How To Repel Cats

If you are allergic to cats or you don’t like them, you have probably noticed that you are the first peroson cats gravitate to, even in a room full of doting cat lovers. I have a tip for reducing and possibly eliminating that behavior (and no, it doesn’t require burying your friend’s cat).

People who don’t like them (or are allergic) try to avoid even looking at them, and that’s our mistake. Direct staring is the behavior of predatory animals (like cats). The sidelong glance favored by those of us who dislike or are allergic to cats is the behavior of prey. So when the cat is friendliest to the person paying them the least attention, it’s either because they view you as prey and are toying with you, or because they view you as safe, since you are avoiding the predatory direct stare.

The part about viewing you as prey is a joke, but the rest is true business. I read it in a science magazine a while ago. I am majorly allergic to cats and cannot have them climbing on me, and I had been frustrated at the way they singled me out. Once I read that, I changed my behavior and started staring cats down, and it really worked. Cats quit choosing me first out of all the cat-lovers in the room.

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  1. Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    This is very useful information. I am not allergic to cats, but I hate being climbed on.

  2. harmonyl
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! I am allergic, too.

  3. Heather
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    My theory was always that cats know how to identify introverts who don’t like having their personal space invaded, and then sit on them to annoy them. I guess the eye contact thing makes more sense. I’ll have to try it….

  4. SEM
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    What about avoiding dogs? I’ve had some bad experiences with aggressive dogs, and I’ve been told to avoid eye contact in order not to set them off.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, you don’t want to use direct stares with dogs unless you are sure of your ability to stare them down and handle the consequences. Dogs are pack animals and so they feel a need to protect their pack from threats.

      • SEM
        Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        The one family member who is most allergic to dogs is the one that they run up to most often — but I’ve been jumped on by dogs a few times. Often big dogs, golden retrievers and that sort of thing.

  5. Elizabeth S
    Posted December 4, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I will have to try this one out. I am allergic and they always head right for me. I have a question for you too and wasn’t sure where to put it. We love to listen to audio books in the car. However, I forget which books I edit as I read and then before you know it an”ïnteresting” word that we would not want our children to hear has flown out. I think these books have great value for example the Little Britches books but would rather my kids don’t hear some of that language. Do you have a list of books that would be good for listening to on cd? I would read to them in the car but I get carsick pretty easily. :) And my husband would be more than happy to read but I don’t like him to read and drive at the same time…. :) Thank you.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted December 4, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      That’s a good question. I don’t have such a list.

      • Elizabeth S
        Posted December 4, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Thank you :)

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