It is clear to me that in a home where the occupants don’t get along and argue a lot, their cat may become anxious and unsettled unless measures are taken to reassure him/her. It is very important that a domestic cat lives in a supportive, friendly, quiet and reassuring environment. This is just like children, although I am not anthropomorphising cats. I just know that a dysfunctional household is not good for domestic cats or children.
We all realise that children require a supportive family. Children need their confidence boosting and their self-esteem nourishing; both are critically important for a child. I know a women who as a child suffered too many marital arguments between her parents over a long period. It affected her confidence. She felt guilty believing that she had caused the arguments. In a home where parents constantly argue, a child can feel responsible for the arguments and develop low self-esteem, which can be so bad that it might psychologically cripple them as adults.
You can see the change in demeanour of a cat in a stressed or dysfunctional household where there are arguments and where the atmosphere is not calm and pleasant. Cats pick up on this.
Although unlikely, perhaps domestic cats understand that the people are arguing; although it is more likely to be the noise and hostility which makes them anxious. Whatever the cause, cats don’t like arguments between couples. People should remember this and if possible curb their mutual hostility.
The atmosphere created by people in a household is often overlooked when considering an environment suitable for the family cat. People generally think of the children and not the cat. Sometimes people think of neither. Creating noise through constant arguments is similar to smoking when you have a cat. Smoking can cause cat cancer through passive smoking.
People like confident, outgoing children. The same applies to the domestic cat. I would hope that the next time people argue heatedly in a home where there is a cat companion, that they think of their cat.
P.S. Arguments between spouses can lead to domestic violence which in turn can lead to violence against the family cat. This is another example of how interpersonal relationships can negatively impact domestic cats.