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Do Cats Worry About Their Owners? (Or Not?)

If you leave your cat during the day, maybe while you are at work, you may have wondered if your cat worries about you while you are not there.

Do cats worry about their owners?

Recent research at the University of Lincoln suggests cats are happy in their own company. However, they show obvious signs of excitement when their owner returns. So, worrying may not be the correct wording, they are keen for them to return, but not necessarily worry.

So, now you know if cats worry about you or not. But, do cats even care if you are not there? Do cats feel loyalty? How does a cat’s natural social structure affect how they appreciate you? Keep reading to get these answers, and so much more…


What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is excessive worry, or distress when a loved one is away for an extended amount of time. Some believe cats experience this while their owner is away.

However, as discussed earlier this does not appear to be the case. But, this does not mean that they do not love or appreciate their owners.

Do cats know their name?

Cats do understand their own name. In fact, there has been a study in Tokyo that looked into this, concluding that they do understand their name. However, they have a habit of ignoring their owner at times which can make some believe that they do not understand their name.

If you have ever tried to call your cat and received a blank response, naturally, you would assume that it did not understand that you were calling its name, right? Well, hopefully, now you understand that your cat is just acting up and selecting when it’s convenient for them to respond.

Do cats feel loyalty to their owners?

Do cats worry about their owners?

Cat being stroked.

Cats do feel loyal to their owners. Sometimes it is not as obvious as dogs, but they do. There are certain breeds, such as the Ragdoll (Click here for the best cat trees for them) or Ragamuffin cats that show a great level of loyalty, which is one of the reasons they are so popular.

If you have ever doubted your cat’s loyalty or wondered if they are compatible with dogs, in this context, now you know they are, in their own special way.

Do cats rub against you to make sure you come home?

Cats rub against you to mark you as their territory, and to claim ownership. It is not necessarily so you will come back home, even though they do hope that this will happen.

If you have ever seen your cat rub against you and felt the love it was passing, you may have wondered if it was some weird way for them to show that they care so you come home. But, now you know that this is more of a practical way to physically mark you with their scent.

Do cats care if you are gone?

Cats do care if you are gone. Whether this is an extended holiday (Click here to learn how to feed them, while you are away), gone for good, or even death. These physical signs include your cat not eating, meowing whilst looking confused, or even hiding away.

If you notice your cat is really independent, like most cats, it may make you wonder if they even care if you are gone, right? Well, this section should have helped you to understand that they do.

Are cats protective of their owners?

Cats are protective of their owners. There have been a few examples of this such as a cat protecting its owner, a young toddler, from a dog attack. Also, stories of cats alerting their owners of danger such as carbon monoxide leaks.

These life-saving examples are extreme situations that are necessary to prove how protective cats are. It is not always clear with cats because they are not obvious protectors like dogs are. But, this section should have made it clear to you that they are protective.

Can some cats become overprotective?

In some cases, cats can become overprotective. For example, they may attack guests or others for what seems like no reason. This could be because your cat feels you are in danger or feels anxious for some reason.

If you have ever noticed your cat acting aggressive for some unknown reason before you should now understand that it could be because they are feeling overprotective of you.

How do cats show they have been waiting for you?

Cats show several behaviors that suggest that they have been eagerly awaiting your return, such as the following:

01. Greeting at the door

If you have ever had a cat you will know that it is not uncommon to see your cat waiting at your door for your arrival and reacting excitedly when you come through the door.

02. Headbutting you (In a playful manner)

Another way they show their appreciation is loving headbutts. It may sound weird using the words “loving” and “headbutt” in the same sentence, but in this context it makes sense.

03. Purring

Another sign is your cat purring, this is one of their physical signs that they are happy that you have arrived home safely, back home to them.

This is not an exhaustive list, but some things to look out for to confirm your cat has been eagerly awaiting your return. Hopefully, now you can think of a few more ways.

How does a cat’s social structure prove they appreciate their owners?

Cats have natural social structures that value the parental figure. For example, feral cats are known to protect a mother cat (queen) and their kittens. Meaning, they naturally value the family structure.

This behavior is extended to your cat’s behavior with you, as the owner. They appreciate you and value you as a part of their social dynamic.

If you have ever witnessed cats’ behavior you may be impressed by how they do simple things, like protect their young, etc. So, now you have learned how these simple values extend to their owners.

How do cats work out how to get your attention?

Cats use their experiences with you to learn how you respond. This helps them to get your attention. And, also allows them to manipulate you for their own uses. For example, when they “meow” they can see you respond, almost instantly.

This then allows them to work out that this is a vocal cue they can keep using to get your attention and communicate that they need something.

How does a cat’s lack of affection affect their relationship?

If a cat owner has a cat that does not show them much affection, or even worse, acting aggressive, it can cause resentment and end up with the cat being rehomed or sent to a cat shelter. Smart cats avoid this by understanding that their owner needs love and affection.

If you have ever had a cat that does not show affection you may have felt sad or rejected. It may have made you wonder if you should keep the cat. This section should have helped to make you understand what effect this has.

Lindsey Browlingdon