Categories: fear

Do cats fear death?

No, cats do not fear death. The reason is straightforward. Cats are not self-aware by which I mean self-conscious. Some people will dispute that statement. I’ll proceed though. As they are not self-aware when they are in pain or discomfort due to a chronic illness which is killing them or a sudden trauma and injury which is ultimately fatal, they don’t recognise the fact that they might die soon.

Cats don’t think of heaven because they don’t fear death. Illustration: PoC.

They recognise the pain that they feel and the emotional anxiety, and also that as a consequence they are vulnerable to predators. This process is completely instinctive as often for a domestic cat there is no real risk of being attacked by a predator.

When a cat feels pain they probably instinctively consider themselves to be under attack but they can’t see the source of the danger and therefore can’t defend themselves.

They therefore decide to hide to protect themselves and find time to recover. As long as they feel pain they sense that they are under attack and don’t come out. But while they do this they die but without understanding that they are in the process of dying. It is a beautiful way to die rather like a sudden hear attack for a human.

Cats have no fear of death. This is a clear advantage over humans who live with this fear all their lives. Provocatively I’ll say that this is one reason why we have religion and spiritualism. We need to anaesthetise ourselves against the unpleasant feeling of anxiety that one day we will die. We pretend that we go to another world, a better place without pain.

In many ways humans have become too intelligent because it plays tricks on us. Our intelligence makes us self-aware which potentially brings a multitude of mental health issues to us.

P.S. This is a personal viewpoint and I am happy to read about alternative ideas in comments. Good comments will be incorporated into the article.


How do cats relate to humans?

Do domestic cats think of us as (a) surrogate mothers or "pseudoparents" (b) equals (c) kittens (d) giant superior cats ...
Read More

Do these weird Snapchat cat filter videos show that domestic cats pass the mirror test?

The mirror test is when you look in the mirror and recognise yourself. You are self-aware. Cats can't do it ...
Read More

Do cats become self-conscious when shaved?

The answer is no because cats aren't self-conscious (self-aware), period. I could leave it there because anything else is strictly ...
Read More

Adult cat entertains three kittens without realising it

Cute video. The adult cat is looking up at a person who is encouraging the cat to believe that she ...
Read More

Cat realises for the first time that she has ears!

This is about self-awareness. Experts believe that cats are not self-aware and are confused when looking at themselves in a ...
Read More

Is this cat checking to see if the reflection in the mirror is him?

The 'experts' say that there is no evidence that domestic cats are self-aware and I believe them because I have ...
Read More

Cats don’t understand mirrors

The eternal question as to whether cats are self-aware is asked again in this compilation of short videos of cats ...
Read More
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Can pumpkin help cats with diarrhea?

Pumpkin contains soluble fibre which absorbs excess water and therefore it firms up a cat's stool. Adding a teaspoon of…

3 hours ago

The meaning of “lines” in cat breeding

The goal of cat breeders should be to found (establish) a line of healthy cats which excel in reference to…

8 hours ago

How do I know my cat is happy?

The signs that your cat is happy will be subtle. It is easier to ask yourself whether you are happy…

12 hours ago

Unwillingness to eat: a classic sign that a cat is dying of old age

People search for signs that their cat is dying of old age. I have just read about a 31-year-old Maine…

13 hours ago

Can cat vaccinations cause diarrhoea?

Yes, cat vaccinations can cause diarrhoea. Sometimes cats have an allergic reaction to a vaccine. These are called type I…

23 hours ago

Is pet insurance worth the cost?

I don't think that pet insurance is worth the cost and I'll tell you why. There is a better alternative.…

1 day ago