Do Cats Sulk?

Do Cats Sulk?

No, cats don't sulk.  I don't believe they do.  I don't believe that cats have these sorts of emotions. Sulking requires resentment and a simmering protest at being wronged or scolded, or punished.  Cats don't harbour resentment or go on protest marches or become surly and difficult as a way of protesting against the treatment meted out to them by their human caretaker.  You never see that sort of behaviour from a cat.
Photo by Nick Hewson

What you will see in response to scolding or punishment is possibly some confusion, some nervousness and anxiety. A cat may go off to a quiet corner after being scalded but that is not an indication that the cat is sulking but more an indication that the cat is getting out of the way and possibly hiding.

Increased or heightened forms of punishment will end up with the cat becoming defensively aggressive. Once again the domestic cat is not responding with sulking but in an entirely different manner, the manner of a domestic cat.

It is very easy to treat the domestic cat, which is after all a member of the family, as a small human infant. This of course is anthropomorphising the domestic cat and it can lead to some misinterpretations of cat behaviour.

The only way to care for a cat probably is to fully understand his nature and then to comply with it.  It's no good fighting against the behaviour of a domestic cat.  You will always lose and if you don't lose the argument you will lose the cat.


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