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Can cat’s feel jealous?
A current big debate in the cat world concerns what emotions cats can and can’t experience. Jealousy is a high level or complex emotion. We can understand that cats have basic emotions such as anger, affection, fear and joy. That’s obvious, but what about the complex ones?
When a person feels jealous of another he is (a) aware of the existence of the other person and (b) guesses the feelings experienced by the ‘other person’. Cats can clearly recognise the existence of other cats but dogs show no evidence of understanding what other dogs are thinking. This supports the view that cats can’t either.
Also people are capable of feeling jealous when thinking about the incident which triggered the feeling some time later and when the other person is no longer present.
Can cats do this? Do they have the imagination and brain power? We don’t know and experts would say that there is little or no evidence that cats do have the ability to feel jealous.
Perhaps cats have a limited version of human jealousy. Many cat guardians would claim that their cats can feel jealous. They are certain of it. They might be right or they might be projecting their feelings onto their cat. However, perhaps the expression on the cat in the video is what it looks like: a jealous cat!
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