Do Cats Express Disgust?

Do cats express disgust? Yes, it appeared that cats express disgust for unwelcoming foods. Even though they could not tell directly, the bad smell and taste make them disgust for certain human food and cat food.

Cats are kind of a unique pet type which shows weird behaviours in day to day activities. And this makes them more unique to interact and I think many cat pet parents love this.

Among many behaviours, the food-related ones are the most discussed one in the cat society. Before digging deep into the cat’s ability to express disgust, let’s check some background of their feeling expression ability.

Do cats express different feelings?  

The first scientific study about animal behaviour goes too far than we expect. The book, “The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals” published in 1872 by Charles Darwin explains the first discussion on this matter.

At that time, this book made huge firestorm among people. One of the famous point is the similarity between the emotions of man and animals.

Throughout the years, there were many types of research been done on this matter.  Between them, I have found this research work which gives real insights on this problem.

According to the research works done by Pim Martens, Marie-José Enders-Slegers & Jessica  K. Walker on The Emotional Lives of Companion Animals:  Attachment and Subjective Claims  by Owners of Cats and Dogs”, they explain how animals express feelings in a constructive way.

Based on their findings, Joy is the most common emotion within pets. The surprising fact is that; the disgust is more frequents among cats than other animals.

The below table adapted from the research works done by above-mentioned researchers. As mentioned in this table, we can see that cats and dogs tend to show much feeling towards joy. Disgust behaviour seems to be seldom.   

Do cats express disgust research data

Even without this study, there are numerous studies about feline physiology that reveal about the ways of expressing feeling to humans or other animals.

How Cats express disgust?

 Cats can express their feeling, or else if we specified, the disgust through their facial expressions or body languages.

Most of the time, you may not see this behaviour, because they sniff their food before eating it. The cat has an idea about the food and its taste through the smell.

If they come to a conclusion were not going to eat, then they will leave the food plate without showing much difference, or else proper disgust.

However, sometimes they will taste it without going through it properly.  In this kind of case, if the food does not seem good for him or else food seems disgusted, they will show proper disgust behaviour.

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Common cases are found in many countries: Cats do express disgust

Through our research, we have found many cases among online communities. All these incidents say that cats show disgust at least once in their lifetime.  

You can find really interesting stories from these Quora articles. These articles are not only limited to Quora, but available in Reddit, Facebook and other cat forums.

Final Thoughts

Cats do express disgust to unhappy food items. However, there are not much similar to the behaviour of human at some points. The way of expressing disgust can be either body language or facial expression changes.

Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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