5 Things That Make Your Cat Feel Unloved

| Published on February 24, 2024

Cats, with their unique personalities and behaviors, are much more than pets; they’re cherished family members. However, despite our best intentions and deep affection for them, certain actions or habits we might not think twice about can inadvertently convey a lack of love or attention to our feline friends. Understanding that cats interpret our love through our actions, not our words, is crucial. Here are six common behaviors that could unintentionally make your cat feel unloved:


#1 – Not cleaning the litter box often enough


image source: Tom Thai via flickr


Would you go for a week without flushing your own toilet? Probably not, so why do you put off cleaning the litter box until the weekend? Forcing your cat to use a dirty litter box and then getting upset if they choose to use a cleaner place (like on the carpet) is sending them a signal that you don’t care about them and their preference for cleanliness. Clean out the litter box daily to prove your love for your cat. An added bonus is that the box doesn’t get as gross when you’re scooping it daily.

#2 – Teasing, shouting, punishing, or hurting your cat


It should go without saying that hurting your cat or putting their face in their feces as punishment is a sure way for them to fear instead of love you. But teasing them or even shouting at other people in your house can also be upsetting for your cat. Cats need to feel safe and secure. Wondering when the next shouting match or tail-tugging are going to occur will just turn your cat into a stressed out mess.

#3 – Not providing mental stimulation


If you never play with your cat and leave your curtains closed all day, you are telling your cat that they don’t deserve to be entertained. Sure, cats like to sleep, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy being bored all day long. They should have a comfy perch by a window and interactive treat toys at a minimum. Playing classical music or putting on the TV when you leave the house may help, too, but the best thing you can do is play with your cat every day.

#4 – Ignoring their pain


Cats can’t tell you when they are in pain and even go so far as to try to hide it. It’s your job to look for subtle changes in behavior that could indicate a health issue and promptly take them to the vet. If your cat is showing signs that something is wrong with their health such as not eating, scratching their ears constantly, or refusing to use the litterbox, but you ignore them, you are showing your cat that their health doesn’t matter to you.

#5 – Neglecting your cat

Do you let your cat’s nails get so long that they’re sticking in the carpet? Do you wait until their water dish is slimy or their food dish is crusty before washing them? Do you let their fur get matted? Do you feed them and clean out their litter box but refuse to give them any other attention or affection? These little actions add up to a great big “I don’t like you” message for your cat.

We all get busy, but your kitty is worth spending some extra time every day doing the little things that show them how much you love them.

(H/T: PetMD)