Why do cats react to human tears?

Every wild animal is sensitive to the sound they hear around them. Their sharp listening ability allows them to hear the different frequencies of the sound. Humans cannot hear low-frequency sounds. We have limited exposure to the listing power. This is not the case with the animals. 

When the Cat hears to sound of crying, she can feel the pain in the voice. Different types of sound emit emotion. 

When the animal listens to such a painful voice, they feel someone is in pain. They freak out when they see such loud sounds around them.

The common reason for the cat freaking out when they hear you crying is the brain activities in their minds. 

We all have a similar pattern in the brain when it comes to processing information. The reptile brain, whose job focuses on survival, becomes alert when they hear the crying sound. 

The cat may think something is around, which causing your fear. When they hear the painful sound in your voice, they start believing that now their survival is at stake. 

They get freakout and start feeling afraid of strange things. The cat has never seen you crying or heard you cry in the home. 

When they suddenly see you behaving unusually, they believe something is wrong in the environment, which causes you to produce the crying sound. 

The repetitive crying sound could upset them, and they will hide under the sofa or somewhere safe place to avoid facing trouble. 

Why does my cat get upset when I cry?

Cat takes utmost care of their survival. You will notice even the little sound can keep them away the whole night. The cat hearing power is excellent. They can hear the things happening across the things. The primary objective of the cat is their survival. When you produce the loud crying sound, they freak out because they feel there is something unusual going on, making you cry. 

Especially when you shout out with the higher pitch noises, it would feel like the wounded animal in the forest. 

Such a loud and painful sound indicates a predator around the home, which is the best threat now to the cat. 

As a flight response, the cat starts running in the home, finding the place to hide until the sound vanishes. 

Some cats develop a higher level of anxiety if they hear the sound repeatedly. They even stop eating the food and keep themselves away from the open place to secure their life. 

They believe in their instinct, and they try to keep themselves away from the preditor at any cost.

Can cats tell if you’re crying?

Yes. Cats are good at identifying the change in your behavior. They do not read your emotion, but the cat will develop a sense of change in the facial expression. When you are happy, the cat responds to your happiness with a smile and playful nature. 

In contrast, when you are low and depressed, the cat might have seen you behaving abnormally in such an emotional state. 

They will respond with similar emotions and try to be with you during this period. In many cases, the human action is learned by the cat, and these patterns help them understand how your mood is on a particular day. 

When people are upset, they try to spend time with their pets. They feed them, cuddle them, pet them more than normal days. Your cat notices this change in the behavior, and they respond to this with an emotional connection. 

You will see your cat is spending more time sleeping, not spending time in the regular activities, trying to stay calm, not disturbing you during this period. 

Even sometimes, the cat tries to come close to you and spend time with you. They will try to mimic the experience to make you recover from the sad state of mind.

Why does my cat attack me when I cry?

Cat generally reacts to the unusual behavior of the person or animal around them. Even when you have two cats at home, if one starts crying or making noise, the other will start biting them to stop them. It is believed that biting is the only way the wild animal finds the normal practice to calm the other person down. You feel the response as a bite, but actually, they are trying to stop you from making the wired noise. 

Cat does not understand (or human meows) the crying sound or the pain you feel. They are highly responsive to any sound that is produced around them. Sometimes cat bites you to get your attention. They do not know how to respond to other senses or activities other than biting. The cat uses biting or the meow sound to grab the attention of the owner. 

The loud crying sound indicates there is something with you or around them. They use the biting as an indication to stop making such a sound. You will notice they develop anxiety when they hear the sound the first time. 

They might see your predator who is going to attack them. If you become harsh on them while producing the crying sound, the cat will attack you feeling you are trying to hurt them. Cat becomes very aggressive when they see moving objects, or the person is trying to hurt them. They will do whatever they can to save their life. 

Why does my cat cuddle me when I cry?

A cat can sense when you are going through a tough time. They are good at reading your emotion, facial expression, activities, and overall behavior. When they see your behavior change and are a little down today, they try to cuddle you to cheer you up to get out of the emotional state. 

When they see you cry, they come close to you to stop you from crying. Cat does not like the painful voice. It makes them develop anxiety. If they find their owner is crying, they use their method to calm you down.

Some cats follow the pattern they have seen in the past. The cat cuddles you when they feel cuddle will help them get more food as you have done in the past. 

Any owner’s behavior makes them get food. They remember those behavior patterns and repeat them to win your heart.

However, some people believe the cat does understand the emotional changes and pain. The cat would try to calm the owner down when they see you crying. 

They feel sad and distress. When their owner is unhappy, the cat looks unhappy during this period. You would see them stop meowing sound. 

The cat will change her behavior, and you will see they are not spending most of the time sleeping or sitting at one place the whole day. 

The cat will try to give you space during this time and recover faster from the emotional pain you are going through in this period.


Many cat lovers have said on the many online forums and discussion boards that they have seen “Cat freak out when I cry.”

It is common behavior of the cat and can be experienced with all kinds of cat breeds. Once your cat has developed an emotional bond with the owner, they start following your routine. 

They will observe all your activities closely. Whatever activities make you feel good would be repeated by the cat to keep you happy. 

The whole purpose of the cat’s behavior changes or activities is to keep their owner happy to feed them with more food. 

You will notice the cat would develop the pattern where they detect when you feed them. You can use the natural tendency of the cat to make them follow your instruction.  

Whenever they respond as desire, feed them with their favorite food to follow the pattern.

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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