Are Cats Really Unfriendly?

why do we think cats are unfriendly

There are many possible reasons why people think cats are unfriendly. Maybe it’s because of the stare they like to give us from the other side of the room, or because they don’t come when we call them.

We would like to point out that they are not unfriendly but just misunderstood.

People expect too much out of cats. Most will compare cats with dogs.

Please don’t.

In reality, we can’t compare them.

To understand why people think cats are unfriendly we must take a look at some history, then try to explain and justify their behavior.

Cat domestication

Let’s make one thing clear right at the beginning, most experts agree that technically we didn’t domesticate cats, they kinda domesticated themselves. In other words, they, in some way decided to live with us.

Some of the earliest records show us that cats started hanging around our settlements around 9000 years ago.

Did you know?

In ancient Egypt, when the persons’ cat passed away, the owner would shave their eyebrows to show their grief.

Ancient Egyptians loved their cats so much that people who harmed or killed a cat were sentenced to death or faced harsh penalties.

There are many theories why, but one of the most common ones, that experts can agree on, is that it was because of the food. Our food and crops attracted rodents and other pests.

This high concentration of cats’ natural prey was a very attractive for them. It made it easier for them to find their prey, and humans often provided some leftover food for when they were unsuccessful with their hunt.

Cats continued to live around our settlements for thousands of years, coming into close contact with us on a regular basis. They were seen as good for pest control so people didn’t mind.

Even though cats were referred to as Gods in some societies they were not as important to early humans as dogs, and not as easy to train as dogs.

Dogs are pack animals, cats are not. Cats get together to mate and occasionally socialize.

Dogs were used for hunting, protection, and much more, while cats remained on the sidelines.

Cats came into our homes very recently compared to dogs. If we exclude some special cases, it can be said that the domestic cats as we know them today, started coming into our home just around 200 years ago.

We need to give them a break, they just didn’t have the time to adapt.

Cat personality traits and communication

Cats are the only asocial animal that we have successfully domesticated. Almost all domestic cats today are descendants of African wildcats.

Their personality is mostly solitary, hunting for themselves or for their young, meeting with other cats when it’s time to mate. Rest of the time they spend marking and patrolling their territory.

Modern cats undeniably enjoy some company but on their terms. Every cat owner knows that the cat chooses you, not the other way around. They do form a bond with their owners.

Cats are territorial animals and love to have their space and freedom. They are more social than we think but not in the same way as dogs and other domestic animals.

The confusion comes when we expect cats to communicate the same way as we do. Cats in the wild communicate with smells and body movements.

Did you know?

Cats don’t meow to other cats. This is how they communicate with us to grab our attention.

Meowing is something little kittens do to grab their mothers’ attention when they are very little.

Over time their mother stops reacting to this, and in the wild, the kittens would naturally stop meowing at a certain age.

But domestic cats have figured out that this works perfectly to grab our attention so they continued meowing to us.

Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the smells but we can learn some of their body language to help us understand some basics.

What should you expect from a cat

The main reason why people think that cats are unfriendly is that people expect too much, or have an unrealistic view of how cats show affection.

1. Lower your expectations

Cats are not dogs and cats take time to start trusting you and relax. Don’t be mad if a cat ignores you or it doesn’t come right away.

2. Go easy on carrying your cat around

Don’t expect that the cat will let you pick it up or hold it. This is often the first thing people try to do, but the problem is that most cats don’t like to be picked up and carried around.

3. Some cats just don’t like you. Deal with it.

You can’t force them. Some cats you will not like you, and some cats will like you over time as they get used to, and the idea of you being around.

Cats are really picky about their humans.


Whether cats are friendly or unfriendly depends on who you ask, and on your situation and experiences. We believe they are just misunderstood.

If we adjust our expectations and give them time to get to know us, almost any cat will be friendly eventually.

We hope this article helped to explain cats a bit and give you some insight into the complicated world of cats.

Feel free to ask any questions that may interest you, or tell us what you think we forgot to say about this subject.


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