Cats are usually thought of as cold and unfeeling beings, especially when compared to dogs. While it’s true that cats don’t have the same range of emotions as humans do, there are several studies showing that our feline friends may be capable of experiencing more emotions than we give them credit for.
This article will explore the various emotions cats are capable of feeling and how you can tell if your cat is experiencing those emotions.
YES, cats can feel emotions
Have you ever wondered if your cat can really feel emotions? Well, the answer is a resounding yes! Cats are complex creatures and are capable of experiencing a range of emotions, from happiness and love to sadness and anger.
In fact, it’s common for cats to show more than one emotion at a time. They might be feeling happy when they first see their owner return home but then quickly move on to being angry because they were ignored while they were gone!
The best way for us humans to ensure that our kitties are happy is by spending quality time with them every day. Try spending 15 minutes each day petting your cat or playing fetch with them using an old shoe or a piece of string.
And don’t forget about treats too: try cooking up some scrambled eggs for breakfast and letting your kitty have a taste before eating yours! These simple actions will go a long way in helping your cat experience emotions like happiness and contentment, as well as allowing you both to bond even more.
Here’s why we think they can
Cats are often seen as independent and aloof, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel emotions. In fact, cats likely experience a range of emotions, including love, sadness, anger, and fear.
Studies have shown that when owners interact with their pets in a loving way, the cats’ heart rates go down, and it can be assumed that this is because they’re feeling loved.
Cats also seem to enjoy being petted by humans (and most likely other cats), so we can safely assume that this brings them happiness. It’s not just petting either; other research has found that stroking an animal causes a release of oxytocin, which causes feelings of trust and bonding.
As for negative emotions, studies have shown that cortisol levels rise after an owner leaves home without the cat or even when there’s some other sign of abandonment. As for aggression, cats typically lash out at something after feeling threatened or fearful; otherwise, they’re more likely to hide from it.
Happy Cat vs Sad Cat
Do cats really experience emotions like happiness and sadness, or are they just responding to their environment? Let’s take a look at the evidence. The anatomy of a cat’s brain is similar to that of humans, but with significant differences.
For example, humans have two areas of emotional activity – one in the right hemisphere of the brain (the so-called emotional side) and one in the left hemisphere (the rational side).
The right side is more active when someone is experiencing an emotion; on the other hand, people with damage to this area can’t tell when they’re feeling different types of emotion.
A cat’s brain also has these same regions: both sides of the cortex process emotions. Cats also share with us the ability to make decisions based on what they want rather than what they should do, another sign of having feelings.
And lastly, many experts believe that animals don’t possess true empathy because empathy requires the ability to put oneself in another animal’s place and feel how it feels; yet we see this quality exhibited by cats all the time!
Do they get depressed?
Yes, cats can get depressed. Just like humans, they can experience a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, become less social, and sleep more. In fact, changes in sleep patterns are one of the most common signs of depression in cats.
If your cat is showing any of these signs, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying medical causes and develop a treatment plan. Some examples of other potential causes for behavioral changes in cats include brain tumors, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and kidney disease.
It’s also important to note that cats may stop eating if they’re feeling anxious or stressed. As a pet parent, you should be aware of the behavior changes in your cat so you can help provide them with what they need to feel better.
If you notice anything unusual about your kitty, talk to their veterinarian as soon as possible!
Why do they knead us?
There are a few reasons cats knead their humans. One reason is that they associate the action with feeling comfortable and content, sort of like how humans might enjoy a good massage. Another possibility is that kneading helps them mark their territory by leaving their scent on you. It could also be a way of showing affection since they only tend to do it with people they feel close to.
Kneading is usually associated with comfort but can sometimes be used as a way for cats to say please don’t go away or I need your help right now. Some experts believe this behavior actually originated from nursing kittens trying to get milk from their mother’s nipples.
It’s worth noting that not all cats knead – some may prefer to purr, play, or even scratch instead!
How do they show affection towards us?
Do you ever wonder if your cat really does love you, or if they’re just putting up with you because you provide them with food and a warm place to sleep? Well, wonder no more!
Turns out, cats can actually feel a range of emotions towards their owners – and they show it in a few different ways. They often meow at their owner when hungry or lonely, and purr when content.
They also like to rub against the owner’s legs as a sign of affection; this is called bunting. What’s even better is that cats are sensitive to human emotion, so our pets respond better to us when we’re happy and relaxed.
So next time you’re feeling down, take a break from work and pet your cat for some much-needed company!
Why do they purr (and what does it mean)?
There are a few reasons cats purr. One reason is that they’re happy and content. They might also purr when they’re feeling stressed or anxious as a way to calm themselves down.
Purring can also be a sign of affection, especially when your cat rubs up against you while they’re doing it. It’s important to remember that not all cats will always want physical contact with humans.
It’s very important that you learn how your individual cat likes to be petted before you go reaching out for them with an open hand. Some cats enjoy being stroked under the chin, rubbed on the stomach, behind the ears, or along their back.
Others would prefer if you gave them space so they could come to you when they feel like being petted. Don’t try to force a cat into anything! Cats know what they need better than we do.
How do they show stress or annoyance?
Cats can show stress or annoyance in a number of ways. For example, they may yawn, lick their lips, or twitch their tails. They may also hiss, growl, or meow more than usual. Plus, they may hide or try to escape from the source of their stressor.
If it’s another animal, cats will typically stand up on their hind legs and use their claws to scratch and swat at them.
A cat’s whiskers are sensitive organs that allow them to feel for changes in air currents that could be caused by prey or an enemy. They are so sensitive that cats can tell if you’re happy or angry just by being near you!
So what emotions do cats feel? There are plenty of things they might experience: fear, anger, happiness, loneliness…the list goes on. But how can we really know what they’re feeling deep down inside? Probably not without asking them firsthand!
Do cats dream of electric mice?
There’s no easy answer when it comes to whether or not cats dream. Scientists believe that all mammals experience dreams, but we don’t know for sure if cats do.
In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that dreaming has nothing to do with the quality of sleep a person experiences; some people who are awakened during REM sleep will report dreams while others will have nothing at all on their minds.
In any case, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of cats having vivid and emotionally charged memories long after they occur, so we can only assume they must be dreaming as well.
You may remember the stories of my kittens playing in their litter box – I see this happen in their eyes still, even though it happened months ago. It’s hard to pick just one emotion that defines how a cat feels because every situation calls for something different from them.
A startled cat might hiss and then run away; an angry cat might lunge forward with bared teeth and show its claws.
Are cats more aloof than dogs?
It’s a common misconception that cats are more aloof than dogs. In reality, cats are just as capable of feeling a wide range of emotions as their canine counterparts. Studies have shown that cats exhibit signs of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and love, just to name a few.
So next time you see your feline friend looking uninterested, don’t be so quick to write them off as emotionless. They may just be resting up for their next big emotional outburst.
How do they communicate these feelings?
Unlike dogs who express themselves through body language and vocalization, cats often rely on their paws or tail movements to communicate their feelings. That said, you can always check the look in a cat’s eyes to figure out what they’re thinking.