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Do Cats Know When You Are Sad?

Suppose you go back home not at your best, exhausted and a bit down, and your cat doesn’t seem to stop meowing at you and following you to every corner, but you still don’t feel like petting and playing with her. 

If that happens, you may think it’s all about her again, craving your attention and affection, but don’t rush into judgment!

She may actually have figured out that you’re sad, and it’s now her turn to shower you with care and cheer you up!

So don’t drive her away when she licks your face, cuddles with you, or sits on your lap. This is her own unique way of showing you how much she cares. 

You may now wonder, do cats really feel your sadness? Well, that’s what we’ll unveil in this article, so keep reading!

How close are cats to their owners? 

Before answering your question about whether your cat genuinely sympathizes with your sadness, it’s important to know how much cats get attached to their owners. 

How attached can cats be to their owners? 

We all know cats’ universal profile as cold, distant, and self-centered creatures.

However, the truth is that cats are hypersensitive pets; they get emotionally attached to their owners and can even have separation anxiety when you’re not home.

They can even develop insecure attachments toward you. They get attached enough to care for their owners and feel their troubles.

Like dogs, cats also need their owners more than you think, although they don’t always show it. They need to feel safe and secure, and they need your protection. 

Now you know that your cat is attached to you as are to her, or at least more than you probably thought!

Do cats know when you’re sad? 

Do Cats Know When You’re Sad

Cats, and any pet, feel it when you’re sad. In fact, they notice that you’re not being yourself as your behavior changes: you may not be as energetic, cheerful, and vocal as usual.

Maybe you’re not playing with her like you usually do and totally ignoring her, or you don’t seem to quit your bed; she can sense that there’s something wrong with you. 

The longer our cats live with us, the more familiar they become with our habits, moods, and behavior.

Cats associate your facial expressions, voice pitch and tone, and behavior with their own experience; that is why they would make sense of your emotional state according to what it means to them.

For example, if you give her a treat later than usual while having a hard time smiling and talking to her as you usually do, she would immediately understand that you’re not being yourself.

Thus, she would associate late meals and your unsmiling face with your mood swings.

Here’s how to spot it

How can you tell she’s really concerned about you and not being self-centered again, wanting to get that treat sooner than usual?

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Well, you have to pay attention to her pattern: if she keeps coming to you all loving and affectionate when you’re feeling down, she absolutely feels it and sympathizes with you!

If it doesn’t happen frequently, she just wants to satisfy her needs.

If you thought your connection with your cat was one-dimensional where only you care to cherish her, you’re wrong.

Our connections with our pets are deeper, and cats may get sad or even depressed when their owners are. She will remain by your side to show that she understands and cares. 

Please don’t push your cat away; she actually can help you more than you think!

How do cats help you out of sadness?

The simple fact of being in company with your fluffy, soft, and cute cat may serve as a great stress-reliever and alleviate your sadness.

Also, cats are endowed with the magic therapeutic power of purr. Cats usually purr within a range of 20-140Hz, which is proven to heal illnesses in humans. It is acknowledged that it lowers stress levels and blood pressure.

Petting a purring cat would definitely calm you down and soothe your anxiety. It also helps with breathing difficulties. Cats are also known to be great therapy animals!

What about the other way around?

Now that we’ve learned about how your cat behaves when you’re sad and how she can help with it, let’s explore some facts about cats’ sadness.

How do cats act when they’re sad?

Here are some signs your cat may be feeling down:

1. Going all introverted

Has your hyperactive and playful cat suddenly disappeared and is now hiding somewhere?

This may be an alarming sign that she’s sad or depressed. Nothing attracts her attention anymore, not even her favorite toy or game. 

2. Refusing food

When sad, cats may lose appetite and will most likely reject treats, even their favorite!

3. Change in behavior and physical features

A sad cat can get either more vocal than usual or, contrarily, adopt a mostly silent mode. If your cat is the loud type, she will get quiet. If she’s the calm type, she’s more likely to get loud.

Other physical signs that can be signs of sadness include having her ears held back and tail tucked. 

4. Excessive sleep

Another sign that your cat is sad is when she sleeps more than usual. Cats already sleep a lot, but if you notice that it gets more intense, it may be a sign of depression. 

5. Unusual scratching

if your cat is the calm type and doesn’t usually scratch objects, she may start doing so when she’s sad to release stress.    

6. Change in her grooming frequency

Cats are known to groom themselves frequently. If your cat no longer grooms herself like she used to or stops altogether, this may be a direct result of sadness or depression.  

How Do Cats Act When You are Sad

Why do cats get sad?

There are many reasons that cause sadness and depression to your cat. When they experience physical changes or a change in their relational bonds, they can get lost in a gloomy emotional world.

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Here are some possible reasons behind a cat’s sadness:

1. Losing a loved one

Losing a dear one is always hard and equally painful to humans and animals. Like humans, your cat experiences grief when losing her kitten or mom.

Your cat may even grieve with you when you go through the loss of a family member.

2. Getting injured

If your cat is in great pain, it will cause her great discomfort and affect her emotional state, and she won’t be able to carry on her usual enjoyable activities. 

3. Sickness

All the pain and unpleasant feelings your cat experience when sick drive her into sadness.

If you doubt that she may be suffering from a severe illness causing her to be sad, take her immediately to a veterinarian.

How to deal with cat depression? 

  • As your cat’s depression can result from serious illnesses, such as diabetes and kidney failure, it’s urgent to take her to the vet. 
  • Give them a significant daily dose of attention and affection. Don’t live them on their own for long. Try to spend more time with her, play with her, and pet her. 
  • Cats like climbing as much as they like hiding. Provide them with high objects they can enjoy climbing and a secret spot they can hide in. 


Do cats know when you cry? 

Because cats pay much attention to our facial expressions and remember them, they most probably know when we cry.

Although they don’t understand the phenomenon as we do, they do reasonably enough understand that something is wrong.

That’s why you’ll probably receive a warm, fluffy cuddle from your cat when you cry in an attempt to comfort you. 

Do cats know when you’re angry?

As they know when you’re sad, following the same principle, they also know when you’re angry.

They immediately understand if they notice a change in your voice pitch, movements, or facial expressions that they associate with anger.

What emotions do cats feel?

Cats experience a wide range of emotions, including content, safety, affection, fear, anxiety, stress, grief, and anger. 

Do Cats know when they hurt you? 

Cats don’t know they hurt unless you make a clear reaction that they did so that they won’t do it again. 

Do cats imitate their owner’s emotions? 

Cats have a long memory accompanied by the skill of watching and learning their owner’s habits and behavior. This explains how they remember their mealtime and food spot.

Cats also get influenced by their owners’ personality traits and emotions.

Introvert owners would watch their cats grow introverted and reserved. If you’re sad or angry, this also will affect your cat’s mood.  

Do cats understand human emotions? 

Cats don’t have emotional intelligence and don’t process or understand emotions the way humans do.

They only sense human feelings as they notice changes in behavior or facial expression. It’s totally a matter of habit formation for cats.