Do cats like to be ignored? Of course, cats may fool you; they may let you believe they enjoy being alone and that it is better to ignore them. Is it true, though?
Cats do not like being alone or ignored; they want the company at a distance or on their terms. They have to decide most of the time to come to you, and they do not like to be held or petted too much, but you can see that they want to be near you to some degree.
Here is why cats do not really like to be ignored or like to be ignored only for some time.
DO CATS LIKE TO BE IGNORED FOR REAL?
Cats are known for being solitary souls and for keeping their distance; they have to dictate whether you are allowed to pet them or pick them. They are sort of “royalties,” and you have to “serve” them.
But yet again, if you miss from home, they are behind the door waiting for you. You can hear them meowing as soon as you approach the entrance door. Some of them come near you and pock you with their paws until you pet them. Some cats are coming at you, purring and kissing you.
More similar examples of cats demonstrate affection and want to share company with you or other cats. Based on this, we can say that cats do not like to be ignored; they want attention “on-demand.”
There are so many shreds of evidence of cats liking companies of others that it is hard to believe people can say that cats are selfish and think only for themselves. They can indeed play “hard to get,” but humans do that too.
So, do cats like to be ignored? Not at all. If you watch them even with other cats, you can see that they sleep with each other, groom each other, and sometimes they not only sleep with each other, but they sleep “on” each other.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU IGNORE A CAT FOR TOO LONG?
If you ignore cats completely, they grow up with personality disorders or can become sick or aggressive.
I can tell you a real story; my brother has a cat, Alvin. He grew up alone because my brother was never at home. He worked long hours. When I visited my brother, his cat was a bit aggressive and not socializing. After two weeks, he managed to come close to me, and he calmed down sensibly.
I concluded that finally, he had someone at home all day, and once he was sure I wasn’t a danger to him, he started relaxing and enjoying some company.
He changed his habits and stopped growling and biting. He would enjoy some petting and sleep next to me ( at a distance, of course), but he calmed down a lot.
I take from this experience that forcing a cat to be alone and ignoring him can make a cat aggressive and anxious.
Like other living beings, they do seek love and affection.
WHY DO CATS IGNORE US?
Cats have different personalities; there is a cat that likes snuggles, more solitary cats, etc. You have to observe a bit of your cat to find out your cat’s personality. Cat’s do not really ignore you. They need their space; even the most affectionate cat has to disappear from time to time.
So don’t be offended if your cat seems not to notice that you exist. He really knows that you are there and likes it. Just let him come to you when he wants, or if absolutely you want to bond a bit faster, give him treats or food and pet them while they are eating.
They will get used to your presence and may come to you more often. They usually come for treats. My first cat Coco has never been a “snuggler.” He comes when he wants and doesn’t like it when I hold him for more than 60 seconds.
I came to respect him. I know that at least he comes to me 2 or 3 times throughout the day, and I know to let him do it. Any other thing is going to stress him. I really wanted a cat that would be more affectionate. So, therefore, I took another one with that characteristic.
She is more affectionate. Not only does she give me tons of love, but she is teaching Coco a bit of love. I like to see him socializing.
DO CATS KNOW WHEN THEY ARE IN TROUBLE?
Cats may figure out when they are in trouble from the changes in your behavior. For example, if you raise your voice, move too suddenly in their direction, or raise your hands in their face, cats understand that something is wrong.
They instinctively would feel in danger and understand you changed your mood.
Cats associate or can understand rewards to an action they have just done; for example, if you give them a treat after a specific action and you do this repeatedly, they would come to understand and associate that action with something good.
After all, they get a treat every time they do that! So it is always better to train a cat positively, meaning training with rewards and whey they do the action you asked for, not the other way around, meaning not scolding when they do something wrong.
DO CATS PRETEND TO LIKE YOU?
Cats are not capable of deceiving humans. If they do not like something, they walk away. They hiss, scratch, hide, or show you that what is going on is not good.
When cats come for affection and pets, they really want it, and they do not do it only because they want food. For example, cats coming to sleep next to you or on you show they love you and enjoy your company.
Cats, or animals in general, are not like humans; they act based on their instinct and do what they like. For example, if they need to stay next to you, they will come to get affection.
SHOULD YOU BE IGNORING A CAT AS PUNISHMENT?
If you ignore your cat as a punishment, you might not reach the desired result. Cats might not associate the fact that you are ignoring them with what they did wrong. But they could think that something is wrong in general and become stressed or anxious.
If you want to let your cat know that something he did was not ok, you should use your voice or a specific command when he is doing the act. Training your cat to understand a few words and what they mean is better.
For example, if you say NO, your cat knows he has to stop whatever he is doing, etc.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do cats understand scolding?
Cats understand the tone of humans’ voices and know when you are angry and don’t like what they did. Somehow they can recognize volume, tone, and intentions. Therefore scolding can be used from time to time. However, it is better to train a cat in another way.
Do cats develop a grudge against you if you ignore them and aren’t their owner?
Typically cats get used to people. Even if another person comes to the house and starts living there, cats, in the end, get used to it and “know” who this person is. Unless the cat considers this new person dangerous, there is no grudge. But, a cat can become suspicious and “hold grudges” with people they feel unsafe.
What happens if you have a cat as a pet, but you don’t play with it?
If cats do not socialize with people or other cats or are left alone too much, they can become feral and aggressive. Therefore, it is important to socialize with a cat to feel a human presence and become familiar with it.
Do cats know when you ignore them?
Cats know when you ignore them because they come to look for affection and scratches under the chin or play. If you do not attend to these “duties,” cats will feel uncomfortable because their love is rejected. They would feel there is something wrong. But, they are still living beings.
Can cats tell when people don’t like cats and aren’t “cat people”?
People who do not like cats will end up doing something wrong with them and making them afraid. Cats would know who these people are because they will behave in a way they think is frightening.
Can cats sense when you are not well?
Cats have a very acute sense of smell and can understand when there is a change in someone’s body by it. Cats can smell the odors when the body releases chemicals, even though I would also put a more emotional note to it by saying they can “feel” people’s emotions.
Can cats sense distress?
Yes, they can sense emotions and vibes. They can feel something is wrong because you are changing how you interact with them; maybe in a period of stress, you leave him alone much more or tend to not give him as much attention as before. It can also create consequences for your cat, making him a bit more anxious and insecure; therefore, he can start acting strange. After all, do cats like to be ignored for too long? Definitively NO.