Asked: 11.07.15 17:252015-07-11T17:25:00+03:00 2015-07-11T17:25:00+03:00 How do cats see humans? Do they think we are just a big cat? Animal Behavior Animals Cat Behavior Cats (domestic) Pets Psychology of Everyday Life 33 Answers 2020-12-09T05:55:56+03:00 Added an answer on 09.12.20 05:55 How do cats see humans? Many of us are puzzled at the depth of the relationship we have with our cat and wonder how do cats see humans? You have surely heard the expression: The dog has masters, the cat has slaves to him. And it is true that the vision that our cat has of us is totally different than that of a dog vis-à-vis his master. To understand how cats see humans, we must first question the attachment that a cat can have towards its master and the cat-human relationship. Many questions arise from this: How do cats see us? How do cats see us as humans? Are cats really attached to their master? Do cats have feelings for their owner? Do cats love us? Do cats understand us? Out of curiosity for this subject which fascinates me, I did some research on the Internet, in particular on scientific sites specializing in felines in order to find clear and reliable answers. I therefore share below, in condensed form, what we know about the vision that cats have of their master and on feelings that they can have towards us humans. How do cats see us? Before addressing the question of how they perceive (like giants, big cats, parents…), let's see how cats see us with their eyes. Indeed, the vision that cats have of our physical appearance and very particular: Regarding their field of vision, it is much superior to ours. In fact, cats have a 260 ° field of vision which is much wider than ours. However, for cats, their field of vision is much less clear and precise than ours. Cats see blurry from afar and poorly up close. Regarding colors, without going into scientific explanations, you should know that cats have a very limited color perception. In fact, cats only perceive shades of blue, Jaune and vert. They therefore see us in less vivid, less varied colors and in pastel tones. The night, they see but in shades of gray. Thus, your cat should distinguish you rather imprecisely and with pale colors and shades of yellow, green, blue. So, cats cannot 100% differentiate humans by sight because human faces must all look more or less similar to them. How do cats distinguish us? According to scientific publications available on the Internet, it seems that cats recognize us by means other than by vision. In fact, they recognize us by the sound of our voice, by our smell and by touch. A 2013 study conducted by Japanese scientists showed that cats who were played voice recordings recognized their master's voice among several foreign voices. Indeed, to the voice of their master, cats reacted by moving their ears while they remained unresponsive to other voices. How do cats see humans? Now let's take a look at how cats perceive us as human beings. According to a scientific article, published in the journal Behavioral Processes, cats are actually quite different from the image of the independent and solitary animal that they are generally given. To know how cats see humans, how they approach them, scientists have studied the behavior of cats from shelters and cats from families where they were adopted. All cats were subjected to 4 stimuli: an interaction with a human, food, a toy and a scent. By evaluating the reactions and measuring the time spent interacting with each stimulus, the scientists were able to deduce which of the 4 stimuli in the same room was preferred by cats. Admittedly, the reactions were variable from one cat to another, but the results show that the vast majority of cats have turned towards humans even before approaching food! It is 50% of the cats studied who preferred to approach to interact with a human while they could access food, a toy or a smell. We deduce that the humans attract cats even more than the food, the smells or the possibility of entertainment. According to another American study which developed the attachment theory of cats and humans, it turns out that domesticated cats are naturally reassured by the presence of their master. This is a sign that there is a certain attachment between cats and humans. See my article: Is a lonely cat mylhappy ? Are cats really attached to their master? YES : it's scientifically proven! Just like the principle of a child's attachment to its parents, a cat's attachment to its owner develops different characteristic behaviors: The person who feeds him and gives him all the care he needs will reassure him ; With its wild instinct (still present even when domesticated), the cat will seek to turn away from this person and this feeling of protection to reveal himself particularly independent. And even if the cat fears the departure or the absence of its owner who reassures him, surprisingly he can still not to be totally reassured when he is there in his presence. According to the scientific study published on Current Biology, indicators of attachment relationships between cats and humans support the hypothesis that cats exhibit an ability to bond with the caregiver. Ce bond of attachment between cat and human seems to be stable and very present even in adulthood of the cat. Do cats have feelings for their owner? YES : In a way because cats feel security and well-being with their master From studies, it seems that the human-cat relationship resembles the mother-cat / kitten relationship. Indeed, just as the kitten expects its mother to give it the food, all the care, all the love and all the affection it needs, a domesticated cat has the same expectations vis-à-vis the person who take