This is how your cat signals when it apologises to you: do cats really feel guilty?

Ferenczi Deborah

2023. September 22 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Most cats love to be cheeky and push boundaries, as it's almost like fun for them. However even they may feel sometimes that they have overstepped the mark. Of course, they may regret their misbehaviour and try to make amends.


Maybe sometimes you think that your cat’s favourite pastime is to drive you nuts. But even a cat may feel guilty and try to apologise. Here are some of the ways your kitty can try to make amends to you.

Can cats feel guilt?

Actually, yes, cats have an extremely high emotional intelligence and they are more emotionally complex than many people think. They are probably just as capable of feeling guilt and pity as humans. In fact, if they misbehave, they will try to compensate you with kindness. After all, their owner is important to them, as they are able to form a close emotional bond with us. And when they feel some anger or resentment from their loved one, they will try to comfort and reassure them so that they continue to feel safe and loved.

How does a cat apologise?

Chances are, when you get really upset with it, its first reaction will be to hide away from you. However, as soon as you calm down a bit, you may notice that it tries to approach you and wants to be quite apologetic towards you. These gestures may include the following:

All of this is to say that it wants to get back in your good graces and be close to you.

Why do cats misbehave?

Now, to understand the issue of guilt, it may be worth looking at what the animal is trying to achieve by its various misdeeds. After all, many of its actions are simply instinctive. But it may also be trying to get your attention, or it may be afraid of something. So it is important to understand your cat’s behaviour and why it is happening, for example, you cannot reply to a fear response with anger, as this will only cause more problems.

It is worth being aware that the cat may not necessarily feel guilty, as often it does not do things out of spite or annoyance, but for other reasons. Rather, it is trying to make amends for your reaction, because it wants to see you happy. So, the next time you scold your cat and it tries to make amends, let it, because that is their way of showing love.

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