Do cats worry about their owners?

After considerable thought, I’ve decided that domestic cats can worry about their owners especially if the relationship is one of a mother cat who perceives the ‘owner’ as one of her kittens which is very plausible under the right circumstances. This can happen if a child is raised with a domestic cat from a very early age. There is a well-known video of a dog attacking a boy which emerged in May 2014. It went viral. I admit that I am not sure whether cats can generally be worried about their owners

in the video, the cat’s name is Tara and the boy that she defended is Jeremy. It looks as though she treated the boy as one of her kittens and protected him. It may have been an instinctive act of protecting one of her offspring because they grew up together from a very early age. Clearly, domestic cats can defend humans under these circumstances and females may become anxious about the safety of their offspring. Being anxious is another word for being worried about actual events and the definition of worry is to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.

Although this video has been on YouTube for a very long time it may disappear in which case it would cease to work on this page but that event is beyond my control. If it has happened I apologise.


Worry is an emotion. Humans are still figuring out the range of emotions that cats experience. In order for a cat to worry about potential problems they have to be thinking about the future. I decided in an earlier article that cats live in the present and don’t think about the future. So that aspect of worrying is not applicable in my opinion. To become anxious about current problems is obviously applicable because cats become anxious when their owner isn’t around.

Anxious looking cat
Anxious looking cat. Photo Credit: Flickr User niklas
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Cat owners believe that cats do worry about their owners

Although this is a tricky question, a large number of people answered the question on the website. Everyone heartily agreed that their cats worried about them. They provide long answers, full of passion and emotion in which they report how loving their cat is to them. It’s a page worth reading.

Counter argument – worried about themselves?

I’m going to try and be a little more scientific if I may. The first point to make is that when you read all the technical books by the experts about cat behaviour and emotions they don’t refer to domestic cats worrying about their owners. There is no doubt that they become anxious if their owners are away for a long time such as the well-known separation anxiety. But we don’t know whether that anxiety is due to cats being worried about their owners. It might be because they are worried about themselves being without their provider; the person who provides the feeling of security, the warmth both emotional and physical and the food and friendship.

So if your cat is incredibly excited when she sees you for the first time after many weeks perhaps, it may be because she missed you for the reasons stated above. If that’s the case then there is no hint of your cat worrying about you. Although I’m not saying that they don’t worry I’m just making a point about anecdotal evidence and how it is interpreted.

Instinctive defence?

If a person worries about another person they are concerned about their welfare. It means that the person being worried about may be involved in a situation which might harm them. I think the word “worry” might be the wrong one. Domestic cats might, sometimes, come to the defence of a human who might be harmed by another animal. It depends upon the cat’s personality and the level of friendship between the human and the cat.

But when this happens does it mean that the cat is worried about the human’s welfare or does it mean that the cat is simply instinctively defending their human friend and companion from a hostile attack of some sort. I’m not sure. Perhaps it is more about an instinctive desire to protect a companion.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
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