care of him. And just as the cat / kitten relationship results in very characteristic behaviors (licking, meowing, purring, taste buds, etc.), the cat-human relationship also results in these same behaviors. So, your cat behaves with you in terms of relationships like he behaves with his mother. Cats therefore see humans as kittens see their mother (protective, nurturing, soothing, reassuring, affectionate, caring…). But beware, your cat is not specifically tied to you but to the person who feeds him and pampers him. Indeed, if overnight, a stranger comes to take care of your cat with as much attention as you, it is very likely that he becomes attached to this person. He will rub himself against his legs, purr on his knees or lick his hands ... All those gestures that you thought he reserved for you out of affection for you can quickly be intended for other people. In fact, whoever cares for him regularly, the cat will see them as a great mom who feeds him every day and gives him affection when he needs it. This is why a cat is totally different from a dog who is he loyal and faithful to his master. Suddenly, one can wonder if cats love us or if it's only us who really love them? Relations between cats and humans - Do cats love us? NOT : But they have a bond of affection with us. Indeed, the notion of love is very subjective. If we compare a dog who, for love, is able to risk his life to save his master, the cat is not in this strong and unique relationship of love between an animal and a human. But if a cat doesn't feel love in the strongest sense of the word, it does feel love.affection for you. It is his behavior that can reveal it: Un purring cat on your knees A cat that kneads you with its paws Un cat that sticks to you, rub his head against yours Un cat licking your face Un cat biting you A cat that offers you its belly in the air A cat that sleeps with you A cat who wants to play with you And of course you really love your cat and you can show it to him: How to show your cat that you love her? Human cats relationship - Does a cat recognize its owner? YES : Your cat knows very well who you are! In fact, your cat may know you better than you think. Experts in feline behavior in collaboration with cat owners confirm that cats learn very quickly the habits of humans who share their territory and that they know how to recognize them. A cat knows how to recognize the person who takes care of feeding it, who will give in to the treat when he meows, the person who reassures him and who knows when he needs caresses ... But a cat is intelligent and is also able to recognize what sound or action will elicit the response they expect from humans. This is exactly why he will rub against your legs every night when you come home from the office (to ask for food or to ask for hugs…). Do cats understand humans? YES : Even if they don't understand our language! Wondering if your cat understands you when you talk to him? Well no: Cats do not have the ability to understand or speak a structured symbolic language like ours. For a cat, our sentences are meaningless. On the other hand, a cat is able to interpret the way we pronounce them, the sound level, the intonation and the actions associated with a sentence or a word. The voice intonations, which vary according to the situation, tell your cat as much as the content of your sentence that he does not understand. These intonations that he knows how to associate according to the experiences he has already had allow him to immediately understand your emotions and your intentions. Human cat relationship Unlike dogs, cats are not "social" animals. Indeed, dogs before being domesticated lived in packs and learned the importance of a social organization for their survival. It has remained in their genetic heritage and in their relationship with human beings. Cats, on the other hand, when they were in the wild lived at night, alone and without any social ties outside of their reach. And even domesticated, cats have not become social animals but they are all the same in relationships. In fact, they know how to establish emotional relationships both with other cats, with other animal species and with human beings. This is why, for cats it is very easy to live with human beings but only as long as the conditions are favorable for them! Its priority is its survival, comfort and well-being. Thanks for reading 2018-12-11T11:04:45+03:00 Added an answer on 11.12.18 11:04 I don't know for sure. I can only present my impression of my cats. One was feral, she wandered into our yard as a kitten, learned to run to me as I meowed into the woods, became very affectionate and eventually became an indoor cat. She talks to me all the time, asking for different things, often just to be picked up and cuddled. She seems to think I'm her mom, responds to my scolding by stopping her behavior and then comes to me apologizing. She seems to know I'm not a cat, I've seen her learn behaviors by watching other cats. Our second cat was thrown out of a car near my house. He was clearly terrified, I put him into the backyard until I had him neutered and vetted to make sure he wouldn't make my other guys sick. I'd go outside frequently to visit him, he followed me around like a puppy. He too, is very affectionate, “finding” me asleep in the middle of the night and purring loudly. He too seems to understand I'm boss, obeys, mostly, and understands everything I say. I'll hear him another room, he's jumped up on furniture that's off limits, I'll tell him to get down and hear a thunk. He's learned a bunch of tricks, sit, down, up, high five, ring the bell, etc., but I have no illusions he's doing those for approval, he's food motivated. Both behave different with humans than they do other cats, they groom each other, but not their humans, for example. But they seem to really love us, and see me as authority. I had another cat, also found in my yard, for 17 years. She died in 2017. She was my pal, my friend, my confidant. She was not nearly as obsequious as the others. She DID groom me. I think she saw me as a friend. With hands and access to stinky food. I miss her. They are great. The nearest thing to living with a wild animal any of us should experience. 