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When it comes to human-animal attachment, dogs are always at the top of the list. Canines have proven over and over again that they can attach deeply with their human friends.
It is no wonder we have pups responsible for giving therapy to patients in nursing homes and hospitals.
Cats, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. They are solitary and introverted. They don’t seem to care when you are happy or sad. As long as they are fed and well taken care of, they will keep their distance.
This is why when you notice your kitty paying attention when you are crying, it can be really exciting and confusing at the same time.
What’s going on? Does your kitty suddenly understand human emotions? Perhaps she is aware you are down and need a crying shoulder? What if she’s thrown off by your crying and is looking to find out what’s happening?
We will help you answer all these questions in this guide.
Cats Are Attached To Their Owners After All
A study was done to show the extent of the bond between felines and their human owners revealed strange findings.
The study was done in 2019 at Oregon University. Here, cats and their owners were placed in one room. The owners were then asked to leave the kitties for two minutes then come back.
Upon their return, the behavior of the cats revealed reduced stress response with the owner being in the room. Cats without an emotional attachment to their owners exhibited insecurity when their owners returned to the room.
What this means is that while some cats don’t have a close attachment to their owners, some do.
If yours falls in the latter category, that’s definitely some good news! You can tell more by how your fur baby behaves when you walk through the door after a long day at work. Or, how she generally acts when you are in the room.
Are Cats Emotional Beings?
To know your fur baby can understand when you cry, you have to ask yourself whether she can interpret human emotions in the first place.
According to a research done by the University of Lincoln Researchers, cats do get attached to humans. Sadly, this bond is not an emotional one.
The researchers also concluded that felines would much rather look after themselves than let their human owners do the job for them.
When your kitty plays with you, brushes her little furry body by your legs, or sits on your lap, she’s not doing that to bond emotionally. This is heartbreaking but it is the way your kitty is wired.
She’s probably after playing a game, being petted, and asking for a treat.
Learn more here: Can Cats Sense Depression and Anxiety?
Why Does Your Cat Come To You When You Cry?
Now that you have a rough idea of how your cat is wired, here are a few reasons she comes to you when you cry.
1. She Can Read Your Facial Features
Although cats may not have the capacity to attach to you on an emotional level, they can identify positive and negative reactions.
This is according to this experiment. The 12 cats that participated were studied based on the facial features of their owners. The kitties showed positive behavior (purring, playing, and having fun) when the owner was smiling and negative behavior (aggression, avoidance, leaving the room) when the owner frowned. This goes to show that your fur baby can tell what’s going on with you.
If you know your cat well, she is a very curious animal. She’s always aware of her surroundings.
Your cry certainly alarms her and she may be moving in your direction to make more sense of it.
2. Your Cry Is High-Pitched
Here’s another possibility your kitty is paying attention to your crying.
Cats are sensitive with matters of hearing. Granted, they have the same hearing spectrum as humans.
However, felines can interpret sounds of high pitches much better than you or a dog. Certain sounds fall within a high frequency that cause a major disturbance in her ear.
By moving towards you, perhaps she is trying to see if she can get you to stop making ‘noise’.
3. She Can Sense Something Is Off
While your kitty may not really know if you are sad when you are crying, she definitely knows you are not your perky self.
You probably know this but your feline friend is very observant. She watches every move you make on a daily basis. Some kitties are renowned for stalking their owners even to the bathroom.
Over time, your kitty knows what normal and abnormal feels like. She knows your normal voice and what a changed tone feels like.
When you are crying, your body signals change a lot and your cat picks up on that.
4. She Is Hungry
Cats are very selfish creatures. One thing life in the wild has taught them is that the only mission in life is to survive. Everything done is geared towards making it in the unforgiving world out there.
When you cry, it is easy to forget to feed your kitty or empty her litter. As such, she will come to you to remind you to fulfill your duties.
This sounds harsh but again, she is hardwired to behave in this manner. She knows in your vulnerable state, you will throw her a snack or two.
Additionally, cats are very smart. As they observe you for years, they learn how to survive around you. After some time, they are in sync and know which buttons to press when they need something from you.
When you are sad and blue, they know they can manipulate you to get a reward. So they will purr, rub against you, or sit on the lap just to get you to pet them, pay attention, or give them a treat.
Our feline friends are beautiful, sweet, and charming. They make our lives so much meaningful and joy-filled.
However, while they can identify emotions, they don’t understand them.
When your kitty approaches you when you cry, chances are she wants a snack, wonders what’s going on, and is affected by your crying.
Either way, it is sweet thing to witness.
Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.
Disclaimer: While I ensure that the advice and tips given here are in line with the latest evidence-based veterinary information and health guidelines, under no circumstance should you misconstrue my suggestions as medical advice. Please contact your veterinarian in all matters regarding your kitty’s health.