or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › emotions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:


post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
we see cats displaying body language and behaving in ways similar to what a human would do if it had a certin emotion

we build relationships with our cats because we interpret thier behavior as meanign they have some fealings toward us

but i had a strange thought which as a cat love i shouldnt and want to see what others think

what if the body language and other behaviours cats give out do not mean they have any fealings for us, our realationships with our cats would be a one way thing, for example

they sit on your lap
most people think this kind of bonding comes from wanting company and trusting + likeing the person
but maybe they only do it because its the warmest place to relax, and because they know they are with something that will defend it against any preditors.
also they walked arround your feet and follow you when they want food, but do it far less ofen when they dont want anything.

i was wondering what other peoples thoughts were on this?
post #2 of 11
As humans we assign feelings to cats they simply do not have. They are instinctive creatures, they are not little people in fur coats. Once we stop projecting our emotions onto them, their life becomes much more ordered and nicer. They are not vindictive, they are not jealous by nature, they do things as nature drives them to do.
post #3 of 11
You can look at it another way, too. Cats and other animals may not make the intellectual choices humans do, but many of the "higher" emotions of people are driven by the same sort of needs cats and all pets have. We seek love and affection in the abstract, but gain companionship, comfort, protection, and yes, even food and physical pleasure from our relationships, and express those emotions in these "baser" manners. We respond to the lack of affection and positive feedback with agression of some sort, even if it's passive or just avoidence.

Yes, we encourage behavior in our cats that we enjoy and recognize, but don't we do that with one another too? And don't we all "perform" things for others we know will get us a positive response? Remember, animals aren't little humans, but humans are big animals....

That being said, I too believe in letting cats be cats, knowing their behavior is mainly instinctual and not driven by abstract needs and emotions -- they are not vindictive, or jealous or hateful, but they are trusting and affectionate. I do believe there is a bond that can be achieved with a pet that is more than just survival-based, that cats and dogs recognize in their people more than just feeders and warm laps, but how you choose to classify that bond, as instinct or emotion, is your choice. It's probably somewhere in between.
post #4 of 11
I think the most a human can hope for is to be treated as a member of feline society.

Like when they sleep against you - that's a sign of trust and bonding, not of love - you're being accepted into the pack. Merlin steps in between me and threats - either that of a new kitty or new person, or between mom and I when we fight. I like to think that's his way of caring, but I know it's because he's the alpha, and he's protecting his pack from harm. I like to give them human emotions because I don't feel as lonely that way, but I can also see the reality of the situation as well.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
mind you they definitly feal fear and it shows in their faces as well as their actions
post #6 of 11
cats have feeling and emotions to say a cat does not have any is just wrong. all animals feel pain animals even grief. they have basic feelings humans have the same feelings as animals we just put to much thought into feelings so we no longer have sad, happy, upset. we have sub categories like jelous, vinditictive. if you really think about most of what humans do is out of instinct. we get jobs to surrive, we have children to reproduce, penguins have the same mate for years so that isnt something unusal. animals make decisions but easier ones. humans want to think of themselfs different and seperate from animals so they over evaulate things to prove they are different. 98% of everything a animal and human does is out of instinct. some we do out of preferences like why my cat pefers fresh water while others will drink any. why some animals groom all day as opposed to those who never do. animals chose to take care of their children like humans some people have kids and dont take care of them, some animals dont take care of their kids.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Where does the fact that humans are the only creatures which keep other creatures as pets fit into this?
post #8 of 11
post #9 of 11
My two cents is that it comes into play as us being the top of the food chain..but primarily moreso because the difference between humans and animals is our linguistic and communicative ability and higher functioning thought process.
As humans, we are undoubtedly more complex machines than animals.
And some animals are higher along the spectrum than others.

From a historical standpoint, creatures as pets came from domestic need..
We needed dogs to act as warnings and protectors from threats as well as their wonderful ability to clear away our garbage (in terms of eating it).

Cats rather, held religious and sacred places for initial civilizations.
They were probably helpful in the latter sense too...not to mention their ability to catch and keep rodents away.
In the times of the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages, officials in London erroneously thought that the plague was being spread by dogs and cats and ordered them to be exterminated...

This resulted in a great acceleration of the disease of course as all the rats (whom were carrying the flea-ridden virus) no longer had natural predators!
post #10 of 11
You guys have a great point here. I do agree that most of a cat's behaviour comes from instinct. I think that sometimes I worry way too much about an animals feeling, e.g. I have a hamster and a cat, and sometimes the hamster will sit in the corner of his cage and won't move, as if he's sulking, maybe he is, or maybe he's just asleep!
But then do cat's miss us when we go away, even just for a few hours, do they miss us, or someone to be at their beck and call? (can opener!)
When Villy was in the shelter before I got her, did she know she was up for adoption, or did she think she was at a cattery? If I put her in a cattery, would she think she was up for adoption again?
post #11 of 11
I see a lot of posts about cats being jealous or mad at their owners. My Kioko never seems to get mad at me, like if I put her in the bedroom while we eat, or bringing home a new kitten, for example (maybe she's just not old enough to make the connection yet). But these emotions seem to be rampant among kitty-kind, while they aren't very useful biologically. I think cats have very human emotions. The part of our brains that processes emotions is very basic, and most mammals have the same areas.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › emotions