In general domestic cats find it hard to live closely with other cats

A lack of developed interpersonal emotions are a barrier to the sociable cat

The reason why, in general, domestic cats find it hard to live closely with other cats is because emotions relating to interpersonal relationships are quite possibly beyond their abilities (note: cat emotions are being discussed). I have argued that cats can be jealous. This does not mean that domestic cats can’t be sociable. They can and often form friendships. But they also often simply tolerate each other in multi-cat households.

I am referring to emotions such as jealousy, grief and guilt. These emotions allow us to comprehend social relationships. Without them this comprehension is lost.

As the cat’s domestication is progressing and as therefore there is a greater need for the domestic cat to be a social animal, the cat is currently sadly ill-equipped for the demands of the future.

He or will have to learn the emotions designed for interpersonal skills. Is this possible?

P.S. Although cat emotions are probably not as sophisticated as cat owners would like they no doubt possess at least a basic range of emotions shared by all mammals simply because they need them in order to e.g. make good decisions about whether to run away in fear or feel the warmth of their owners lap and the joy of companionship from a human caretaker.




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2 thoughts on “In general domestic cats find it hard to live closely with other cats”

  1. Cats have certain natural behaviors but like any species there is a wide swath of behaviors. Providing plenty of high hides and caves in which to dwell when the mood suits means that when a cat needs to take a break they can. House cats must have access to safe secure windows that can opened or a fenced yard or catio. They require several play sessions per day as well as individual attention. This keeps the tension down in my home as the two female torties take the occasional pot shot at each other. An ample number of litter boxes and feeding stations also helps reduce friction even with the Tabbinese Tigers that occasional get on each other’s last nerve.
    Cats are the reason I despise the open concept floor plans. We all need to get away for each other now and then. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Frances A Danna

    I believe that cats do feel emotions such as jealousy, even grief and guilt. I agree that the depth and complexity of reasoning may not be the same as in humans, but I think that the basic emotion is experienced.

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