Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Cat Carrol

By Cat Lovers, for the Cats and Their Owners

Do Cats Know When You Are Sad?

Do Cats Know When You Are Sad

Do you ever wonder how cats know when we’re angry or sad? Or do cats really know when we are sad?

Cats can sense and understand people’s emotions through their senses of touch, hearing, sight, and smell. Cats aren’t simply furry, purring machines. In fact, they are pretty darn smart. They know how to communicate with us, set boundaries, and – yes – most definitely know when we’re feeling ‘blue’!

Living in a world of all humans and no cats can be depressing, especially when you are feeling down or lonely. If little fur balls cuddle with you when you are feeling down, you will feel immediate relief. People are often told their cat doesn’t really understand them or that the felines don’t even care if they’re happy or sad.

But the truth is, modern research and our better understanding of feline behavior have demonstrated something entirely different. Cats are pretty attuned to their owner’s feelings. Cats can sense almost all emotions human beings go through if they pay attention to you.

Do cats sense sadness?

Cats can tell when our eyes and facial expressions stress us out as they use clues to adjust their behavior. Remember how your cat looks at you when you’re trying to figure something out? A similar expression is used by cats when they want something from us (like food or attention). Cats’ eyes widen slightly when they are curious about something going on around them – it’s called “whole-face widening.” Just like they feel emotions, they can understand their humans’ feelings!

Take a look at a few ways cats might tune into our emotional state:


Cats are highly attuned to the moods of their owners and may use cues like your scent to identify you. But the verdict’s still out on whether we release scents that might signal sadness—or if cats can smell, understand and react to those particular scents.

McGowan also notes that there are some cases where cats seem to be able to sense when someone is sad or upset. For example, if you’re crying – or even if you’re just feeling down – your cat might try to comfort you by resting its head on your lap or rubbing against your leg.

Visual clues

Cats are like humans; they can recognize faces, but unlike us, they don’t really care. According to Dr. John McGowan, “While cats have great visual recognition of other objects, research shows that cats have a difficult time recognizing human faces,” So go ahead – scrunch up your face and let it all out—your cat won’t tell because she’s not really sure what your face usually looks like.

Cats are often thought of as moody creatures, but they’re actually quite sympathetic, and they want to help. Cats have been known to comfort their owners in times of need. When you’re sad, they’ll often sit with you and purr (or meow), and when you get angry, they’ll run away.

But there is a visual cue that cats readily respond to. And researchers think it plays a significant role in human-cat communication. “Cats are sensitive to gaze—where our eyes are looking. And they use this to assess our mood or intentions,” McGowan says.

Auditory clues

In fact, studies have found that cats can identify when a person is sad based on how they sound. McGowan says, “Cats can distinguish human emotional state based on the tone of voice, or if the human is making “sad” or “happy” sounds.”

But what does all this mean for you as a cat owner? Well, if you’re feeling down in the dumps, your kitty might be able to tell! So next time you’re feeling down in the dumps and want some comfort from your furry friend – talk to them!

While humans have no way of knowing what’s going on in the mind of our felines, we do know that cats are very sensitive to vocal cues and body language. In fact, one study found that if a person talks in a sad tone of voice for more than 20 seconds, the cat will start to act depressed.

And when it comes to illness, several studies show that cats can recognize when their human is ill. For example, researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that when they played recordings of their owners coughing while they were away from home (and therefore unable to pet their cats), the pets would react with stress by rubbing against walls or furniture or hiding under chairs—all signs of distress.

How cats interpret human emotions

How cats interpret human emotions

Spend more time around you

Cats are very intelligent animals, and they have a unique way of showing affection toward their owners. Their behavior shows how much they care about us humans! Cats can interpret human emotions in their way by observing facial expressions, body language, and voice tone. They understand what is happening around them and react accordingly.

When you are sad, a cat will try to cheer you up by playing with a toy or running around the room like crazy. If you are happy, a cat will rub against you and purr to show affection.

Comfort you

Cats can comfort you when you are feeling sad. They will often purr and rub against you, which makes a great sound and feel. Cats also know how to comfort you by curling up next to you on the couch or in bed. This can help lower your stress levels and make you feel better about yourself.

If your cat senses something is wrong with you, they will try to get closer so they can comfort you in whatever way they can. It is important to remember that cats do not always understand human emotions, but they still know how to show compassion for their owners when needed most!

Ignore you as well

You can’t expect all cats to react in the same way. If your cat feels a bit uncomfortable or stressed by your sadness, or if they’re not a “touchy-feely” cat, they might ignore you altogether. They’re not being heartless; they’re probably just susceptible to stress. Also, remember that when we humans fall into a depression or become sad over something, we tend to withdraw from social interactions because we feel awkward around others who are happy and cheerful – even our pets!

If your kitty decides to come over and comfort you, those little purrs will surely make you smile right away! The sound of a purr is soothing and relaxing for us humans and our feline friends.

Distract you

Cats can be a great distraction, whether you know it or not. When you are sad or down, they might force you to get on with your usual routine, crying for food, or try to play with you by attacking you suddenly! And you might feel really playful after that.

Does owning a cat help when we are sad?

Sad woman standing with a cat in her arm

Cats are amazing animals. They can be your best friend, companion, and confidant in time. You can share so many fun moments but also have some serious conversations. And they will never judge you! Cats are very sensitive animals, and they can pick up on your moods and emotions. Their behavior changes when you’re happy or sad, so much so that they may even try to cheer you up if they sense something is wrong.

If you’re sad or upset about something, try spending time with your cat. Although cats are known as solitary animals, they do form strong bonds with their owners and other pets in the household. This can make them very empathetic creatures. Cats are also very good at reading human facial expressions and body language, which is why many pet owners say their cats seem to know precisely when they’re feeling sad or upset about something. They do have MAGICAL powers!

According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, owning a pet has been proven to help improve people’s moods. It shows that therapy animals can even help when people are sad or ill. One of the reasons is that petting an animal reduces our stress levels and releases happy hormones. These happy hormones don’t just make us feel better, either – they also send messages to our brains that trigger endorphin responses in our bodies.

Endorphins are naturally occurring chemicals that make us feel good, so when we pet our pets and get those lovely endorphin rushes from their happy purrs, we’re actually reducing our stress levels while making them feel even more loved than they already do! Cats know what they are up to. They have their own sets of rules, and if you comply, you might have a great life like them!

The final thought

Cats are intuitive and can sense when we’re sad, but there’s no need to feel down. Simply let them know you appreciate their loving loyalty and affection. As strange as it may sound, they will greatly appreciate it too. There were two key takeaways here: First, cats may be more sensitive to the emotions of humans than we think. Second, cats often notice our moods and try to become more involved to offer comfort.

The next time your kitty gets close, remember that he’s just showing you love and affection. Whether you’re sad or not, your cat would like nothing more than to spend some quality time with you. Appreciate their efforts and get appreciated by the full balls!

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