Do cats really care about humans?

Cat loves being with person
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is so cute. It doesn’t really illustrate the article but it is too nice to not publish here. I believe the photo is in the public domain.

We are referring to domestic cats no doubt. What does the phrase ‘care about’ mean? To ‘care for’ someone would apply to a cat owner looking after their house cat. But the question asks whether cats have affection for their owner or other people who the cat knows because to ‘care about’ means affections for an animal or person.

Therefore the question is asking if house cats can genuinely have affection for a person? In order to do that domestic cats have to (a) have emotions; in fact sufficiently developed emotions to make close friends because they like another cat or dog or a person and (2) have demonstrated that they can make friends and close attachments to others.

The house cat passes on both (a) and (b). Experts and observant cat owners would all agree that domestic cats have emotions. The only debate is how complex their emotions can be. A cat’s emotions are certainly sufficiently developed to have affections for another cat or person.

Cat cares about human caretaker

Sweet affection between two species of animal. Yes I am referring to the human as a human animal.

We often see cats curled up together snoozing or demonstrating a fondness for each other in a variety of ways. Of course cats demonstrate their affection for humans they like and know well by lying close to them, head butting them, exchanging scent with them, purring around them, lying on them, licking them and clearly enjoying being near to their human companion. These are all clear signs of affection for their owner and there are many others personal to the cat and their owner.

Sceptics would say that the domestic cat is merely acting on instinct and responding to their owner because they are fed and made secure by him or her. But all the signs indicate that it’s more than that. As stated cats also feel emotions. We know it now.

The human to cat relationship is an interspecies relationship. There are many examples of domestic cats having relationships with other animals such as horses, deer and dogs to name three. In each case there are clear signs of a meaningful relationship underpinned by genuine affection based on emotions.

The conclusion I have to the question in the title is Yes. However, we must always remember that the house cat is a cat and not a person.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. M E King says:

    Let me make it clear my husband is NOT the caretaker. He does not feed, or clean the potty boxes but his Mook is so beside herself seeing him this weekend she can hardly stand when she’s near him. She falls on her side air treading when he looks at her. It’s love. We have discussed him taking her with him but his job doesn’t leave much time and we’re afraid of disturbing the harmony we have in the home by taking a cat out and bringing her back again. She even gets excited when she skypes with him.

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