Do cat owners deceive themselves, to some degree, into believing that their cat actually feels true affection for them, and if so, does this belief also reflect itself in the cat owner’s human relationships?

I have decided to answer Quora questions! Why not? Quora does well by them. The above question is the longest title I have used. It’s too long. It implies that cats can’t feel true affection for their owner. I think that you’ll find that of the 35% of US households who have a cat, 99% of the occupants believe that their cat has true affection for them and they’ll base that thought on personal experience.

Affectionate cat
Photo: Clover Cottage Gifts
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The key is that cat owners see signs of affection towards them every day from their cat. If it wasn’t there I don’t believe they would fictionalise it. Some cat owners might exaggerate the affection that their cat has for them and they might relate to their cat as a person. This may lead to misinterpreting cat body language and vocalisations. However, you’ll find that even the most rational individual and cat owner recognises affection from their cat when it is presented to them. And it happens in many ways such as head butts, scent exchange and lying on their owner.

The experts concur on this: cats feel emotions and form close relationships with other cats and humans. So we have to conclude that cat owners are not deceiving themselves to some degree into believing that their cat actually feels true affection for them because it is real.

The second part of the question can therefore be ignored as it is based on the first. However, it is a valid issue: whether a person’s affection for their cat (and the cat’s reciprocal affection) affects a cat owner’s relationship with other people. The answer is very definitely, Yes. I have read stories of women giving up on their significant other (SO) because he does not like cats.

There have been bust ups between married couples over the family cat. Divorcing husbands sometimes maliciously hurt the family cat to get at the ex-wife. A woman’s affection for her cat or cats can affect her relationship with her SO. Most often though it won’t because the woman ensures that her boyfriend likes cats and vice versa.

If a cat owner is one of the rare ones who is prone to self-deception on the matter of her cat having affection for her/him it will affect her or his relationships with humans because he or she will be prone to misreading signs of affection.

What do you think?

13 thoughts on “Do cat owners deceive themselves, to some degree, into believing that their cat actually feels true affection for them, and if so, does this belief also reflect itself in the cat owner’s human relationships?”

  1. Im sure your cat is fond of you and likes you but cat owners do deceive themselves by thinking their cat loves them and then only them! 37% of all cats have at least two homes so when your cats giving you affection all day, feeding him forking out on vets bills when you let him out it goes to somebody else’s house and demands the same affection and food as you do! That’s what you’re being delusional about the fact you think your cat loves you and is attached to you, it doesn’t!
    A cat who had lived with its original owner for 7yrs happy, loved and never went without all of a sudden decide not to come home anymore? and was found living with another family on the same estate? Why? Its owner fell on hard times and had to swap the cats food to a cheaper version! It ate it twice but not all of it. So the cat who obviously couldn’t care less they’ll just go and live where the foods nicer! His owner was devastated! 7yrs she’d cared, fed and loved that cat and when she was at a real low point in her life the time she needed an animal’s loving, her “pet” leaves! Shes never brought a cat again she now has a loyal faithful King Charles Spanual and vows to never waste time and money on a cat again!

  2. I wish you all could have witnessed Mook and my husband reuniting after several months of him being out of town. She was literally shaking with joy and couldn’t stand up because she was treading with all four feet in the air. They are very bonded and the love in her eyes was obvious. Is it our definition of love I don’t know but she reeked of pure joy.

  3. I know my cats ‘Male and Female’ love me,even my foster because he will jump on my lap and put his little mouth to mine and starts purring,my cats wait in the window whilst I’m outside or if I come in from going to the store and as soon as I walk through my door they gather around my legs except for ‘Toi and Irleynn’ they are my torti’s and have always been stand offish but my others meow up a storm when I come home,they also like to pile on me as soon as I settle in on my chair every night,yep,they love me.

    • Thats not love! That’s a “thank god” where have u been? “Dont u no iv been waiting for a warm lap to sleep on and for you to fuss me?” So now im going to climb and walk all over you!
      All cats are is thankful for there warm shelter and food! If u couldn’t feed ur cat for a few days he would leave to live with someone else! They have no trust in us or respect for us. They willingly choose to toilet in our homes when they decided there not going to ask to out! You try and get one in a travel basket it will scratch and rip u to shreds! If they get out of ur control in say a vets they try to run away from u ! Evan my little hamster when put on the vet table will do everything to try and get to me, when she does she legs it up my arm to my shoulder! You could take ur cat to the middle of nowhere, put him down and it will run away from you! Again evan my lil hammy when shes running free and I get up will be on my heels following!

      • Ye couldnt be more wrong,this article is from 3 yrs ago and I have since lost 3 of my beloved cats due to nasal cancer and heart disease,my remaining cats (10) are very affectionate and my ‘Clover’ loves his stroller walks,I’ve had cats all my life and I’m a retired vet tech and have seen many who love their humans,my own ‘Riley’ had to have teeth extractions and during his stay at the animal hospital I was told he didnt meow one time until they brought him out to me and he then was meowing up a storm so aye ye are wrong.

  4. “Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…”

    From The Little Prince.

  5. One more thing Michael I too would call it quits if my SO told me to get rid of the cats because he knows how dear they are to me and that would be an act of cruelty on his part. For the record he’s smitten with all of them too.
    The act of telling someone to get rid of their pet goes much deeper than just the animal itself it is a control issue and used by many abusive spouses. Beware of it.

    • Are i sure its not because researchers found that cat people generally looked down on those they thought were more narrow-minded. Much like their cats, they felt that being independent and standing out from the crowd should be considered a positive thing. So (i no its unexceptable to ask someone to get rid of a pet)

  6. I have great love for my cats and it’s unconditional. The affection I get in return is theirs to give I love my aloof Toad all the more because she is so strikingly independent whereas her sister Frog hides under my pillow during a storm.
    I often hear people say their pet offers unconditional love it’s actually the other way around. I am free to love my cats unconditionally. I have said before I co-exist with my cats I do not need to dominate them. I also love them as individuals for their own unique qualities.
    I hope they are at least fond of me.

    • That I agree with cats do not love you unconditionally because if you stop feeding them no food no water no fuss they just go off to another house and get wat they want!
      So yeah it is the owners that love them unconditionally!


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