A sad cat looking out of a window as it's raining

Can Cats Cry: Understanding Feline Emotions

In this article, we will delve into the intriguing question: "Can cats cry?" Cats are known for their mysterious behaviour and expressions that often leave us wondering about their emotions. We'll explore the fascinating world of feline emotions and uncover whether cats shed tears like humans do.

A cat looking sad as rain falls around it


Cats have been our companions for centuries, and while we may not fully understand all their behaviours, one question that frequently arises is whether cats cry. To answer this question, we need to consider the complex emotional lives of our feline friends.

Understanding Feline Emotions

The Myth of Tears

When we think of crying, we usually picture tears streaming down our faces in response to strong emotions. However, cats do not cry in the same way humans do. They do not shed emotional tears, as their tear ducts function differently.

Physical Tears vs. Emotional Tears

Cats have tear ducts that primarily serve to keep their eyes moist and free from debris. These physical tears are essential for their eye health and are produced continuously to lubricate the eyes. Unlike humans, cats do not produce tears in response to their emotions.

Expressing Emotions

Body Language

While cats may not shed emotional tears, they have various ways to express their emotions. Understanding their body language is crucial in deciphering how they feel. Tail position, ear orientation, and vocalisations can provide valuable insights into their emotional state.

Purring and Meowing

Cats often purr when they are content or seeking comfort, while meowing can be a way to communicate their needs to their owners. These vocalisations are a means of expressing themselves and can be associated with their emotional state.

Bonding and Attachment

Cats form strong bonds with their owners and fellow feline companions. Their attachment and behaviour towards their loved ones can be a clear indication of their emotional connection.

What Makes Cats "Cry"?

Physical Causes

Cats may appear to cry when they are experiencing physical discomfort or pain. This could be due to eye irritation, allergies, or other health issues. Observing these signs is crucial to ensure the well-being of your cat.

Stress and Anxiety

Cats can also exhibit behaviours that mimic crying when they are stressed or anxious. Excessive grooming, hiding, or changes in behaviour may indicate emotional distress.

Loss and Grief

When cats lose a companion or experience a significant change in their environment, they may display behaviours that seem like crying. These reactions are part of their natural response to loss and grief.


In conclusion, while cats do not cry in the same way humans do, they have unique methods of expressing emotions. Understanding feline body language, vocalisations, and behaviours is key to deciphering their feelings. It's essential to provide a loving and caring environment for our feline friends to ensure their emotional well-being.


  1. Do cats have tear ducts?
    • Yes, cats have tear ducts that produce physical tears to lubricate their eyes.
  2. Can cats cry due to emotional reasons?
    • Cats may exhibit behaviours that resemble crying when they are stressed, anxious, or grieving.
  3. How can I tell if my cat is in pain?
    • Signs of physical discomfort in cats include excessive blinking, squinting, or pawing at the eyes.
  4. Do cats form strong bonds with their owners?
    • Yes, cats can form deep emotional bonds with their owners and fellow feline companions.
  5. What should I do if I suspect my cat is stressed?
    • If you believe your cat is stressed, try to identify the cause and create a calm and comfortable environment. If the stress persists, consult with a veterinarian for guidance.

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