2018-11-04T05:21:13+03:00 Added an answer on 04.11.18 05:21 I suggest you take a look at this evidence based on reading the electrical signals from a cat’s brain. Eerily enough, even though it is not a high-res image, the cat seems to see us as big bumbling cat people. While it’s not far-fetched to say they can “tell the difference” as many people have spammed here, it’s also been suggested by many writings and experts that cats view us as large and confused cats that are there to help them. In fact, that seems to be the norm in terms of research of how felines view us. Cats are considered color-blind. At night, their vision grants them a lot more detail, clarity, and visibility than usual. During the day, it is grainier, almost the same effect a human would get while applying night vision filters during normal day-lit conditions. They can view shapes, and sizes, but less details overall during high light conditions. While this is not “conclusive” evidence that a cat’s brain seems to replace human facial features to look more like themselves (like a cat’s face, especially during the day when their vision is more movement-based), it is probably the best public evidence to suggest that a cat sees us more like cats during the day and sees our features more clearly in dim light or darkness. It does seem to suggest that while obviously a cat can view the difference between us and themselves, their brain might attempt to replace our facial features with those similar to what is seen by other cats. 2018-04-27T22:16:45+03:00 Added an answer on 27.04.18 22:16 Cat’s vision is geared primarily for seeing movements. They do see a few colors, those being cool colors like blue and gray. If looking straight at our face, at least a foot away, a cat is able to make out our features, mainly our eyes. Any closer than 6 inches, we become blurry. Although a cat’s vision is exceptional, it’s mainly about how well they see in the dark. It’s the combination of sight and smell that help them identify you. If you put on a mask completely unlike your face and approached your cat, they would most likely hiss and run! 2018-07-15T21:53:27+03:00 Added an answer on 15.07.18 21:53 To be fair, cats don't really give a f*** who we are.. They just want their food and pampering at the right place and at the right time.☺ Now to answer your question, cats do see us as humans, just as they will see a dog, a snake, or any other animal. They have a brain, and realize this specie is different from this specie so it reacts in different ways to all those different species. Whether to “meow” and seek for attention/food, or attack. 2018-06-29T08:38:34+03:00 Added an answer on 29.06.18 08:38 Actually no. Cats have a period of socialization around the time of weaning. It’s a bit like imprinting. At that time they take a cue from their mother as to what species will be prey, what species will be friends and what species pose a danger. Thus the kitten of a feral mother cat will be feral all the while terrified of humans. What that basically means is they will not be socialized to humans. However they may live happily in a communal group of feral cats. So they know the difference. However some cats (like my Bella) are not socialized to cats. She cannot be socialized to be friendly with another cat. She sees all cats as enemies. However she likes people. She loves all people. So to her: people-good, cats and dogs-bad, chipmunks-food. So, clearly they know the difference. But here’s the question: do they think they’re human too? I don’t know. Even though they know we aren’t cats, they may treat us like cats at times. Sometimes they may treat us like their mom or like a fellow cat in a communal group or like their kitten. I guess it’s their way of trying to fit themselves into our world. 2018-03-09T06:06:18+03:00 Added an answer on 09.03.18 06:06 Probably not. We don’t look like cats, and we don’t smell like cats. As someone else has said, they know dogs aren’t cats, so why would they see humans as cats? My cat Wolfie is actually a pretty good example, because he’s lived on the streets and in certain ways behaves very differently from cats who’ve always lived with humans. He has his own personal code of conduct, and it applies to all humans and cats. (I’ve never seen him with a dog; to be honest, I wouldn’t trust him around dogs as he’s huge and gets very offended when someone violates his rules.) You know how some cats swat your ankle as you walk by? Wolfie does this to me, my roommate, anyone else in the house, and her cats. It’s the exact same motion every time, and the message is very clear: “watch where you’re going, asshole.” In Wolfie’s case, it’s because he needs everyone to stay out of his personal space. Repeatedly violating his personal space earns harder swats, no matter what species you are. His greeting is the same for everyone—nose sniffing for friends, a hairy eyeball for everyone else. My roommate has two cats, Pandora and Zara, but he only sniffs noses with Pandora. Zara is younger and a bit too energetic for Wolfie’s liking. He greets her with a suspicious glare and a raised paw. He does like my roommate and