Can Cats Tell When You’re Sad? (+ How They Act)

Cats may seem to have their world. However, in reality, they react differently every time, depending on our emotions. Thus, it may lead you to wonder if they understand how we feel.

So you may ask: can cats tell when you’re sad? In general, cats can tell when you’re sad, but not in the way you think. Cats have a keen sense that helps them learn depending on their behavior. Chances are you pay more attention to them when you’re sad or the other way around. Whatever the case, your cat would react according to it.

Felines have a heightened sense that can tell when something is wrong. Thus, they make excellent companions for us.

In this article, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about their way of dealing with our sadness. This way, you’ll understand your pet better and learn to appreciate it more.

Let’s get into it!

Can cats sense the sadness in humans?

Cats can sense the sadness in humans, but it’s not the way we think they do. Indeed, cats can perceive the sadness, but it’s more on the shallow side of it.

Our cats’ reactions to our emotions depend on our expressions. For instance, our actions differ when we are happy and sad.

When we are happy, we tend to smile and play with our pets more. Thus, our cats see our smiles and jolly expressions as an opportunity for treats and snacks.

It may also be the same when we are sad. You can think about it this way. If you’re sad or feeling down, your cat may approach you.

Although it’s not something you think about, you may find it soothing to cuddle your cat as it approaches you.

As time passes, your cat would learn that your sadness comes with a lot of petting and scratching. Thus, it would make them go to you every time you exhibit signs of sadness.

In general, cats see our sadness and approach us for selfish reasons. However, we may find it therapeutic or helpful in our ways.

Also Read: Can Cats Tell When You’re Sick?

Can cats sense when something is wrong?

Cats can sense when something is wrong through their heightened senses. They can feel changes in temperature, mood, behavior, and pattern through this ability.

Thus, they can sense when something is wrong with our bodies and react according to it.

Cats react to temperature change.

The primary changes in both a dying and a sick person are their fluctuating temperature.

Felines can identify a dying person from their perspective since its temperature goes down quite fast. A sick person, on the other hand, has a rising temperature.

They seek warmth to act differently to persons with changing temperatures.

Cats react to mood and behavior change.

The other thing that the cat senses wrong is mood.

When there’s something wrong with their owner, felines also act differently in response to it.

A sick or dying person usually gets weaker and weaker. Thus, they tend to be less attentive to their pets.

They seek attention and affection. Thus, cats may approach their owners if they don’t receive the attention they expect.

Cats react to a change in pattern.

Cats learn through a distinct pattern every day, and so if there’s something wrong with their owners, their routine also changes.

For example, a feline may receive late to no dinners when its owner isn’t feeling well.

If their owner allows them to go outside at a particular time, they may get locked up inside for the day.

The pattern changes also affect our pets, and they react differently towards it as well.

sad girl

How do cats act when you are sad?

As I said earlier, cats can be clingy or aloof, depending on how you react when you’re sad.

For instance, if you’re sad, chances are you’ll accept your pet’s approach and cuddle with it. Or, you can also shoo it away and won’t pay attention to it.

If you do the former every time you feel sad, chances are your cat will approach you and rub its body on you.

On the other hand, your cat can also be aloof and hide from you if you’re shooing it away every time you’re feeling down.

As I said, cats may not be emotionally intelligent to understand your feelings. However, they can be quite receptive to the actions and behavior you express every time you’re sad.

For this reason, you may have a comforting cat if it associates your sadness with love and attention.

This way, there will be a mutual exchange of benefits on each side. You’ll get the comfort coming from your sweet cat while it gets lots of cuddles and petting from you.

Although they do it for selfish reasons, you may still find it enjoyable nonetheless.

Can cats sense when you’re crying?

Crying is just another expression of sadness, and your cat can perceive it as well.

Although our feline pets can’t understand our meows of sadness, they can still come at us when we feel down.

In general, cats would even find it better to approach you if you’re sad rather than if you’re busy.

When you’re sad, chances are they would receive more attention and love from you. If you’re busy, you tend to ignore them and not pay any attention at all.

Do cats understand human crying?

Cats understand human crying, but not in the way we think they do. As I said, cats react and learn from our behavior. Since such things vary depending on how we feel, they may learn to sense it as well.

In general, they sense human cries as some kind of opportunity for them to receive cuddles and love.

Since they are fond of petting, they may always approach and ask for petting every time you cry.

This principle applies more if you and your pet have a very close connection and a strong bond.

They may have their selfish reasons for approaching you. Still, it’s something that we need every time we’re crying.


In general, cats can tell when you’re sad, and it may lead them to approach you and comfort you. Still, it doesn’t mean they understand everything you’re going through.

Cats only understand the behaviors we express and how we act when we’re sad. It’s through our actions that they learn how to respond.

Although they act for selfish reasons, we can all agree that it’s what makes them the best companions. In the end, we find joy in knowing that our feline pets are always with us, even in our moments of sadness.


Image credits – Canva

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