Cats have a reputation for doing things on their own terms. But are they capable of knowing right from wrong? does your cat know when you’re angry at them or feel remorse after knocking things over or clawing at the furniture?
And how do they apologize for their behavior?
Do cats know when they have done something bad?
Cats don’t have a sense of right and wrong. They don’t understand why knocking things off the table or scratching the couch is a bad thing. But they know when you are displeased at them.
Cats know when you’re upset because your attitude, facial expressions, and your tone of voice becomes unpleasant.
A study published in Animal Cognition has found that cats are very responsive to the sound of human voices.
When you are happy, you use a voice that’s friendly and pleasant.
But when you’re angry or upset, you have a tone that your feline friend isn’t accustomed to, which lets your pet know that something is wrong.
Cats also use visual cues to know that certain things upset you.
Another study conducted by Oakland University researchers revealed that cats can distinguish different emotions in humans by recognizing facial expressions, such as smiling and frowning.
Do cats feel bad when they hurt you?
Cats don’t feel bad when they hurt you. Although cats very intelligent animals, there have been a number of studies that have found cats don’t experience secondary emotions such as guilt, shame or pride.
It’s just that cats act on instinct. If your feline friend hurts you or causes you pain, it’s probably because they felt threatened or were fearful of a situation in some way.
But if cats don’t feel bad when they hurt you, you may wonder why they always want to snuggle up shortly after a negative event takes place?
Remember, cats know you are upset because of your voice, attitude, and facial expressions.
Your behavior toward your pet, after they hurt you, might prompt your cat to want to comfort you. This doesn’t mean that your cat feels bad for what they did. It means they want you to stop being sad.
Do Cats Apologize?
Cats can’t apologize, because that would require them to feel guilt. Cats can’t experience such complex emotions.
But although cats don’t understand the concept of being sorry, they do understand when you are displeased or angry at them, and they will try to re-establish a connection with you. They often do this by showing affectionate behaviors that they know will get a cheerful reaction from you, such as licking you, snuggling up next to you, or meowing.
How do cats apologize to each other?
Cats don’t feel guilty when doing bad things to other cats.
In the feline world, the goal is safety, not the feelings of other cats.
But cats want peace and a safe place to live. They want to know that other cats in their social group are not hostile toward them.
If cats fight and then appear to make up, it is because they want to encourage safety and prevent further violence.
Cats may attempt to calm the tensions and remain in good standing with their social group by licking each other, sleeping close to each other, and rubbing heads.
Why cats misbehave
Cats do not have malicious intent. Their actions have reasons. For example, when they scratch up your furniture, it’s because their nails get too long and perhaps you should provide a suitable alternative.
Remember, it is easy to assign human emotions to cats. But cats are creatures with their own distinctive ways of thinking.
How long do cats stay angry?
What if you have done something to offend your cat?
Perhaps you unintentionally stepped on your cat’s tail. Now, of course you feel bad about your actions, and want things to go back to normal.
Many people mistakenly believe that cats never forgive their owners’ mistakes.
A study published in Applied Animal Science Behavior tested cat reactions to being restrained against their will at a veterinary surgery clinic. It was found that the cats didn’t avoid that location or people afterward.
Scientists believe that one-off bad events fade away within 16 hours from a cat’s memory.
So if you accidentally step on a cat’s tail and apologize, the cat won’t hold a grudge against you. However, cats remember abuse and repeated mistreatment for the rest of their lives.
How to say sorry to your cat?
Apologizing to your cat is the best way to keep your relationship strong after you’ve committed a feline faux pas.
It’s possible that your cat needs some space before they’re ready to connect with you again.
When you cat is finally relaxed, talk to them with a calm tone of voice while blinking slowly at them. Avoid loud, panicked, or sudden exclamations that will only startle or upset your cat more. Remember to praise your cat and reward them with treats. Spending some quality time together, with lots of petting and games, should ease your cat.