will jump in her lap and sniff her nose, to say hi. Despite being somewhat feral, he’s incredibly friendly and cuddly. On his own terms, though. He’ll jump in anyone’s lap if he feels like it, and if he wants pets he’ll let you know (by knocking your phone out of your hand). He snuggles with me and doesn’t allow the other cats to come near me when it’s his Cuddle Time. He doesn’t try to cuddle with other cats, although he’ll cuddle with my roommate if I’m not there. He likes to play with the other cats, although he prefers Pandora. He’ll chase her and stage ambushes, and then they’ll have some paw-waving matches. Zara is occasionally permitted to join, if she behaves. Both girls are quite petite, while Wolfie is a male Maine Coon mix with battle experience. He’s clearly aware of his size advantage, but never uses it. I’ve seen him lightly grab Pandora with his front paws, flip her over, and lightly swat at her until she can stand up. It’s clearly a game to him. He won’t play with people, though. It’s as if he knows we’re just humoring him by pointing the laser, or waving the feather wand around. He occasionally chases random objects around (whether they’re cat toys or stray pieces of pasta), but only at his choosing. If I throw him a toy he ignores it. Clearly we can’t communicate on the same wavelength there. Also, he meows for food. He trills and chirps at the other cats, and at people when he isn’t expecting food (Maine Coons are known for their broad vocabulary), but he only “meows” at me, or my roommate, when he’s hungry. As I’ve said, if you violate his personal space you get a swat. If you walk too close to him, it’s a light swat. For a more egregious offense, like trying to steal his food, you’ll get a harder swat. Zara used to try to steal his food, which is why he doesn’t like her as much, and he escalated to smacking her so hard it actually made a sound. (Remember, fur muffles the sound of a slap.) That was when she realized she couldn’t fight a cat twice her size, and would instead sulk around his food bowl and lick it out when he was done eating. So, cats do treat people differently, which indicates they see us as being “different” from them. We are large creatures, who speak a different language, who don’t hunt, who conjure up food nonetheless, who are somewhat maternal (since my once-wild boy meows and purrs and kneads his paws on me. Although he was probably socialized as a kitten). 2018-07-07T15:39:39+03:00 Added an answer on 07.07.18 15:39 No, he knows you are his bonded slave for life, and he/she is the Grand Master/Mistress (hereafter referred as your Highness). Be prepared for growing arrogance and further demands. Your Highness will take the best seat in the house. Your Highness will take your seat after you get up because you have warmed it up for Him/Her. This is also true of your warm spot on the bed when you get up to pee at night. You will have to placate Your Highness with toys, which He/She will ignore in your presence, only to find them at your bedside, in your pathway when you get up during the night, or on stairs (this could be interpreted as an assassination attempt). You will be required to clean up hairballs Your Highness has horked up, while He/She stands proudly by as if He/She is presenting you with a personal gift. You will buy him a luxurious bed all His/Her own, but Your Highness will prefer to sleep in the box it came in. your Highness will allow you to pet Him/Her, but you will more often as not be presented with the Royal butt hole (I call it the one eye salute). When Your Highness does want to cuddle, or sit on you, or beside you, or behind you, & reaches out with his paw to touch your face, purring loudly, looking at you with lovey dovey eyes, it’s the best feeling in the world, and you are more than happy to serve. 2018-09-23T20:13:05+03:00 Added an answer on 23.09.18 20:13 I read an article once by an animal behaviorist about cats’ perceptions of humans. According to the article, cats DO NOT see us as big cats. The article went on to say if cats saw us as larger cats there would be issues (e.g., territorial disputes, establishment of the cat pecking order) that would lead to a less then favorable cohabitation. The behaviorist went on to say that cats see us as DIFFERENT then they are so we can peacefully coexist in the same household. I do not remember the specific article or author: however, I remember the main points I discussed in the previous paragrapshs. I would tend to agree with what this article siad; however, I am not a vet nor an animal behaviorist. If you want a more definitive answer I would pose this question to a vet or a animal behaviorist in the community. Sorry I could not be more exact in my answer and hope this helps. 2020-10-20T22:54:44+03:00 Added an answer on 20.10.20 22:54 Cats don’t see people as other cats. Cats are intelligent enough just by seeing our body language that we are not cats. Just like dogs, cats see us as people and if we tried to communicate like what cats and dogs do, it would confuse them and we would look awful funny. My cats see me as a human and not another cat. 2018-12-16T05:10:50+03:00 Added an answer on 16.12.18 05:10 Actually I have seen this question pop up before in my feed but had no answer. Recently I made an observation that could answer this question. I looked for this question but couldn't find it… but now here it is! My cats see me as NOT A CAT and perhaps a lesser being. I already had this feeling but now I have proof… 4 of my 5 cats play the laser light game with me. I have noticed that one will not touch another if the light lands on another. Like a respect thing. Some sort of code. One day I put the light