Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: January 25, 2023 by Crystal Uys
My cats make me laugh all the time. Whether it’s Ruby’s funny growl when she has “caught” a toy, or whether it’s Allegra’s enthusiastic “brrpp” when she sees something that excites her, I can’t help but laugh at their adorable cuteness. Watching a playful cat is far more entertaining to me than watching a comedy show on television. But do cats have a sense of humor? Do they intentionally make us laugh? Do they, perhaps, even play pranks on their humans?
Science is slowly coming around to acknowledging that animals have emotions – something that none of us who share our lives with cats need to be convinced of. So it’s probably not a big leap to assume that they also have a sense of humor.
There’s no doubt in my mind that cats know how to amuse themselves. Playing with toys provides entertainment as well as being an extension of the natural hunting instinct. And I have to admit, sometimes, I feel like my cats are laughing at me. A recent discussion on The Conscious Cat Facebook page seems to substantiate this feeling. My status update “Rules for Cats – Bathroom: Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.” generated more than 40 comments by readers whose cats apparently go to great lengths to entertain their humans in the bathroom, and to make them laugh.
I’m pretty sure that many of the things we humans do leave our cats puzzled, and probably tickle their funny bone. Speaking of bathrooms, from a cat’s perspective, our daily habit of going into a cubicle that has water pouring from the ceiling must seem rather comical. Why don’t we just lick ourselves clean, the way they do? Cats everywhere are probably chortling about our human silliness when it comes to personal hygiene.
I think cats also know how to play pranks on us. Have you ever walked down a hallway in your home, only to be pounced on by a cat seemingly coming out of nowhere? I can’t help but think the cat is laughing gleefully at having startled you when that happens. I wonder whether Allegra is intentionally playing hide and seek with me when I can’t find her anywhere in the house? Is she laughing at my increasingly worried calls? I thinks she just might be, because when she finally pops out of her hiding place, the look on her face very clearly spells out “gotcha!”
What do you think? Do cats have a sense of humor? Do your cats play pranks on you?
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.