Infographic on 9 emotions domestic cats feel and 1 they don’t

The issue of domestic cat emotions is a developing one. I think it fair to say that it is only over the past 5-10 years that the ‘experts’ have genuinely discussed feline emotions in the same way we discuss human emotions. There is a discussion, however, on whether cats experience emotions similar to those experienced by humans as can be interpreted by a statement in a study. Below is a summary of that statement:

“Feline emotions are complex and multifaceted. Feline emotions are not exactly the same as human emotions, but rather are motivational-emotional systems that drive instinctual behaviors. Feline emotions can be negative or positive, and may be expressed through various behaviors.”

Emotions that domestic cats feel and one they don't

Emotions that domestic cats feel and one they don’t. Infographic prepared by MikeB. This is free to use under a Creative Commons: ATTRIBUTION-NODERIVS CC BY-ND license but please link back as a thank you.

The statement also indicates that scientists and feline behaviourists are still unsure about feline emotions. It is obvious why. Humans have to guesstimate the emotion experienced through a cat’s facial expression, which is difficult, and their behaviour. Domestic cats are not known for the range of facial expressions! They are there sometimes such as when feeling pain but hard to read.

Feline body language, other behaviour and vocalisations allow us to assess emotions. It is working backwards which is less precise than asking “how do you feel?” ?.

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

In the infographic I have be quite bold in my statements. I had to be because there is limited space in an infographic. It is not a medium for a discourse. That said I believe we can say with some confidence that domestic cats have emotions but they feel them in a different way to humans. We just don’t know with accuracy as to how much feline emotions differ from human emotions.

Please tell me what you think. First hand experiences from observant and sensitive cat caregivers are valuable in assessing cat emotions.

Below are some more articles on feline emotions, an evolving topic as I have said.

Can and do domestic cats deceive each other?

Can domestic cats try and deceive each other?

Before answering the question, we have to define the word 'deceive'. Definition: to deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that ...
Read More
Cats don't become embarrassed

Cats don’t feel embarrassment. I explain why.

It may seem ridiculous to some people to discuss the emotion of embarrassment in relation to the domestic cat but ...
Read More
Cats profoundly affectionate towards each other

Are male cats more affectionate with humans and other cats than females?

The first point to make is that we are discussing neutered male cats and spayed female cats. That has to ...
Read More
Cat responds defensively to the sounds and movements emanating from a computer printer

Printer causes curious kitty to twitch. Is this true?

A cat responds defensively to the sounds and movements emanating from a computer printer. We know what twitching is but ...
Read More
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.

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.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *