Cat behavior can be pretty puzzling. From the way they use their litter box to how they react to loud noises, there are lots of things that cats do that we just don’t understand. As it turns out, that’s because cats have a completely different understanding of human emotion than humans do!
To most of us, our cats are just furry little people who happen to have four legs and nine lives. While we might take it as a given that our kitties understand how we feel – after all, they sit on our laps and snuggle with us when we’re sad – there’s some debate about whether or not cats can actually comprehend human emotions.
This article looks at the latest scientific findings about feline psychology, both those that bolster and those that refute the notion that cats understand human emotion and can even feel empathy toward their owners.
Do cats feel sad when their humans are sad too?
Cats are one of the few animals who can understand emotional signals from humans. When their human is sad, they comfort them by cuddling and licking them. This is because they are able to sense what their human’s emotional state is, and respond to it accordingly. The emotional cues that cats pick up on are called emotional signals.
They can detect things like changes in breathing, heart rate, or the sound of a person crying. Some scientists believe that this ability comes from domestication; others think that this ability was always present in cats but just wasn’t documented until now.
It’s not entirely clear how exactly this happens, but there are some theories as to why these changes happen when people are experiencing emotions such as fear, anger, happiness, sadness, or surprise. One theory is that there may be an evolutionary process where people have learned over time how to read these signs so well due to how closely we cohabitate with each other.
Do cats have empathy?
Researchers have been studying the empathy levels of cats for decades and there’s still not a consensus as to whether or not cats can understand human emotion. Studies on cats in different situations found that some felines do show signs of concern for their humans but it’s possible that these reactions may only be reflexes to the stimulus and don’t necessarily reflect true feelings.
For example, when given treats, most cats showed more interest in them if they were watching their owner than if they were left alone with them. The question has also been raised whether feline emotional signals are really reflective of the cat’s emotional state or just a response to external stimuli.
So, are cats empathetic? There have been tons of research done on cat empathy. Some studies report the verdict is yes, while other studies suggest they are not capable of showing empathy. I strongly believe they are empathetic and understand most if not all of what is going on around them. There have been several actions caught on camera to prove this. Whether it’s cradling and licking a crying baby to pacify them, breaking up an actual fight between its humans by attacking the aggressor, saving a cat from a stray aggressive dog or snuggling in bed with their healing purrs while you are sad, they have shown us countless times how intelligent and empathetic they really are.
Here are some ways cats could be showing they understand human emotion
Cats pay more attention to you when you act like you need help or when you appear sad or mad. They also seem to respond more positively when their owner is feeling happy.
Cat owners describe their pets as emotional mirrors for themselves, which means they show signs of happiness, fear, or anger in response to what’s going on with their humans.
Cats are like human introverts, they are there for the times that count but from a distance and like their space. They participate in your everyday life in some way or another showing you their love by grooming you.
Interpreting your cats' meows
Some cat’s meows seem to be easy to interpret. A short, high-pitched meow might sound like they need attention. Other times, it can be hard to recognize what the cat wants to say. Some scientists have studied how cats might use different kinds of meows depending on the situation and human emotional cues.
Kitties are sensitive creatures who want nothing more than love from their humans. Their body language tells you when they’re hungry or want attention – so please show your kitty some love! Your happiness is just as important to them as theirs is to you.
Cats can tell the difference between happy and angry voices. When we get really angry, our heart rate goes up, blood pressure rises, and muscles tense up, your cat may be able to identify these physical reactions too! We now have more insight into why felines act aggressively sometimes – because we get frustrated with them and react negatively.
Do cats understand human emotions better than dogs?
Dogs have the long-standing reputation of being humans’ best friends. But did you know cats might be their most understanding animal counterparts? It has been found that there are clear differences in the way cats and dogs react to human emotions.
This research comes as part of a wave of studies exploring how animals interpret human emotions and interact with us on an emotional level. We all intuitively understand that our pets can pick up on our moods. A few days ago, my dog seemed to know when I was upset about something and came over for some cuddles. The same thing happens with my cat who always wants to sleep near me when I’m feeling down.
The truth is that cats are very intuitive animals. They can tell when their human is having a rough day and they try and make them feel better. Cats not only know how to comfort humans, but they also know when their human needs some space or time away from them.
Studies on cats show that even though they do not understand human language, they still show emotions through their body language. There are multiple studies that find evidence for human emotional cues in cats with no knowledge of the human language.