How Do Cats Apologize?

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Have you ever seen your cat run away, dragging her tail just after she knocks down the vase on the floor or coffee over your laptop? Does she hide herself every time after creating any such type of mess? What would you do now to tell your cat about the mistake she made? Would you yell at her? Do you think getting angry at your cat or punishing her will make your kitty feel sorry?


Well, let’s find out about the cat’s behavior when they do a terrible thing and feel guilty. It’s said that cats are the most uncaring animals and do not express guilt for what they do, but it is not valid. The fact is that guilt is a complex human emotion. Animals are not capable of recognizing what they do is wrong and can’t replicate it when you yell at them.



However, it does not mean they do not care when you’re upset with their actions. Sometimes animals, especially our domesticated ones like cats and dogs, are the best companion you can have. They tend to be loving and caring for their beloved ones. They also act when they realize that their owner is upset because of them. And the best incident that can prove it is the story of an eight-month-old kitten and its owner – Haryanto Pherwhirra Ramadhani.


While Haryanto was out, the kitten smashed his earphone cable. When he gets to know what his kitten had done, he yelled at her, and she ran away from the room. With this behavior, Haryanto thought she wants to stay alone as she needs time to think about her actions, but the kitten had another plan in mind. After an hour, she shocked the owner by dropping the snake at his feet as an apology and replacement of a long, skinny cable.


Though it was a scary as well as funny incident, do you know sometimes they purposely try to create a mess and don’t even feel guilty? Well, it is true! There are some reasons for the cat’s destructive behavior. Before we explore those reasons, it is crucial to understand the different types of moods your cat may have. Without wasting time, let’s get started.


Signs of Cats according to their moods

Usually, cats do not possess one sign or one action to show that they are sorry for the mistake. Sometimes they can behave terribly and mischief while sometimes you may wonder what would make them sit quietly. They are a certain number of ways in which they react according to their mood. Hence, we are not able to figure out if they have done it deliberately and were found guilty about it. Here are the usual signs of cats when they seek something according to their mood.



Cat sound or behavior


Asking for something
Vocalized frustration or anticipation of a productive hunt
Fear, anger, or territoriality
Excitement or frustration
Greeting for owner
Showing their love
Head bunting
Sowing their love
Slow eye blink
Showing their love



Why do cats seem to be misbehaving more than other pets? 

Most of the time, the cats are always on the wanted list for crashing things on the floor or playing vigorously. They are wild run up there, and it is culminated by jumping from couch to table or scratching the furniture. It goes to the extent of pushing the lamp to the floor. You may disagree with this fact, but honestly, they misbehave to seek your attention. In most cases, they deliberately know that things are at the edge, but they push away to make you look at them. Which eventually makes the humans furious after the chaos. Here are three essential reasons why it makes them vulnerable to mistakes.




It is the nature

The cats come from the hunter’s category even though they are domesticated. The character of nudging small or stationary objects is imbibed in them. They usually practice conforming if their paws are stubborn. So, we must consider this as a very intuitive nature. You may have a rat-like paperweight that is beautifully designed. But to the feline, it is a rat, and importantly it’s stationary. The next reflexive action is to jump on them and toy them like prey. Cats feel good about how they have used their claws and paws. But one thing you might have to keenly watch is when they have practiced knocking off things they start doing it to get your attention. It is because, as kittens, you may have adored it when they push some small objects. Now, as grown-up cats, they like to encourage what they do, including when they knock off.


They enjoy this

Have you seen bored cats? They always seem to amuse themselves in one or the other activities. Pushing things from greater heights is one of them. Even though you provide them with ample toys, they show interest in anything that would excite them or otherwise that will prove their presence at home. Unless they have a playmate just like them, they tend to do this quite often.


They are tempted

The cats are attracted to the low shelves, things that are lined with collectibles, and some of the photos frames too. They are smart enough to know the things that will trip on the floor. They invite disaster as they feel tempted or satisfied with it. You should provide them with an alternative like Pestages cat track toys to make the games interactive. This game involves pushing the ball in the slider and helps the felines to be satisfied with it. You can also try sticky paws training sessions. Stick the sheets on the things that you don’t want them to touch and practice them as a kitten. It can have an effective change in their behavior.



Are cats capable of saying an apology?

