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.
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?