I doubt that any of us need scientific proof that cats can show emotions: all we need to do is look into our feline companions’ eyes to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they do. Since cats express emotions in different ways than humans, being able to read and interpret feline emotion is a key to understanding cats better, and to preventing and correcting behavior problems.

The question whether cats feel emotion has become a much debated topic among feline behaviorists and scientists. The topic of emotions in animals is controversial in science because emotions are hard to quantify. However, recent studies have shown that the feline brain works very similar to the human brain. This supports the notion that even just based on physiology, it is reasonable to assume that cats feel emotions.

I think it’s critical that we are aware of and in tune with our cats’ emotions. Not only will this increase understanding between the species, it will strengthen the bond between cat and human, and ensure a stress-free and happy life for both.

In an article I wrote for, I explored the topic of cat and emotions. Click here to read the full article.

5 Comments on Cats and Emotions

  1. After My kitty, Cholla, died my other kitty cried every night for quite awhile. They didn’t even get along that well as he was dominant and very aggressive and she had to run and hide from him being so much smaller and gentler. She still missed his presence at night. I’d come and comfort her before bedtime and after a several months she stopped crying. Now she’s happy to be the only kitty in the house, queen of her domain! 🙂

  2. Hi Ingrid,
    I have written you before about a cat we adopted who turned out to be much older than we were told. Right from the beginning he had a biting issue. You couldn’t play with him or he would bite. You couldn’t hold him or pet him without him biting. You gave me info on play aggression but no matter what we did his behavior continued. I found a wonderful woman who took him and she had two older cats, one just like him and another mixed breed. Happy to say he is doing well there and gets along with other cats. So after a month or so I adopted a 6wk old kitten from a lady just giving them away. I think he was to young to leave his mom but when we took him to vet he said he was healthy. I know kittens will bite because they are teething but here we go again!! He’s not as bad as the other cat but he does still bite. He will bite at your feet when walking, sometimes when you pet him and last night I was woke up to him biting my hand. I have been very strict in telling him no and then disengaging with him for a few minutes. He is very strong willed and will keep coming back for more. He has LOTS of toys and I play with him a lot. Since he is so young do you think he will grow out of it and how else should I handle it? Thanks so much to you or anyone who has any ideas.

    • A kitten as young as yours will need lots of opportunities to burn off energy, and might do better with a companion around the same age so he has a buddy he can play with. If you’re not ready to add another cat to your family, increase playtime with him to at least two or three times a day, 15-20 minutes each. Really get him tired out to the point where he almost pants. Make sure you have lots of vertical space (cat trees, shelves) for him to explore.

  3. Hi Ingrid … what a great article. I’m convinced that animals express emotions … and you’re right, it’s often all about the eyes and ears!

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