How Can Cats Tell When You’re Sad?

by Alex Kountry
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A study conducted by animal behaviorists found that cats can tell when their owner is sad, and they will try to comfort them.

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It’s no secret that cats have a reputation for being aloof. But despite their reputation, cats are actually very in tune with their human companions and can pick up on a wide range of emotions. So, how can cats tell when you’re sad?

There are a few ways that cats can tell when you’re sad. One is through your body language. If you’re slumped over or have your head down, your cat may sense that something is wrong. Cats also pick up on vocal cues, so if you’re speaking in a low voice or not speaking at all, your cat may take that as a sign that you’re unhappy. Additionally, cats can smell emotions, so if you’re secreting the stress hormone cortisol, your cat may be able to smell it and sense that you’re unhappy.

Of course, every cat is different, so not all of them will be able to pick up on all of these cues. But if your cat does seem to be sensitive to your moods, it’s likely because they’ve bonded with you and care about your well-being. So next time you’re feeling down, don’t be surprised if your furry friend comes over to offer some comfort.

How Can Cats Tell When You’re Sad?

Cats are very intuitive creatures and can often tell when their human is sad or upset. If you’re feeling down, your cat may come and sit on your lap or curl up next to you to offer some comfort. Cats also have the ability to pick up on subtle cues in your voice and body language.

Body Language

Cats are experts at reading human body language, and they use a variety of cues to figure out how we’re feeling. They start by watching our faces carefully. A wide open mouth with teeth showing usually signals aggression, while a soft, closed mouth is generally a sign of friendliness.

Cats also pay attention to the position of our ears. If they’re pointing forward, that usually means we’re interested in something. And if they’re flattened back against our head, that’s often a sign that we’re angry or afraid.

Our eyes are another important cue that cats use to figure out how we’re feeling. A direct gaze usually means we’re challenging someone, while averting our gaze is often a sign of submission or fear. And dilated pupils can indicate excitement or fear.

Finally, cats also pay attention to the way we move our bodies. tense muscles and rapid movement often signal aggression, while slow, relaxed movements are generally a sign of friendliness.

Vocal Cues

Cats are very intuitive creatures and can sense our emotions by the way we speak to them. When we are happy, our voice is usually high-pitched and when we are sad, our voice is lower. Cats also pick up on the tone of our voice and can tell if we are mad, happy, or sad.


Cats have a very keen sense of smell, and they use it to communicate in a variety of ways. When you’re sad, you might give off different chemical signals than when you’re happy. These signals can be detected by your cat’s sensitive nose, and they might cause your cat to act differently around you.

Why Do Cats Care?

Cats have been shown to be able to tell when their humans are sad, and they will often try to comfort them. This is likely because they see us as part of their social group, and they want to keep us happy. So, why do cats care?

Emotional Support

Cats are interesting creatures that have the ability to form strong bonds with their owners. In fact, research has shown that cats can sense our emotions and even appear to understand when we are sad or upset.

So, why do cats care? Well, it’s likely that cats see us as part of their social group and feel a need to protect and care for us. Additionally, cats may also simply enjoy the companionship of their humans and get satisfaction from making us happy.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that cats can pick up on our emotions and provide much-needed emotional support when we are feeling down. So next time your kitty comes to check on you, take a moment to appreciate their sweet gesture!

Survival Instinct

The author of The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health, Linda P. Case, points out that our survival instincts are based on feelings of happiness and sadness. When we feel happy, we’re more likely to take risks and explore new things—like meeting new people or trying new foods. But when we feel sad, we’re more likely to retreat and be less social. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint—if we’re feeling good, we’re more likely to take risks that could lead to reproduction and the continuation of our species. And if we’re feeling sad, it’s probably because something bad has happened and it’s not a good time to take risks.

Cats have similar survival instincts. When they feel happy, they’re more likely to explore their environment and meet new people or other animals. But when they feel sad, they’re more likely to retreat and be less social. So it makes sense that cats would care when their humans are feeling sad—they want us to be happy so that we’ll continue taking care of them!


Pets, especially dogs and cats, can develop a strong sense of empathy for their owners. This is because they are attuned to our emotions and can pick up on cues from our body language, voice, and scent. When we are sad, they often sense this and will show signs of Comforting behaviors like purring or licking. In some cases, they may even try to Cheer us up with playful behaviors. So the next time you’re feeling down, don’t be surprised if your furry friend comes over to try to make you feel better.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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