on me. It dawned on me. No respect. They hit me just as of I was part of the furniture. I am not included in their code. I was so dejected. They do not see me as a cat. Sigh… 2019-02-13T23:32:39+03:00 Added an answer on 13.02.19 23:32 Your cat is plotting ways to kill you. Your cat will tolerate your existence and not kill you as long as you give him food. Your cat will let you pet him and not kill you as long as you give him food. Your cat will tolerate you living in the same house and not kill you as long as long as you give him food. Your cat will sleep at your feet in order to watch you while he plots the means to kill you. Your cat doesn’t care if you had a good or bad day, he is not excited to see you when you get home, he just wants food, or he will kill you. Your cat will bring you dead animals just to prove to you he has the ability to kill you. Your cat thinks “If I was only bigger I could kill him now.” Your cat figures if he can eventually catch the red dot he can also kill you. You think I’m wrong?…. Next time you are with your cat watch them with the point of view that they want to kill you. Suddenly everything they do will start to make since. 2018-12-04T11:32:28+03:00 Added an answer on 04.12.18 11:32 The animal behaviorist John Bradshaw said something like this and the journalists went nuts with it. The thing is, the way the media takes things out of context leads people to take it way too literally. Cats don’t literally think you have fur and pointy ears and a tail. Cats don’t actually want to mate with you and have kittens (thank goodness!) If cats literally thought you were a giant cat then that is what it would mean. What it actually means is that they relate to us largely on the same terms that they use to interact with other cats. Now, are you familiar with the concept of anthropomorphism ? That is when people project human traits onto non-human things. We do it all the time, especially with our pets. But… we do not literally believe that our pets are human, do we? No, we just often treat them like people; we tend to interpret their behaviors the same way we would interpret human behavior, and we frequently assume that they experience things the same way people do. This is largely because we are wired to think in human terms when interacting with other beings. It is the same thing. Hopefully this isn’t something you need to “come to terms with.” Hopefully it already makes sense to you that every species of animal operates this way - being wired to relate to its own kind - rather than humans being the center of the universe. 2019-01-24T10:50:36+03:00 Added an answer on 24.01.19 10:50 Many keepers of pets see a “child” in their pets and tend to “anthropomorphize” them. So why shouldn’t cats do the same and “ailuromorphize” humans? (Sorry about my Greek, apparently ailurus means something like cat …. what I mean is they see us as cats in a different shape) It’s always easiest to imagine the thinking of another being as similar to your own. Cats adapt though: Humans are talking a lot, so a cat may talk as well to get a human’s attention, when the same cat would use body language towards other cats. 2021-02-09T09:32:46+03:00 Added an answer on 09.02.21 09:32 If you are a pet lover then you might know the answer cause you seen it with your eyes. When they just born they are not able to see anything for somedays. We all know that. But did you being not able to see they have the power of observation. By that they can observe who is my well-wisher and my family. If you take caring a cat from they're beginning then your cat know you are his family. They just felt it's the place where I can peacefully relax . 2018-07-14T03:17:47+03:00 Added an answer on 14.07.18 03:17 A lot of times cats see us a creature that is just tolorated. Somties they see us as an animal that needs to be nurtured. That's why some cats that are outdoor indoor and outdoor. They will bring what they catch to you either as a gift or they feel that you need to be fed. Somtimes humans are seen as kittens who need to taken care of. 2016-06-20T11:30:55+03:00 Added an answer on 20.06.16 11:30 Cats see their owner like a guardian or a father figure. I don’t think they consider us a giant cat as according to me they can differentiate between the physical appearance. I have only seen my kitty reacting to my accessory once, when I was wearing a cat themed earrings. This was the first time when I saw her reacting to anything that I was wearing. I think she could recognize the physical appearance of the earring to be a bit different from the usual ones or may be similar to her. That day I realized that they have a sense of understanding that helps them differentiate between animals and humans. 2018-02-24T09:57:14+03:00 Added an answer on 24.02.18 09:57 She knows me by sight and even foot steps. If she's outside and if I'm not around she’d hang around at the backyard and as soon as she hears me coming down the stairs she'd immediately popup outside the glass door and let out a small “mew” as if to say, “I'm here can you open the door”. She knows a few English words namely “up” and “go to sleep”. The other day, I was on the way home and walking to my gate and Putih cat who saw me first gave a loud “meow” whilst sitting on the balustrade of my neighbour’s house as if to say, “Hi. I'm here”. Then she ran down and managed to meet me outside the glass door of my house. My conclusion is over time she stopped looking at me as another big cat but now as her carer and food giver who speaks a different language. She is highly intelligent and always surprises me. 2018-04-27T22:14:54+03:00 Added an answer on 27.04.18 22:14 Cats actually see humans as