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​​Why Does My Cat Hate My Son?

If your cat seems to hate or dislike your son you may be wondering why this is. And, what you can do about it…

Why does my cat hate my son?

While some cats are quite tolerant of children, others seem to have a very hard time with them. Kids can be a little unpredictable sometimes with animals until they learn how to properly behave with them. Children may pull their tails, pick them up suddenly, force affection on them, or simply surprise them with unexpected, loud sounds.

So, now you know. But, could your son’s scent be a factor? How can you prevent this from happening? Why is your cat hissing at your son? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Could your son’s scent make your cat uncomfortable?

An angry-looking cat.

An angry-looking cat.

Scents are also very important to a cat and if they aren’t getting along with your child, then the scent of your son may make the cat uncomfortable. With the noises, scents, grabbing, or constant petting attempts, your cat becomes stressed and may hiss or even scratch the child.

Interactions with the cat should be well-supervised until your child is old enough or has learned enough to be around the cat on their own.

How can you prevent your cat from hating your son?

A slow introduction is going to be important for getting the cat to be comfortable around your son. The best way to begin this is to start with short introductions, where the cat is brought into the room and allowed to approach your child on their own.

Don’t force your cat to interact, as we are looking to build trust, just keep trying and extend the time of these visits slowly.

Eventually, your cat is going to sniff at your son and this gives you a good time to teach them where petting is the most proper. Depending on your child’s age, supervision may still be required, but try to teach them not to pet the cat’s tummy, pull the tail, or to pick up the cat.

Also, make sure that there is always an exit from the room so that your cat doesn’t feel trapped!

Show your child how to scratch the cat’s ears, cheeks, and chin, though for best results, have your child hold out their hand and the cat may meet them halfway, rubbing against their hand to show where they want to be petted. This is also a good time to talk about how to tell when the cat is happy or when they might be angry.

Finally, there are some non-touching activities that you can have your son do with the cat. Examples include feeding them treats, rolling a small rubber ball for the cat, or holding up a long string. Never use a short string, as this is inviting an accidental scratch.

Over time, your cat will grow more used to your son, but it is a slow process – you’ll need to be patient!

Why does my cat hiss at my son?

When your cat hisses at your son, this means that they feel threatened and they are trying to warn your son away or to warn him that a bite or a scratch is coming if they don’t back off.

While your son is learning to interact with the kitty, you’ll want to be sure that you are present for all sessions of this and if your cat hisses, then get your son to step back to give the cat some space.

Give the cat a little time to calm and after that, you might be able to interact in a less-threatening manner such as string, a laser pointer, or even by leaving a treat and stepping away.

This will help to build pleasant associations with your son in the cat’s mind and help with future interactions.

Should you get rid of your cat if it attacks your son?

While that is certainly an option, there are other things that you can try first. Do not have the cat declawed, as this can lead your cat to start biting more, but there are plastic claw-caps on the market that can help to minimize scratching or you could even trim (but not remove) the cat’s claws on a regular basis.

Isolating the cat to certain areas to avoid interaction with your child is a very good idea, especially if your son is a toddler or an infant. This helps you to ensure that all interactions are well-supervised and the cat and your son may be slowly reintroduced to each other.

For the most part, it’s really going to be an exercise of patience and slow introduction as your cat will need to trust your son before they are going to get along. If isolation isn’t working and your cat is still being overly aggressive, then finding a new home for the cat may well be required.

Cats can carry and transmit certain diseases so they are not always a good fit in a home with a very young child. That said, with a little patience, interactions should improve over time, and rehoming your cat should only be used as a last resort when all other methods have failed.

How do you discipline a cat for biting your son?

A cat staring.

A cat staring.

Cats don’t respond well to punishment and may become more distrustful of you and your son if any is attempted. With cats, it’s better to teach proper handling and in cases like biting, one ASPCA recommendation is that you immediately stop play and leave the room.

Taking the cat out of the room doesn’t work, as this will likely make them more aggressive, but by you and your son leaving the room your cat will learn eventually that biting means the end of playtime.

What do you do when your cat hates your child?

The best approach is a combination of things. First off, make sure that your cat has an area they can go to that is off-limits for your child. Next, be sure to always supervise all future interactions until your cat has become more comfortable with your kids.

You’ll want to teach your children a little about cat body language, provided that they are old enough to understand, and this will help so that your kids will know when to leave the cat alone.

If you usually feed the cat, try letting your child fill up the bowl and set it down where the cat can see it. When your cat sees that your child is feeding them every day, then their attitude might well soften up a bit in response.

Finally, treats and toys can go a long way, just make sure that you don’t use any catnip. Catnip can sometimes make aggression worse in a frightened cat, so be sure to leave it out of the equation.

How do cats choose their favorite person?

One of the fun things about cats is that they have their own reasons for why they choose a person as their favorite. It could be the person playing with them the most or the person feeding them. Some cats like the person who pays the least attention to them.

These furry characters are picky about whom they love but there are not really any set standards to it. Your cat basically likes who they like and you never know who that will be until you get the cat home.

Why doesn’t my cat like kids?

Cats are creatures of habit and nothing adds unpredictability into an environment quite like children. Kids run around, they grab things, and often laugh loudly or yell at each other – it’s something that every parent gets used to and your cat should too. It is just quite stressful in the beginning, so some adjustment time is to be expected.

The best thing to do is to be patient and take it as a learning exercise with cats that you and your children may do together. With a little education on proper kitty-handling, everyone should be fast friends in no time!

How do you know if your cat is traumatized?

Certain behaviors may be indications that your cat is traumatized and if you see them, a visit to the vet is a good idea for a little help with behavioral rehabilitation. Traumatized cats may show symptoms such as shaking, sudden defecation or urination, loud vocalizing, or simply darting off and hiding all of the time.

It is usually triggered by something, such as the appearance of children, or adult males or females – it all depends on the trauma experienced and who or what your cat associates with that. It may not even be from a person, as some animals simply have certain phobias, just as certain people do.

Your vet can help you in cases like this, so be sure to schedule an appointment so that your cat’s triggers may be identified and a training strategy may then be employed to help your cat to adjust.  

How do you calm an aggressive cat?

First off, if your cat has not been spayed or neutered, then consider this option. Spaying or neutering a cat can calm them considerably and also has a number of health benefits for cats, including lower chances of certain cancers!

You also want to make sure that your cat always has a safe spot that they can go to alone so that they do not feel trapped and react aggressively because they are scared and feel boxed in. Make sure that all interactions are fully supervised and where cat aggression is concerned, don’t be afraid to bring a vet in on it to get their opinion.

Sometimes cat aggression simply means that your cat is hurt or feeling ill so it’s a good idea to rule this out quickly as you begin socializing your cat to be around your children.

Lindsey Browlingdon