Almost every cat acts as if it doesn’t have any feelings. Okay who am I kidding, every cat does this, at least most of the time.
We pet them and feed them and love them but even though they show signs of appreciation, they always behave as if they don’t care. But is this really true? Do cats have feelings?
Dogs have masters, cats have staff
This is of course an exaggerated phrase but cats really do behave this way. A dog will show you instant love in most cases upon being fed or taken care of; meanwhile a cat will probably just leave the house and mind its own business until it becomes hungry again.
Do cats have feelings? In essence all creatures, including cats, which is a shock to many, have an entire rainbow of emotions.
Some cats show more emotion while others show less. I’ve seen cats who’d mostly display growling when you try to pet them, and also cats who you can pet 24/7 and with them ever getting upset.
But in the end they would show a certain emotion, be it anger or happiness. The most commonly noted emotions, just like in humans, are the negative ones.
It’s very common for cats to display jealousy or frustration. A growl is far more memorable than an occasional cuddle, which makes people think cats are always cold blooded and upset.
In a nutshell, the part of the human brain that regulates emotions and emotional reactions is called an amygdala.
The fact that cats possess an amygdala in their biology proves that on a biological basis they are able to feel emotions.
With certain stimulation of this part of the brain, certain emotions can be provoked.
There’s been many cases where a cat would display grief upon the death of an offspring, a parent, or a mate. Also certain feel-good hormones have been noticed to be released in their brains upon playing or doing something enjoyable.
As mentioned before, some cats don’t display emotions and don’t like being petted, however others love it. Recently the cat generations that have passed through my home have become cuddlier and cuddlier.
Another interesting fact I noticed is the strange behavior during pregnancy. Sometimes I noticed my cats remain the same but on some cats I’ve noticed they become much friendlier. I noticed because it was quite a shock to have one of my slightly cold-blooded cats start to cuddle against my face when I picked it up. She was ill and also we noticed her belly growing.
Do cats hold grudges?
A visit to the vet can be extremely painful and even force the cat to bite the owner instinctively. People usually think that cats won’t understand that the pain they’re experiencing is going to make them feel better, however once the cat becomes healthy it will hardly hold a grudge, especially if the owner is caring. Grudges and fear in my experience occur if the owner displays hostility on a regular basis.
Darwin vs Ignorance
Charles Darwin has come to the conclusion that cats indeed have emotions. Upon further exploration of feline behavior he concluded that they’re not so different from humans when it comes to emotions.
They simply display different degrees of emotion, which vary in strength when compared to human emotions.
Suffice to say, the gap between feline emotions and what we call human emotions is not that wide.
Opposite to the humorous statement mentioned before, there are religions that strictly view humans as superior to primitive animals, including cats, and also believe that only humans have emotions, as they’re the higher form of life.
For example the Chinese term for animal roughly translates to “moving thing” and many markets around the world look at animals as food, and think they serve no other purpose.
There has been a serious debate about animal rights because many people believe animals should have no rights as they’re inferior and have no way of understanding them.
It doesn’t matter what people believe in because it doesn’t change the fact that all animals do have a certain level of emotion, whether they show it or not.