Can Cats Feel Emotion?

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While dogs are perceived to be more friendly and affectionate than felines, cats can and do express love and emotion toward their human companions. Studies have shown that there are remarkable similarities between cat and human brains. Although experts disagree exactly on the depth and range of emotion, happiness, excitability, playfulness, depression, and anger are all emotions felt by cats.

Unfortunately, cats that are depressed or angry can leave you with scratched furniture, shredded toilet paper, or urine-soaked chairs and carpeting. Scientists have assessed cat emotions by looking at brain activity and comparing it to humans. Their findings discovered that a cat’s brain responds in similar ways to serotonin and dopamine, two hormones associated with human affection and love. Scientists even compared the way antidepressants affect cats. The antidepressant buspirone caused cats to become extremely affectionate toward their owners when given to anxious cats.

How do Cats Show Affection?
Anyone who has a cat is familiar with the adorable head-butts and sweet head rubs that let us know that our cats love us. But even though cats feel love and affection, they don’t always show it. They don’t wag their tails or give wet kisses like dogs tend to do. But they do cuddle on laps and vocalize their affection with meows and purrs. Petting your cat often will reinforce the bond between the two of you and offer a mutual display of affection.

Understanding Your Cats Emotions
Every feline is different, but there are some common emotions and signals that are universal to all kitties. From the look in their eyes to the position of their ears, their body language can tell a lot about their emotions. If your cat seems to be down or depressed, talk to them. Cats respond well to positive, gentle voices. You can also see your cat show happiness when he arches his back up and down as you pet him. But, if he is crouching than he is feeling uneasy. A thrashing or full tail means he is very upset and could use some time to be independent.

Cats Intuition and Sensing Your Emotion
Interestingly, your feline companion knows your emotions and will often be there for you when you are feeling blue and need a good cuddle. If you’ve ever noticed that your cat comes closer when you’re sad, or hides when you are arguing with your significant other, than you’ve experienced their intuition into how you are feeling. Because cats and humans have similar hormonal, neurological, and genetic makeup, they express and sense emotions in similar ways. Cats have a heightened sense of sight and smell, two senses that help them tune in to your emotional behaviors.

Most of all, as a pet parent you should do what you can to be in tune to how your cat is feeling. Take the time each day to pet your cat and give her plenty of the love she deserves. Not only is it heathy for your kitty, but it is extremely beneficial for your mental health as well!

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2 Comments on "Can Cats Feel Emotion?"

  1. S. Streeton  September 17, 2017

    I have found this article very enlightening, explained many things I’d taken for granted. I love my cat and want to understand her.

    • Nichole Furlong  September 17, 2017

      We’re so glad you loved our article! Say hello to your cat from all of us at Skinny Ms.!


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