giant cats, not as a different species. So when they meow and we don’t meow back they probably get pretty confused. Here is some further reading: https://www.petcentric.com/articles/training-and-behavior/can-cats-see-us-like-we-see-ourselves/ 2020-11-22T22:36:41+03:00 Added an answer on 22.11.20 22:36 I am the largest member of the Pride. The other two members, Belle and Dorje, are puzzled by my lack of fur and my long, spindly digits, but they are enlightened beings and don't judge. Maybe they are under a pretense that I am the mother cat. I do feed them, after all. Isn't that what a mama does? I can almost hear Dorje think these thoughts as I dump the food into his bowl. He's vocal, too, talking to me in cat language that I pretend to know. And the way he looks at me. It's deep; that gaze, and it projects a comingling of the minds- cat minds that is. Belle's more reserved. She's the quiet one. She's got nystagmus and a petite frame but a quick wit. Her intelligence startles me, and I wonder, what the heck is she thinking? At night, Belle burroughs beneath the blanket and snuggles next to me, her fur and my skin touching. It's the highlight of my day. Yeah, I'm a Pride member—just another feline. 2019-11-22T19:13:48+03:00 Added an answer on 22.11.19 19:13 totally agree with Misty Lee’s answer. But to add to whether or not they think they are human- I do believe house cats, socialized to take to humans, totally think they are human. My family calls me the cat whisperer. I’ve owned one most of my life, having my first as a toddler. I’m very good with rescuing cats. I’ve had a vet call me to take a feral one that was rescued and wouldn’t go to anybody. someone found him on their school bus and dropped him off to them. And in about a month when I returned him to the vet to be homed, he was letting people hold him like a baby and wrapping his arms around their necks. I have bottle nursed feral cats I rescued that were sick and motherless. I used to have a cat that came to me too soon. My grandmother got him from a lady at work. I was a teenager and I had realized while trying to care for him that he was weaned too young. He was my baby. I’d wake up to him licking my face, chewing and playing in my hair, or curled up sleep in my armpits. He was the sweetest thing. I can remember one particular day he finally got big enough to decide to explore my dresser top as I brushed my hair. He hopped up and glanced at himself in the mirror. And I’m telling you, animals can have facial expressions that tell it all. lol. His initial reaction was to arch his back at his reflection and looked at it like “What IS that thing?” Then he stopped. He saw my reflection. He turned and looked at me in real life. Then he looked back at the mirror at my reflection. Looked back at real me again. Then looked at himself in the reflection and sat quietly and calmed down in a rather sullen way as he glanced himself over with an actual look of dismay. It literally broke my heart because it was almost like he had an air and a look of disappointment as he gazed at himself then back at me like “Is this what I look like?? Do you SEE this? I don’t look like you” It was such a sad experience, but also funny. I had to hug him tighter to let him know he was STILL my baby. lol I think it may also depend on how they were socialized. If the lived among cats AND humans, or were conditioned by other cats to avoid humans, they are more sophisticated and know. But those weaned young, may not remember their mother and siblings and other cats. We all get our impressions from our ‘mother’ figure. Or paternal figure. But if you don’t have the impression or memory, it’s easy to believe any creature, even humans will think they look just like the maternal figure. I read a book in college once, I can’t remember the name, that talked about about how we get our sense of ego and ID as infants from our maternal connections. 2018-12-04T08:57:13+03:00 Added an answer on 04.12.18 08:57 Actually, cats see us as a means to an end - that end being food, warmth and grooming. If you raise a cat from a very young kitten, it will see you as it's mother, but once the cat is a year or so old, it will become typically independent, and not really look to you for motherly attention. At that point, you are just the same “means to an end” as any other human. This is not to say cats don't show affection towards the human(s) they live with, but generally most cats don't really think of us as being as good as they are. They probably see us as kinda sad and pitiful creatures who don't know how to hunt or stalk, but still possessing some magical ability to conjure food on command. 2018-04-27T23:07:33+03:00 Added an answer on 27.04.18 23:07 Between 8:30 pm and 8 pm the next day, I am either: That warm surface to lay against, That cuddler-extraordinaire, That person who might do something interesting when she walks into another room, or That nap-interrupter. Between 8 pm and 8:30 pm: I have one function only and that is to open the can and put the contents in front of their face. Then I must step away. 2018-02-23T02:42:19+03:00 Added an answer on 23.02.18 02:42 I can’t imagine that cats see us as one of them, albeit a larger and somewhat unusual looking version. Why would they? They’re capable of making the distinction between themselves and a dog or any number of other animals they come into contact with, so, why not us too? Cats communicate with each other using a set of vocalizations, body language and facial expressions. They generally don’t try and communicate in that same way with other animals, including humans. There are exceptions when a cat has been peacefully cohabitating with another