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Why Do Cats Ignore You?

Updated on July 23, 2010

Sometimes people just don't get cats. It seems like their inner workings are impenetrable from some points of view, especially if you're approaching them from the point of view of the so-called "dog person."

But fear not--cats are actually pretty easy to understand. They like to pretend that they're more sophisticated than they really are by ignoring you and behaving in a manner that could be interpreted as pompous, but really, inside they are just as insecure and uncool as the rest of us. (If you don't believe me, try turning on a vacuum cleaner when they're in the room.)

With that said, onward:

Why Do Cats Ignore You? 

Photo by Ohnoitsjamie
Photo by Ohnoitsjamie

- Cats are not dogs

First of all, why shouldn't a cat ignore you? Why is it that the normal state of being for a creature is considered to be bouncy and excited to see you, and cats are just weirdos since they don't do this generally? Maybe it's because people try to compare them to dogs.

Cats are a little different, by and large, and are a little less needy. They like your face, sure, but they're fine looking at it from across the room instead of putting all that energy into actually coming up to you when you call them. They'll come when they're good and ready.

They don't love you any less, they're just lazy and less excitable.

- Cats have better things to do than to hang around you

Cats have cat things to do.

Like, for example, lying around doing nothing. Lying around doing nothing takes so much energy that the average cat cannot be arsed to conserve any of that energy to cater to your whims. He's already too busy catering to his own.

It's not that he's selfish, it's that his own fulfillment doesn't revolve around you normally.

When he does want company, though, don't worry; he'll be sure to parade around the house at night with his toy in his mouth, meowing loud and deep to get your attention.

Photo by Chris Horry
Photo by Chris Horry

- Your cat is busy pretending to be asleep

Maybe he didn't get the usual full 16 hours of sleep today and needs to take a few extra hundred catnaps. Either way, he doesn't appreciate your interrupting him by trying to get his attention.

- Cats don't believe in authority (Your cat will do what he wants)

So you yelled at him and he doesn't want to see you.

If you're trying to get him to obey you about something, you can probably forget about it unless you're going to include some kind of Pavlovian conditioning.

He can care less whether you scream and yell at him about something. He'll just wait until you're gone to do whatever it is you didn't want him to do, like jump on the counter or scratch at the couch.

Cats are independent spirits and they feel no shame or guilt, or sense of authoritarian hierarchy. You're not the boss of him. He'll do what he wants.

Photo by Yuval Y
Photo by Yuval Y

- Your cat is hiding in a closet and doesn't want you to find him

He's busy rubbing all his loose fur all over your jet-black business suit. He doesn't have time for your silly games. He's on a mission to rescue the lint-roller industry. People have jobs because of him.

Unless there's food involved in your summoning, expect him to be another cat that ignores you and disappears for hours on end.

Besides, cat's like small, enclosed spaces and if he's already comfortable inside your closet, in one of your shoe boxes, behind your stack of old board games, what kind of incentive does he have to move?

- Just because

Your cat might be ignoring you just 'cause. He doesn't need a reason. He's a cat. (See "Cats are not dogs" above.)

Photo by Marc Averette
Photo by Marc Averette

Well, hopefully this shed some light on cats to some degree, but I doubt all of the mysteries will ever be unlocked. I myself cannot even verify the claims in this hub 100%, as I can only take my cat's word on it and she's prone to confabulation.


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    • Lor's Stories profile image

      Lor's Stories 

      5 years ago from Central New Jersey

      My cat always pretends she's sleeping. That's freaky!!!!

      Then I turn around and she's under my feet or in the cabinet.

    • Lor's Stories profile image

      Lor's Stories 

      5 years ago from Central New Jersey

      My cat freaks me out. she is a female Maine Coon and she is weird.

      My niece thinks she's part human. She stares at herself in the mirror and prowls around at about 4 am. I catch her sitting on my dresser.

      And really being destructive if I don't pay attention to her. I love her but sometimes I think she gives me the death look if I don't like what I'm doing.

      I'll never own a female cat again! But I love her mischief ( sometimes)

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • Yenisey Cabrera profile image

      Yenisey Cabrera 

      8 years ago

      I am actually a dog person..:) but I agree cats are cats - dogs are dogs...we are who we are - they are who they are... Funny article. Thank you

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      8 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Actually, I think cats believe in authority. Their own. Or maybe they believe in their innate superiority.


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love cats, unfortunatly we cant have one because one of my daughters have allergy. Great hub.And I love it when they ignore us-cause they have better things to do

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lol, turning on the vacuum - that'll get their attention alright!

      Great article, gave me a good laugh.


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