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Do cats have emotions?

for_serious

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I was thinking about the answer to this question so I did a little but of research. I came across one interesting site in particular which expresses the two polarized views:
DO CATS HAVE EMOTIONS?

Based on my own experiences, I would definitely have to say yes. For example, when Keano returns to my bed in the morning from his breakfast, he purrs so loudly and curls up on my chest.. it seems like he is so happy to be back. Or when I talk to him he scrunches up his back and whaps his tail from side to side and it really seems like he's excited. Just the way he interacts with me, I feel like it's impossible for him to be reacting purely instinctually. What are some of your thoughts?
 

Nofuratu

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Ive never understood what the debate is....human emotions are created by our limbic system in our brains. Cats have brains, and limbic systems just like us.
In vet medicine we are taught not to anthropomorphisize (sp?) but we still learn about the limbic system and its similarities in all mammals.
It is interesting to hear different theories though...
 

sphynxie

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Nudie seems to have emotions. I want to believe that she understands all that I say and do.
 

ckutkuhn7

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I talk to my cats and they talk back. I highly believe that they know exactly what I'm telling them and they give me their opinions on the matters at hand too! lol
 

Candys

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All animals have emotions. Being a ranch girl, I have been around many animals in my life. They have emotions. I am reading a book about an everyday lady that raised a couple of blue jays. It is amazing to read about her stories and how the blue jays are so emotional. When I am sick I have my cats comfort me. When a cat has a good day you can see the boost in self esteem. When a cat is angry you know it. When my last Sphynx died the Bengal would no longer lay on my bed because he associated my bed with that Spynx and how they would lay in that bed. It was his mourning process. What stories do the rest of you have?
 

Avasmommy

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I have had many animals/friends throughout my life. My greatest was Wee-Man. My long haired white and black chihuahua that I was able to have in my life for 7 years. He smiled, cried, and every thing in between. I feel that he was my other half in pet terms. One of my top 5 fondest memories of him is walking into my bed room, while my daughter was still in her bassinet next to the bed. Wee-Man was on the far left, then Ava my daughter in her bassinet next to my side of the bed, and my husband in bed. All 3 were snoring. He would lay on his back, spread eagle and snore in his bed. When I left for work, I was told by my first AND second husband that he would sit my the door, howl for a few minuets, then hide the rest of the day until I came home. If he were in trouble for peeing on the trash can, or barking at the wind, he would go sulk, and cry. Big crocodile tears would drip from his eyes, and he would look back at me as if to ask if he were forgiven. When my mother would walk through the door, he would SMILE a big toothy grin. (She was his favorite person because she gave him table scraps, I would not.) I have several pictures of him smiling. Sorry it was so long, but that is my input.
 

AmazonGoddess

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They most certainly do have emotions. Their emotional responses may not be as complex as ours, but they are certainly there.

My cats get sulky, have a sense of humor, show compassion, show fear, etc.

When my boy Zeke passed away, his littermate/brother Hyde, spent over a week grieving for him.

Anyone who has owned a pet knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a level of emotional responses
 

Nofuratu

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There is a good book that was on the best seller list about a decade ago "When elephants weep". It discusses the scientific aspect of animal emotions and concentrates on elephants, which are very emotional creatures that exhibit grieving etc. I loved it and used it for my reasearch on animal emotions in college.
 

LucyFurrr

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Mammals absolutely do have emotions, but I must point out here that 'all animals' is a very broad and vague spectrum. Not ALL animals have emotions. Reptiles and Amphibians are a prime example. I've worked with literally thousands of them, and it is very apparent that they are just not capable of emotions. They are capable of instincts, and instinctual reactions, and that is literally it. Oh, and that's not just my opinion, it's fact, lol. Fun fact for the day perhaps?

So, all warm blooded creatures have emotions. :Smile:
 

ilovemysphynx

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I 100% agree that they do. I have seen so many examples that I can not list them all, but I know when we are away they miss us, and when they kiss us they mean it, I know that when I am sad they are there for me and when I am happy they share it with me!
I know also know that Sydney was telling me with the look in her eyes last week that it was ok to let her go and she loved me with those eyes!
 

Shell_Baby

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Mammals absolutely do have emotions, but I must point out here that 'all animals' is a very broad and vague spectrum. Not ALL animals have emotions. Reptiles and Amphibians are a prime example. I've worked with literally thousands of them, and it is very apparent that they are just not capable of emotions. They are capable of instincts, and instinctual reactions, and that is literally it. Oh, and that's not just my opinion, it's fact, lol. Fun fact for the day perhaps?

So, all warm blooded creatures have emotions. :Smile:

I agree, mostly. Warm blooded animals DEFINITELY have emotions, but I also have a red-eared slider turtle that will beg for food, so some reptiles can have emotions. :Laugh: On the other hand, the snakes I have are purely instinct! :Wink:
 

ypvsypvs

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I agree, mostly. Warm blooded animals DEFINITELY have emotions, but I also have a red-eared slider turtle that will beg for food, so some reptiles can have emotions. :Laugh: On the other hand, the snakes I have are purely instinct! :Wink:

Begging for food doesn't automatically mean emotion though. It shows that it has learned something however and many animals can do that without having the ability to feel emotions in the sence we mean here.

"Chances to get food increases if I do this while that person is present" is a taught instinc. Even cats don't do that out of emotion. Same with us.
"If I give that guy a bill, guy give me hamburger" does not mean you have any emotion what so ever towards the guy in the drive through. ;)
 
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