species and might engage in some scent marking, kneading, purring, etc., but cats recognize other cats as being like themselves and interact with them accordingly. Most adult cats usually meow only to or around humans. The sound may be gibberish coming from us, but cats are far from dumb and I believe they’re trying to communicate with us the way they’ve observed us communicating with each other, and with them, which is vocally. Kittens mew or meow to their mothers, but there’s more variety of “meow” sounds when it’s between two adult cats. They sometimes communicate with us using their own methods, (purring, kneading, head butting), reverting back to kittenhood, which as any cat companion knows, is mainly when soliciting something or feeling affectionate. Most cats today rely on humans as surrogate moms — we feed them, comfort them, play with them and generally take care of them. If they saw us as big cats, they’d have no need to meow at us when the food bowl is empty or when they wanted to be let out. They’d simply use the array of subtle facial expressions and body language they use so successfully amongst themselves. Photo: Salon 2018-03-03T05:00:20+03:00 Added an answer on 03.03.18 05:00 I’ve thought a lot about this and believe they just accept us as part of their family, like I accept them as my family, species independent.. My cat is a rescue, whom i got fixed and all the shots and Lemon still has the need to go out and patrol his territory. I rarely go out to the back alley where he patrols, and has encounters with other cats( sometimes resulting in minor scratches).If I ever leave the yard into the back alley, Lemon frantically tries to herd me back home with strange yowls and the “look-back-please-follow” behaviors. I truly believe he thinks his job is to protect us/me from the dangers of the world as he sees them.He truly acts like his job is to protect me and mine is to wake up at 6am and provide the food. I am his Food-cat, he is my protector cat and function so well. 2018-07-14T01:45:00+03:00 Added an answer on 14.07.18 01:45 I think that some people are seen as predators, others as friends. Some are seen as mother substitutes, relationships between any two whether they are of the same species or not is fluid. They know that we are not cats. But they don't hold that against us. My husband said that the way our cats treated me was as if I was a cat. But they treated him like a top “dog". They adored him. When he spoke they would speak back. To me they whirred and made cat sounds. I talk a little now say hello and the little cat seems to say hello back. 2019-04-27T14:07:33+03:00 Added an answer on 27.04.19 14:07 Imprinted cats (hand raised from birth) would see humans as nothing more than big cats and would also view us as sexual partners etc due to the imprinting process. Cats raised by their mother recognise themselves as cats, but as they’ve heard humans from birth and then seen them as a big part of their lives from opening their eyes we are not seen as a possible threat. If you see a feral kitten then they fear humans, and that’s simply a learned behaviour from their mother (and possibly other cats if there is a colony situation present). There are also genetic factors. When cats started the domestication process then nasty or vicious cats wouldn’t be bred from. People would selectively breed from those cats that enjoyed human company and chose to seek out our attention and company. Over time that genetic trait would become firmly fixed into the domestic cats make-up until we arrive at the domestic feline that we know today. 2018-03-02T11:12:17+03:00 Added an answer on 02.03.18 11:12 The strict answer is that we don’t know. We can’t look into the mind of a cat, let alone a sampling of a statistically significant number of cats. However, the big take-away I’ve always gotten from my interactions with cats is that they are very different. Some are just very affectionate by nature, and come right to people expecting to get a scratching behind the ears. Others are less demonstrative, while others may be very shy of all humans, even their chief feeding human. I get the impression that it is fairly common for a cat to identify its chief feeder, and allow that person to come to them and pet them, and they may also go to the person, while avoiding all others. It appears that cats have this social connection with their mother when a kitten, and it is common that they transfer this association to the human who generally makes them feel cared for and safe. Generally this would be the chief feeder, but not always. I happen to know a couple fairly well. They are both gentle and loving people, and they both strive to treat their cats with gentleness and respect. Nevertheless, it is my suspicion that the man is just a bit more careful, hesitant and gentle with his contact with the cats, although the woman certainly is not abrupt or coarse with them at all. They have four cats, and one of these came into the house as a kitten, and remains a very small cat, and is very skittish. She has definitely chosen the man without any doubt. She comes to him and asks for a snuggle all the time, and is very affectionate with him. I suspect that she has picked up on this gentleness of the man, although of course one never really knows what is going on in an animal’s mind. The simplest explanation of the choice of primary human is probably based on stuff we barely know anything about, perhaps related to scent as well and sound and touch. Some mysterious quintessence causes one cat to choose one, another cat to choose another. And of course, since cats are creatures of habit, once the choice is made, it is unlikely to change. I’ve