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Home > Cats > What Do Cats Think of Humans? The Surprising Answer

What Do Cats Think of Humans? The Surprising Answer

cat sleeping in owner's arms

When you look at your beloved cat, you may have many thoughts. Maybe you think your cat is finicky, funny, cuddly, odd, or just plain weird! For as long as people have been keeping cats as pets, we humans have often wondered what makes felines tick.

You probably know that cats form bonds with their human caretakers as it’s been proven so and widely discussed. Cats form attachments with their owners who look after their needs, much like how dogs depend on their owners for food, shelter, and love.

If you’re like many people, you may wonder what cats really think of us human beings. Although we can mostly just guess, we’ll dive into the feline brain here and answer some of the most common questions people have about cats. So, sit back, invite your cat onto your lap, and enjoy the read!


Do Cats Think Humans Are Cats?

If you’re living with a cat, your kitty probably shows you a level of affection that’s similar to how he would act with his biological mother. Your furry friend may rub up against you, purr loudly when you come home from work, and cuddle and nuzzle up to you on the couch.

Experts tell us that cats treat humans like bigger versions of themselves. While your cat doesn’t think you’re his mother, he probably shows you the same level of affection and respect he gave his mother when he was young.

It’s believed that cats think humans are very much like them. A young kitten quickly learns to recognize its loving mother as a safe creature it can be friendly with. When that kitten leaves its mother and is adopted by a human mom that loves and cares for him, he transfers his love for his mother over to his human caregiver. And it makes perfect sense when you think about it!

When you feed, play with, and nurture a kitten, he will reciprocate with affection. If you’ve ever experienced your cat kneading his paws on your body, he learned that behavior when he was young.

A young kitten uses his tiny paws to knead on his mother’s belly around the teat to stimulate the production of milk. An adult cat kneads because the behavior reminds him of the comforts of a nursing mother, which is an indicator that our cats treat us like one of their own!

cat rubbing against owner
Image By: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

Do Cats Love Their Owners?

We’ll get straight to the point on this question. Yes, cats love their owners and they love them very much! Domesticated cats become very attached to their owners and they show this love through their behavior.

Your pet cat loves you just as much as you love him and he probably likes to show it. In the cat world, there are many ways to express love including the following:

  • Purring
  • Meowing
  • Rolling around
  • Rubbing
  • Kneading
  • Tail wagging
  • Licking
  • Playing

Another way a pet cat shows love for its owner is by hunting and gifting prey. Maybe your cat has come home with a bird, mouse, or another creature it’s captured. While you may have been horrified to receive the special gift, your cat brought that bird or animal home because he loves you. End of story.

Furry tabby cat lying on its owner's lap
Image By: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

Do Cats Know They Are Cats?

Just as a dog can recognize another canine as one of its own, a cat can tell the difference between a cat and another animal. This feline-to-feline recognition is done via chemicals produced by the body that are detected through the nose.

Cats use inbuilt chemical markers to detect pheromones released by other cats. When pheromones are present, they cause the brain to send a signal to a cat that it is indeed smelling another cat. These pheromones are only perceived by other cats, and they’re used for many things including marking territory, social bonding, and communicating feelings.

Can Cats Become Jealous?

If you’ve owned a dog, you’ve probably seen your canine become jealous when another animal or a person has captured your attention. Maybe you were fussing over a new baby or petting an adorable puppy you met while out walking your dog. Your dog may have shown he was jealous by ignoring you or acting completely indifferent and uncaring.

Just like a dog, your cat can become jealous when he perceives something is taking your attention away from him.  A jealous cat may turn his back on you and walk away when called or refuse to play or cuddle.

cats staring at each other while leaning on a small chair
Image By: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock



Anyone who has ever spent time around cats knows our feline friends are mysterious and fascinating creatures. Now that you have a better idea of what makes a cat tick, you can appreciate your kitty all the more! Enjoy the bond you have with your cat and never take your little friend for granted!

Featured Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

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