We all know that cats are incredibly intelligent and sensitive creatures, but how much do they actually know about human emotions?
Cats have a very heightened ability to pick up on disease and illness, and this is actually why they make such fantastic companions to their human friends.
If you are a cat owner yourself, or just curious about our feline friends, you might want to know more about their capacity for empathy. If this is the case, then keep reading, as we take a look below.
Do Cats Actually Have A Sixth Sense?
This is a question that has been asked by many people for decades, but do cats actually have a sixth sense? The simple answer is - not in the traditional sense.
Cats do however, have superior senses to ours in almost every aspect apart from taste. They can see, feel, hear, and smell much better than human beings can.
Cats are able to see very well in lighting that human beings can't. So for example, in dimmer light. This is due to their lifestyle and that they spend many hours wandering around in the dark.
They also have another feature in their eyes that human beings do not. This is called a tapetum, which is a layer that allows them to absorb light.
Cat’s are also incredibly good at sniffing out treats! This is actually the second best of all their senses. The sense of smell that cats possess is actually fourteen times more powerful than that of human beings. They have an incredible 200 million scent receptors in their noses.
Along with these receptors, they also have organs which can be found at the very top portion of their mouth at the roof, that act as a secondary sensor for smelling things.
This is actually the strongest sense possessed by our feline friends. They can actually hear at the same capacity as human beings and dogs, but in addition to this, they can hear high pitched sounds inaudible to humans.
This is why if you’ve found yourself lounging with your cat and they appear to perk up, even with no immediate noises to be heard. This allows them to both hunt prey themselves and protect themselves from impending predators.
Can Cats Sense When You Are Ill?
This is an interesting question. Cats may actually be able to tell if their human companion is feeling ill. This is due to their sense of smell that we covered above.
They can pick up on hormonal and chemical changes within human beings that occur when we’re not feeling our best.
When you are feeling unwell, just by rubbing up against you, your cat will be able to tell. They are often incredibly intrigued by new scents, so if you’re giving off something different on account of your feeling sick, they will be interested.
Can Cats Tell When A Human Being Is Depressed?
Although cats are not as attuned on picking up on whether or not somebody is sad like dogs can, they are able to sometimes read social cues associated with depression. For example, if you cat continually observes your smiling, they will begin to associate this as a positive emotion.
Some of the more obvious symptoms of depression can include feeling fatigued, lackluster, less sociable and tired. It is not just human beings that can pick up on these feelings, your cat will be able to too if it affects the way you interact with them.
Perhaps you are less enthusiastic about the way you pet them, or simply do not give them the same attention as you used to. Your cat will pick up on this and gather that something is amiss.
Very loving cats will become more sympathetic as a result, and try to be a comfort to their owners during times of distress.
Can Cats Sense When Somebody Is Feeling Fearful?
Because cats are always hyper aware of predators, they are never fully relaxed. This means that fear is one of the most prominent feelings that cats respond to.
If human beings display any changes in body language, or facial expressions associated with fear, cats will be able to tell.
They will also be able to detect this through bodily functions themselves, such as an increased heart rate, faster breathing, and shaky muscles.
Can Cats Sense When Somebody Is About To Die?
This is an interesting question too. Cats are in fact able to recognize the chemical and hormonal changes associated with death. Just like when you are ill, cats will be able to smell the changes in the body of someone who is dying.
Perhaps this is why in many cultures cats are seen as bad luck, because they seem to have such a superior and almost supernatural ability to sense big events.
Many cats who sense that their owners are approaching the end of their lives will tend to be very sympathetic and loving. Choosing to stay with them steadfastly at their bedside.
Can Cats Sense Natural Disasters?
Kind of! Because their paws are so sensitive, their little pink pads can tell if there are any vibrations in the ground.
This is because of the nerve endings that they have in their feet, which are called Pacinian corpuscles. Your cat will let you know if they sense impending danger by pawing you and purring.
Cats are truly remarkable creatures, they sense far more than human beings are aware of. Because they are able to sense when humans are unwell, either emotionally or physically, they make great companions that provide a lot of love and support to their caretakers.
Although they do not technically have a sixth sense, their superior senses attune them to a wealth of different emotions.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.