Cats don’t mean to say “I am sorry” to their pet owners. It is their nature, and the emotions are quite different from the original. A cat never acts out of spite. The book The Cat Whispers, written by Mieshelle Nagelschneider, says that cats lack cognition, or they are no ideas for them to believe that they are wrong. Instead, they only observe and respond. Be it love or hate, there is no verbalized thought in their minds. Suppose if someone shows love and affection, the cats show energy or excitement to be touched by the hands who love petting them. It gives them great pleasure to be purred or tickled.


Similarly, an experiment conducted by different vets on cats found that they respond to negative emotions or energy. For instance, if the cats feel someone is leaving the food in the bowl with all hatred, then they suddenly become feared. They show a sense of anxiety as they eat them. Therefore, it is proved that cats can only observe and respond to their actions. Hence, it’s all reflexive to how you react.


It is a survival strategy

Now don’t judge the cats that they are emotionless or not a friendly animals. Of course, they are. But when you see them react immediately, whatever they try to do is to re-affirm your relationship. There is no other way that they can express themselves. Whether they wag their tile or hide behind the pillar, they wanted to know if you are mad at them. She needs to know that you are not angry at her and feel a sense of security. Until a cat is affirmed with it, she keeps trying hard to gain the trust back.


By roots, cats belong to the category of ‘non-pack animals’ by the International Pet Association. Survival is a momentary thing for them to do. That’s why they don’t remember if they made a mistake. Hence, they keep repeating. They do not care if it upsets you because, honestly, after an hour, they do not remember it. Instead, when the owner gets angry, they try to please them to be in the pack.


But dogs are usually ‘pack animals.’ Their survival does not only depend on how happy the leaders are. It has a process and a hierarchy that it follows. They know what is wrong and right. They understand the negative and positive reactions of the owners.


Why don’t cats realize their mistakes?

The cats have very little own world. We generally assume that cats tend to rule the house. In the minds of cats, the owners are their friends. They help in getting them food regularly and clean the litter box. However, this is not usually how they are thinking in minds.


What should you understand about their apologetic behavior?

International Cat Care believes that cats are usually self-sustaining and predominantly territorial. As an owner, when you offer them a place to live safely and the chance for them to go on hunting, they will not require humans. Meaning, they won’t need anyone to monitor them or show emotions. It does not mean they are not social. It is found that cats are willing to stay communally. Especially after reaching the adolescent stage, every cat looks for starting a community around them. It is a typical pattern seen and typically observed when the female cats seem to groom each other and take care of the kittens together. Also, they do not quarrel or pick a fight. It is very rare. Hence asking for sorry or feeling guilty does not even take place even when they live in their colonies apart from humans.



Also, interestingly, it is found that cats, when brought home, has the potential to create social groups too. But their socialization level will still be at the level of the cats instead of an attempt to make an advanced interaction or to understand the emotions of humans.


How do they apologize?

As you get all angry about the incident, their first reaction is to go hide or just be away from you. The cats try to find a place where they feel incredibly safe. You can also see that they continuously keep staring at you. A lot of pet owners think that the cat is trying to say that it feels guilty or wanted to apologize. But in most cases, they are just trying to read the situation. As you calm down, they get relaxed too.


Only when you seem to cool off, do they try attempting to see if you are okay to accept them as your friend again. In other terms, they wanted to know if it is still suitable for them to be safe in the social group that they are practicing in. These are the thing that we consider an “Apologizing behavior.” It may include:


  • A slow walk towards you – a little gesture to see if you are still mad at him
  • Rubbing your cheeks with their heads
  • Blink slowly
  • Purring

But it is highly impossible to say how long it would take for a cat to come around you. But when they do it, it is likely testing the waters to make sure you are still their friend. They almost validate it before they approach you.


Final Verdict

Now you might have understood the reasons behind the behavioral patterns. It is a common misconception that only sure pets feel guilty about their mistakes, especially dogs. But honestly, every animal, every pet that you raise has its style of feeling sorry about the mistakes, and also, they are guilty about it. Therefore, even cats do! Uncaring cats is a total myth. “How do cats apologize?” may sound silly now. The right way is to understand “Why they don’t” in the first place.


Only with an intact relationship, you may be able to change specific behavior that can make you angry. Suppose cats are kicking down the litter box or scratching the furniture continually, it means these behaviors are mostly instinctual. Only when you understand their behavior, you can change them according to your needs. Overall any cats will look to be always on good terms with you. Invest more time with them and make stronger bonds with the cats.



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