Do Cats Have Feelings?
Cats in general are mysterious and often misunderstood creatures.
Felines are quite famous for their curiosity and their mischievous ways. These two traits are dominant in almost all cats out there. And it comes only natural to ask ourselves, if cats can be curious, can they have feelings and emotions like us, humans?
Cats can indeed feel a variety of emotions. Take the diverse types of affection they show towards their pet parents for example.
We know cats can feel many obvious things, such as being tired, feeling playful or being hungry. These are all just some of the basic things all living creatures out there can experience on daily basis.
But what about real emotions like fear, anger, happiness or grief? Truth be told, feline furballs actually have larger emotional capacities than you might think. They can feel so much more than just the basic human emotions like sadness, happiness, excitement and fright.
Common feelings for cats
Even though feline furballs of all breeds and ages can experience quite a few types of emotions, there are several basic feelings, which all cats can feel in a given situation. Mind you, unless you’re paying close attention, the cat won’t show the fact that it’s being overwhelmed with some emotion.
Fear and aggression
Fear is among the most primal of emotions all living organisms can experience. Same goes for cats. Felines can easily get startled, frightened or truly petrified even by something as harmless as a loud and unexpected noise coming from your phone’s ringtone. In other words, even something familiar can scare them. The vacuum cleaner and the laundry machine are just two of the most common household objects scaring most cats out there.
Aggression in cats may be triggered either by fear or by something invading the kitty’s personal space and its territory. It can also be derived from the common feeling of jealousy, which can affect even the most laid-back cat.
Aggressive behavior often results in hissing, yowling, biting, scratching and other types of “verbal” or physical attack. Feline furballs aren’t toys and they don’t like being treated as emotionless objects without needs. Thus, aggression can even be triggered by something as simple as you teasing your pet with its favorite toy while not allowing it to play along.
Affection and attachment
When cats feel safe, happy and satisfied around their pet parents they get easily attached to them. Your kitty won’t experience the same love you have for it, but it will most definitely feel attached and devoted to you.
Some cats purr, others just follow you around even when you go to the bathroom. Then there’s also the lap-cat type, which can spend all day long napping on your lap. Each kitty is unique on its own. And as such, each cat will express its affection in different ways.
Sadness and grief
Cats can indeed feel grief. Kittens often suffer from detachment issues and the fear of abandonment. Adult and elder cats also grieve for a lost toy, a lost companion or even their previous surroundings in a case when they’ve recently moved into a new home.
Any pet can feel lonely and can become sad or depressed without enough social interaction. If you’re one of those cat owners who have to leave their pets home alone over long periods of time, you can get your kitty a pet camera. The best ones come with interactive laser-chaser games and can play recordings of your voice to your furball.
What to do when your cat is overwhelmed with feelings?
Cats of any breed, age or gender can get overwhelmed by their emotions. They can become severely depressed, over-excited, hyper anxious or taken over by aggression. If you can’t calm down your pet, there are relaxants and mild sedatives, which can ease your kitty. In extreme cases you should seek your vet’s help.
There are many ways to understand your pet’s feelings just by monitoring its body language.
The tail position actually indicates how a cat perceives its surroundings and what it’s feeling at a given moment. Moreover, the kitty’s sleeping position also gives away some of the cat’s feelings. It can indicate fear, alertness, the feeling of being safe, and so forth.
Sometimes cats can appear to be restless and overcome by feelings not because of their emotional side but due to a health issue. Undiagnosed health problems can make your pet act out in various ways. Don’t ever neglect your feline pal’s health or emotions. If you’re suspecting something’s wrong with your precious furball, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.