the cat becoming frightened of the person rather than positively hating them.
The problem is that we have to look into the mind of both the cat owner and the cat when we try and address this problem. What expectations does the cat owner have? She may have unattainable expectations and expect her cat to show a level of affection beyond the average domestic cat’s abilities. ‘Hate’ is a very human word. Can it apply to cats in the same way as it applies to people? I am not that it can.
Sometimes a cat owner may have two cats. One is very friendly and the other seems distant and cold; she walks away and does not like to be picked up or stroked. The owner makes the comparison and has the impression that the cold cat hates her. This is probably incorrect. The reason could be put down to differences in personality. Some cats are more confident and some are timid. Also cats do make friends with other cats and not others; they have a preference for some other cats. The same probably applies to their attitude towards people.
I sense a lot of the time when a cat owner thinks that their cat hates them it is more to do with the cat being timid and unsure of the person. Also the owner may begin to try and force things along which can make matters worse. The owner may pick up her cat and hold her until she accepts it in an effort to make her cat become friendly towards her. I think this will make it worse. I don’t believe that it is ever possibly to force a cat to do something.
If a cat has gone from being friendly and affectionate to fearful towards their owner, the obvious reason is that something happened which makes the cat fearful of the owner. Once again I don’t think that it will be about ‘hate’, more fear or unsureness. Time should heal this problem.
There is also the possibility that the cat is ill. She may be suffering pain or discomfort which makes her less friendly. She wants to find a quiet place to curl up in. That may give the impression the cat is unfriendly. I’d have her checked out by a vet just to tick this box.
There may be an issue between cats in a multi-cat home. If one cat is anxious because of the behaviour of another cat it may make the anxious cat seem unfriendly towards the owner. Can one cat be jealous of another? I really don’t know. It might be possible, in which case the cat who supposedly hates her owner may be jealous of the cat towards whom the owner is more friendly. If that is possible the answer is to be more friendly in a non-forceful way with the jealous cat.
I believe the best way forward under these circumstances is to ensure she is healthy and to accept your cat as she is. Give her space and as much gentle love as she wants. Check for inter-cat hostility. Check for stray cats entering the home or being visible to the owner’s cat. Gradually build up trust and the relationship. Play with her. Play binds cat to person. And be patient. Lower expectations. And wait..!
This page can be written in a million different ways. This is simply one, of-the-cuff example. I feel that people who say that their cat hates them have more of a problem with themselves than the cat having a problem with them. The “my cat hates me” mantra, is more a human issue in (a) expectations and (b) human behavior creating undesirable cat behavior.