As a cat lover you naturally anthropomorphize your cat. It is natural to place all of our human emotions onto them, assuming or suggesting they might feel as we do. The question is, do they feel like we do? Do cats feel jealous? Do cats feel excited? Do cats cry?
Today, we have all the answers to whether or not cats cry, and if they do, why? The last thing we want is our little fluffy babies upset, right?!
Let’s find out: do cats cry? And why would they?
Do Cats Cry?
Cats DO have tear ducts helping to lubricate the eye and rinse away debris, they even have an extra eyelid to protect their eyes. Do cats cry though? Well, not exactly. Cats do feel emotions to some degree, they can read our facial expressions and they have lots of feelings about us and other cats and animals. They aren’t sobbers like us though. In true cat form nothing is simple and if they are feeling an emotion that one would associate with crying, they are likely to tell us in various different ways , rather than with tears.
How Do Cats Cry?
A cat making various noises like a yowl, whining or whimpering can be labelled as a cat ‘crying’. The crying, though, tends to refer to the cat call, not the cat being in floods of tears. Do cats cry tears when they are sad? No. Why do cats cry very sad noises? Well, that is likely them telling you that they are sad, but in cat behaviour and language.
How To Tell If A Cat Is Sad
Whilst we cannot look for tears to suggest that a cat is sad like we are, there are multiple signs something is up. Understanding those signs makes us better pet owners, and it will help you know what to do to care for your pet and prevent or stop them feeling sad.
Here are a few signs that a cat is feeling sad:
- Disinterest in food and treats
- Lethargic behaviour, no interest in playing
- Agitation and tail wagging if you approach them
- Withdrawal from you and other pets they like
- Meowing repeatedly in a way that is out of character
These signs could show your can is feeling sadness, stress, depression or other negative emotions. It could also indicate they have an illness, so it is worth checking in with your vet if there is a sudden change in behaviour.
Why Do Cats Cry At Night?
A cat cries at night for numerous reasons, more often than not it is to get you to let them back into the house. If they are in the house, they probably want attention, food or they are in heat and want other cats to know (if they are not neutered).
If you are wondering why do stray cats cry at night?
If you are in Chicago, maybe it’s because they are catching rats, as per this recent interesting media story about ‘Cats at Work’.
Overall, in Chicago and elsewhere the stray cat meowing is more often than not to do with territory or breeding (or both). A cat in heat may meow to let male cats know, and male cats may meow in response. A female cat and make cat may meow as they are mating too.
Stray cats can also meow, yowl, scream and hiss when fighting over territory and these stand offs can last for a long time. This all happens at night because cats are naturally nocturnal.
Why Do Cats Cry Tears?
If you wonder, do cats cry tears at all? They do, but it isn’t because they are sad. A cat who is crying tears is likely to have a medical issue such as:
- Pink Eye
- Structural Issues
- Debris in the eye/ eye injury
So if you do see your cat tearing up it is a good idea to get veterinary advice, rather than just assuming they are feeling a bit sad and need a hug.
The Answer Is Always: Just Give Your Cat A Hug Anyway
Regardless of why or how you know your cat is feeling a little sad, just give them a hug anyway. Take them to the vet if they are unwell, but also give them a hug. Hugging cats is the only way forward, even if they aren’t sad. That’s what the science says and we are sticking with it.