Can Cats Sense Humans’ Emotional and Physical Pain?

Cats are often said to be very empathetic and some believe they can sense how people feel or if they’re suffering from any pain. It’s clear that living with them improves the quality of our lives as well as our health. However, can our cat companions sense our human pains and respond to them?

If it’s up to me to say if cats can sense our emotional or physical pain and I should judge it according to my cat, I would definitely say no. She’s a master of ignorance. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t sense it – she simply doesn’t have the urge to respond to it. The experience of a lot of other people (and even my own with different cats) prove that cat companions don’t only sense our pain, but they also respond to it. 

It’s clear that the individual cat’s sense of empathy and its sensitivity differ, as they do for humans. Some might be able to create a very strong connection with their owners. According to a survey of an American blog, The Catnip Times, 80 % of 700 respondents stated that their cats can sense their physical or emotional pain.

Of course it also depends on how sensitive we are with respect to the signs in cats’ behaviour. Some of us might not notice the cat’s response to their health or emotional condition. You might not realize that your furry friend lied on the spot that hurt you and purred for a long time. It’s a known fact that cats’ purring has a healing effect not only on the creatures themselves but on us as well. 

Cats’ purring reduces the stress level, mild symptoms of respiratory difficulties and listening to purring reduces blood pressure and slows down the heart activity. Certain purring frequencies even improve bone strength and promote wound healing. According to a study, the risk of heart attack is 40 % lower for cat owners and according to statistics, they go to a doctor 5 times less that those who don’t have a cat. Purring vibrations help to heal infections and swelling, muscles, tendons and ligament injuries. They also help to cure soft tissues. A purring cat also improves digestion and helps recovering from some digestive tract diseases. Scientists from the Gerontology Institute even claim that cat owners live on average ten years longer and a significantly lower cholesterol level was measured in them.

At least, you definitely noticed that your dog or cat gets nervous when you are nervous yourself or that it changes behaviour when you are stressed. So, it’s clear they can sense how we feel and it doesn’t only apply to being nervous. They can also sense when we are sad, something is bothering us or even when we suffer from depression. 

According to me, it is a matter of how sensitive your cat is, how sensitive you are yourself and how strong your bond is. What do you think about it? Does your furry friend respond to your pain? Do you have any interesting idea that might prove it? There are thousands of stories online about how cats were great mental support of their owners in rough times, how they helped to cure them or even saved their lives.

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