First the media was all over research that claimed your cat wants to kill you. Then one of the researchers, disturbed by the spin that was being put on the study, came back and said that cats really don’t want to kill their companions.From a purely empirical point of view, as someone who has spent decades in the trenches of cat companionship, I can say that the truth lies somewhere in between: cats do want to kill you … sometimes. Just like your spouse or your roommate may want to kill you when you do something that drives them up the wall. You aren’t your cat’s perfect little person all the time, and some things you do probably make them nuts.
I imagine you already know which things you do that make your cat want to kill you, but just in case, I’ve made a list.
1. When you dress up your cat.
Sure, there is the one in a million cat, like Summer, who really doesn’t care what she is wearing as long as she gets treats, but the vast majority of cats are more like Sparkle, the cat before her, and loathe having clothing put on their bodies. They especially hate hats, since their ears are one of their most important sensory organs. If looks could kill, you would already be dead.
2. Holding a cat against his will.
Lots of cats enjoy being cuddled, but none of them like being held when they don’t want to be. How would you like it if somebody ten times your size grabbed you and wouldn’t let you go? You’d probably want to kill them too, so you could get away. Actually, when a cat struggles to get out of your grip, he doesn’t want to kill you as much as just get free – but if you did get killed in the process he might just consider it collateral damage.
3. Being late with meals.
Cats love routine and schedules, especially when it comes to mealtime. When you are lagging behind even a few minutes, you will hear about it. Around here, Binga gets wound up about an hour before it’s actually dinnertime. One of a cat’s most hated days is when Daylight Savings Time ends and their feeding time gets pushed back an hour. Listen carefully on the day after the clock falls back, and you’ll hear meows of protest all over your neighborhood.
4. When cats think you are prey.
This is why it’s never a good idea to use your bare hands when you play with cats. Most cat play is centered on one activity: catching and killing prey. They chase toy mousies, make flying leaps for wand and fishing pole type toys and stalk your ankles as you walk by. If you wiggle your fingers at a cat in fun, expect your hand to get attacked and resoundingly subdued. Cats are so hardwired for hunting that when they are going after prey, and it happens to be one of your body parts, they may not even realize they are trying to kill you. So always use a toy as prey instead of hands or feet.
5. When you touch a cat’s tummy.
Some laid-back cats enjoy tummy rubs. But those who dislike them will let you know with flashing claws and teeth. This is another behavior that harkens back to instinct. When cats roll onto their backs, they are showing trust. If you hover over them and reach for their bellies, their most vulnerable spot, they just naturally go into attack mode. When that happens, you have two choices: retreat or be killed (or at least maimed a little).
What sort of things make your cat want to kill you?