Why do some cats hate men or a person of either gender?

Cats, like humans, can be influenced by their early experiences. If a cat has positive experiences with a male owner or caregiver at a young age, it may develop a strong preference for males later in life. Conversely, if a cat has negative experiences with males, such as being hit or abused, it may develop a lifelong fear or distrust of men.

Why do some cats hate men or a person of either gender?
Why do some cats hate men or a person of either gender? Image: MikeB using Canva under license.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The same would go for women. The question in the title is not human gender specific. Although it might be argued (without being sexist) that men might tend to:

  • Make more noise: Once again this is a possibility but not a given. Noise can upset domestic cats.
  • Handle less delicately: this may the case but I am probably stereotyping. Some men are very gentle; more so than most women. Gentle handling is important as cats live in a land of giants.

RELATED: Gentle petting and speaking to shelter cats reduces stress, improves their health and adoptability

Additionally, cats have unique personalities and preferences. Here are some factors that might contribute to a cat disliking men:

  1. Socialization Period: How a particular cat behaves often depends on who she met during her early weeks. If a cat was primarily raised and handled by women during this critical period (between two to seven weeks old), she may be more drawn to close contact interaction with females. This doesn’t mean that your boyfriend can’t have a rewarding relationship with your cat, but it’s likely to be less intense than yours, and he may need to work harder at it.
  2. Stress Levels: Cats need to feel in control of everything. In a multi-cat home, where there’s already evidence of tension between the cats, stress levels can be high. This can make a cat less tolerant of human actions that she finds difficult. Missy’s abrupt changes in mood, including hissing at your boyfriend, could be influenced by this stress2.
  3. Handling and Interaction: Avoid imposing hands-on interaction, such as picking up or “trapping” your cat. Instead, encourage positive interactions through play, chatting, and using toys. Let your boyfriend take a gentler approach and allow Missy to approach him on her terms.
  4. Reduce Competition: Provide several sets of everything your cats need, including hiding places, toys, water bowls, and feeding areas. Use products like Feliway to reduce stress in areas where your cats come face-to-face.

Remember that each cat is an individual, and their behavior can vary. Patience, understanding, and gradual positive interactions can help build trust between Missy and your boyfriend. 🐾

RELATED: A Feline Savvy Veterinarian who Knows How to Handle a Cat Appropriately is Hard to Find

Sources: I used Bing’s copilot (except for a bit in the middle) to prepare this page to which I added some touches. Copilot searches the internet for answers and uses a range of sources. I check the result and approve or disapprove it.

2 thoughts on “Why do some cats hate men or a person of either gender?”

  1. I was given a newborn kitten to care for since I had a cat about to ween her litter. When he was old enough the lady wanted him back. Every time I would visit her he would attack me! For 3 years he would go after me when I visited. I didn’t visit her for the 2 years of the pandemic because she had many people in and out of her house and she got covid. When recently visiting he didn’t attack me and even allowed me to love on him. Either he stopped being mad for sending him away or he forgot who I was. I have never had any animal react to me the way he did, it was very curious.

    • Hmmm, interesting one. There’s probably something going on behind the scenes that was not apparent and that you are unaware of. Or as you say his memory faded but there was no reason to attack you unless it was because you’re female and he changed his mind about being fearful of females.


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