10 Ways To Tell Your Cat Is Mad At You

American Kennel Club Hosts "Meet The Breeds" Dog And Cat Show

Even for us cat lovers who spend all our time our cats and grow with our cats and love our cats, they can still be a complex read. They are emotional creatures and whatever emotion they are feeling at any said time can sometimes be tough to decipher. While it is easy to tell if your cat is happy, what about when your cat is mad at you? We know that can be a little more vague, so we decided to make this list of ten ways to tell if your cat is mad at you. Keep in mind, every cat and every case is different. These are just some general observations from some people who have spent a lot of time with felines.

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Household Pets Become Latest Victims Of Foreclosure Crisis

Seems Distant

Some non-cat lovers would say cats are always aloof and distant, and that makes us laugh. That is not the case. Many of us have cats who come up to us and greet us when we get home and curl up in our laps when we watch TV and read. It is a very honest and comforting relationship, usually. But if you notice Morris doing less and less of those things, it might be the first indication  you did something to make your cat mad at you.

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Animal Sanctuary Needs £200,000 To Avoid Closure

Staring You In the Eyes

Yes, a cat will sometimes gaze lovingly up at you while you pet it or if it walks by. But in the same breath, a cat can stare at you (usually from a distance) and if it doesn’t break its gaze or expression, this can be a straight confrontation. Your cat is trying to assert dominance over you in this scenario. If there are no blinks, you are in trouble. So as weird as it may be, the trick here is to not break gaze. Think of it as a staring contest, and if you look away first, your cat will look at itself as the alpha of the house and not you. Keep in mind, your cat will see this as aggressive behavior.

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Larry The New Downing Street Cat Arrives At His New Home

Ignoring You Altogether 

This is another comment pop culture makes a lot but doesn’t understand. They joke that cats will ignore you even if they are not mad at you. Truth is, cats are very independent, yes. But if your cat starts suddenly ignoring you when that is not its normal behavior, it might be trying to tell you something. Make special note of this if you are calling the cat for food and it ignores you. That is like a cat slap to the human face.

(Photo by Mark Large – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Larry The New Downing Street Cat Arrives At His New Home

Breaks the Rules

Just like with any other pets, people with cats have specific rules. Maybe one of those rules is not to scratch the curtains. And you have redirected the cat enough that it doesn’t do it. Until your cat is mad at you, that is. Cats are very bright creatures and act of disrespect like that can often be seen as intentional and intentionally hurtful if you and your cat are having an off week. The worst part is when they look you right in the eyes when they do it. Furry little rebels.

(Photo by Mark Large – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Cat Emergency At Battersea As Fewer Prospective Owners Come Forward

Hissing (or Other Such Aggressive Acts)

We could not make a list about a cat being mad and not include the vital cat act of hissing. Though not common towards owners and people they love, you KNOW you made your cat mad when it is hissing at you or has hissed at you and ran. We have learned this works really well human to human, too. They may look at you strange afterwards, but the point is made pretty clear.

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Tierpark Zoo Presents Baby Leopard


A cat hiding away from you can actually be a two-fold warning, and it is key to know the difference. A cat could hide from you if it is hurt, so if your cat is hiding from you, it may do you well to assume that first and make sure the cat is okay. If the cat is indeed, okay, and is still choosing to hide under a bed or a corner of a room it doesn’t usually inhabit, that is the cat way of saying “I don’t even want to look at you right now”. And yes, it hurst as bad as you think it would. But if your cat does go into hiding, contact your vet, just in case.

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Celebs at "Cats And Dogs" Premiere

Ears Back

We know all cat owners know this, but when a cat’s ears are back, that is like a curled fist in the air. That means the cat is really unhappy about something, and potentially about to act on that. When you see the ears go back, it is no longer playtime. The ears back matched up with hissing is one of the worst combos. Better lock yourself in a bathroom and let the cat cool off for a bit. Well, a bathroom might not be the best idea, seeing as to how they like to follow us in there.

(Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images)

Animal Lovers Converge On Pet Fair

Tail Lashing

A simple enough move, and many cat owners have seen it and know it. A lashing tail (quick, hard strikes) can often be representative of a cat being angry in that moment. Keep in mind, sometimes tail lash during play, too, but usually that will be the result of more physical play. Like if your cat was play fighting with another cat. The tail lashes enough at you, make note the cat is probably mad.

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Annual CFA International Cat Show Showcases Pedigreed Felines

Drooping Whiskers

As with many of the things cats do to let us know they are mad at us, they also have a bunch of what we like to call “physical tells”. We talked about the eyes, we talked about the ears, and now its whiskers time. If the whiskers are pointed down to the ground, (which is usually matched the ears being sideways or back), the cat is showing you that it is unhappy or mad. Once you learn the language of the eyes, the language of the tail, and the language of the whiskers, you can pretty much speak cat.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Household Pets Become Latest Victims Of Foreclosure Crisis

A Quick Swipe

We wanted to put this one last because we like to think that the cats we love wont just swipe or slash us. Reality is, a cat will do a swipe more than a slash if the cat is mad at you, but doesn’t want to harm you. Trust me, if the cat wanted to claw you up, it knows it could. But it also seems to be aware a quick swipe (like a cat slap) will let you know the cat is not in the mood, and that the next time, it wont just be a swipe.

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Similar Posts


  1. When I’m trying to use my computer, that’s the one time I wish my cat would get mad at me, instead of insisting on laying on my key board.

  2. How about when they jump up in bed and carp on you because you brought home a puppy? Yeah. It happens. Apparently they like to be consulted on those kind of decisions.

    1. I brought another cat home once…female like the one I had (should have known better, even if the new one was just a kitten). Yeah. I got that move where she sat across the room just staring at me at length. I swear, if she could speak, she probably would have said “Who’s the trollop?”

  3. My cat lived for over 20 years and most of this is true, I know. She was a Siamese and spoke English and some Martian as she was from Mars. I learnt a few Martian words from her. Sometimes when she ignored me she just had better things to do like check out her territory, mice and bugs. When patrol was done then she would again provide me with some assistance.

  4. My cat Finola has a temper and there is no question about it when she is mad. She lashes her tail and pointedly stalks off. Sometimes it’s rather funny, but I know better than to push things when she wants to be left alone.

  5. My experience is that when a cat displays these behaviors, typically they’re upset with one of the other cats (there are four altogether) or there is a physical issue. I simply pray, ask God to help me think like a cat, and soon I have my answer. If it’s simple as tail-twitching, ears back, growling, or hissing, that usually means I’m trimming their claws or de-matting them. This, too, will pass. 😉 Other than that, we’re pretty laid back here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.