For anyone wondering why this happens: the body language cues that humans use to mean “I’m not interested in contact, please ignore me and leave me alone” are the same body language cues that cats use to say “I’m not a threat to you and we could chill together if you want.”The term “i speak cat” is kind of a misnomer because 95% of cat communication is NON-VOCAL.Cats who want to chill will look at you and then look away and/or blink slowly when you notice them staring. They will fold up their body to be smol and non-threatening. They will yawn and purr and act like they don’t care you’re there.All of these things say to a cat “we’re cool, bro, we should hang out.”Humans trying to avoid contact will adopt a closed body posture (legs close together, arms crossed, head down/slightly hunched over); to a cat that looks like trying to be smol and non-threatening.Humans trying to avoid contact will try to watch other people without the other person catching on to being watched. So they look and then immediately glance away when acknowledged; to a cat this says “yeah, I know you’re there but I’m ok with it, we’re cool.”Humans trying to avoid contact will keep fairly quiet and act bored to discourage interaction; to a cat that says “you can tell I’m totally ok with you being around because I’m not actively screaming and showing displeasure at your presence.”If you’re allergic to cats, learn some cat body language so you stop accidentally inviting cats for a snuggle when you actually want them to avoid you.
I used to tell my friends that if you wanted the cat to avoid you, step one was to yell “KITTY!” and come running at her and try to pick her up without her permission. Et voila, the cat now wants nothing to do with you. They never believed me for some reason.