read of some reports that have cats leaving kills for their human, even in one case leaving a kill on the pillow next to a highly depressed man, causing him to (1) have a major “Yechh” response, then (2) an epiphany that the cat thinks he needs to eat, which caused the man to get a major laugh out of the event, which lifted the worst of his depression. Or did the cat simply care about the depression of his companion and just do the only thing he could to try to make the person feel loved? I guess we’ll never know. I remember one time when I had a severe migraine, all of the cats in my entire house (4 of them) very gently and quietly got onto my lap and just lay there motionless, just purring gently. I had been drifting in and out of sleep, and never was aware when any of them got onto my lap and chest. I simply became a bit more alert, and there they were! I felt the good wishes of them flow over me. It was very comforting. It was intriguing that while these cats got along fine, they generally did not hang out with all of the other cats; they had a favorite, and they didn’t seek out the others, so the four of them laying right up against each other was a major step for them. I think they set aside their boundary issues because I was obviously sick and they wanted to try to help. It was the only thing they could do, and I’ll never forget it. It also convinces me that cats have genuine feelings for others, and can demonstrate it. On the other hand, next to any cat, even the largest of the large, a typical human is many times their size, and so they are understandably cautious. One of my cats knows me and will get in my lap and settle down to snooze, but if he’s eating (and he loves to eat), if I move through the room, no matter how slowly and softly I tread, he still runs away from his dish. It’s gotten so I try to avoid going into the room after I have put down the food, so as not to startle him. After all, if a creature as tall as an six-storey building suddenly started to move toward me at all, I’m sure I’d be scared sh*tless. 2018-07-13T03:47:58+03:00 Added an answer on 13.07.18 03:47 We have no way of knowing how cats see humans. Some people think they worry about us being bad hunters, and bring us dead mice to demonstrate how we should do it; others think they bring us mice as gifts. They knead our bodies and purr, as they did to get more milk from their mother when they were kittens, and they mew, which they did with their mother, so they could be viewing us as a mother figure. After all, we do feed them and protect/cuddle them. I doubt they consciously view us as cats. Cats do not recognize themselves in mirrors, though, and females often adopt children of other species, like puppies, so they may not realize we don’t look much like a cat. 2018-12-04T07:43:52+03:00 Added an answer on 04.12.18 07:43 The point of view from Bighead Jazzpaws, a cat… BIGISM No.30 (from the book of BIGISMS) In addition to duties like killing a mouse, I’m trainer in-residence of humans in-house. KEEP MY LITTER BOX CLEAN, FILL MY BOWL ON DEMAND, AND REMEMBER MY PREFERENCE OF FLAVOR, IF CANNED! I work 24/7 even barely awake undertaking this task with rarely a break. PROVIDE ME WITH TOYS THAT ARE STUFFED WITH THE NIP, AND A DOUBLE-WIDE SCRATCHER TO CLAW AND TO RIP! Despite my intention to teach a task once, repetition’s required if human’s a dunce. LET ME IN, LET ME OUT WHENEVER I REQUEST, AND ADORE AND REVERE ME ABOVE ALL THE REST! Pay attention, I’m teaching when you hear me cry, and beware you’re in trouble if you get my stink eye! 2015-07-11T23:05:33+03:00 Added an answer on 11.07.15 23:05 Well, since you're asking a bunch of humans on , you can be sure you won't get an answer from a feline point of view! All we humans can do is guess. My cats (I have 3) enjoy it when I nurture them -- pet them, feed them, talk softly and kindly to them, play with them. One likes to cuddle up with me and knead me with her paws like a tiny kitten does to its mother when it's nursing. So I'm going with the idea that they view those of us who are kind and gentle, and nuturing toward them as a sort of big, weird-looking cat mom. 2015-07-12T09:45:09+03:00 Added an answer on 12.07.15 09:45 Personally, I think they view us as big cats who know how to hunt for the mysterious metal shelled food. As this author points out, the behaviors they use with us are the same ones kittens use with their Moms. What Do Cats Think About Us? You May Be Surprised (Although I don't agree with him about one cat being better than two - my experience is that most cats do best with a buddy, especially in owners work or are out of the house. There are some that really truly want to be only cats, but most get bored on their own.) 2019-12-07T20:33:45+03:00 Added an answer on 07.12.19 20:33 Cats do indeed see people as big cats. The proof lies in their communication method. Every other pet I have owned and currently own uses a different communication method with people than their own species. Example my pet hermit crabs wave their claws and occasionally dance to solicit attention, food, and sometimes to get me to turn on the computer for them to watch anime. The hermit crabs will NEVER wave at another crab because in crab language, which is based mainly around visuals, can easily be misinterpreted as an aggressive fighting signal. they only do the silly dance and the claw wave for people. Cats, on the other hand, rub at humans with their faces and purr at them as they do their own species. Cats meow mainly to their mothers and likewise do so with humans. Therefore, cats perceive people as large cats. Source- I am a proud owner of two cats and a reef aquarium with hermit crabs.