Wednesday 30 June 2021

Do cats recognise laughter?

Do cats recognise laughter? No, but they recognise friendship and affection. I take that from first-hand experience with my cat. I often laugh with him and, of course, I love him. We interact in a happy way. When I laugh in his company it is clear to me that he does not understand the meaning of it. It doesn't help him to create a stronger bond. He doesn't laugh back or even smile back. His face is deadpan. We know that cats don't really smile and they certainly don't laugh. Laughing is not in their vocabulary. It is not a part of feline behaviour. It is not part of their culture in any shape or form.

Do cats recognise laughter? No but they recognise friendship and affection.
 Do cats recognise laughter? No but they recognise friendship and affection. Photo: Axelle Spencer from Pixabay.

Laughing is meant to help with bonding. That is its purpose, apparently. It strengthens connections and indicates that people are comfortable with each other. They say that a woman falls in love with a man when he makes her laugh. It might be the single most important factor in the male-female relationship in terms of attraction from the woman's standpoint.

But for cats, it is not a part of their relationship with their human companions. There are absolutely no signs whatsoever to me that domestic cats comprehend and recognise laughter. It is not on their radar.

There is zero response on his face when I laugh with my cat as I have stated in the first paragraph! Cats don't use laughter as a bonding mechanism. They use grooming to do that job. We pet e.g. stroke our cats which to them is as if they're being licked and they lick us back. Mutual grooming or allogrooming as it is called by the experts is a major way in which cats bond with each other if there is an initial chemistry between the two.

And when humans pet their cats, it is the equivalent of allogrooming in the mind of domestic cats. So that's it, cats don't recognise human laughter and they don't need it to strengthen their connection with their human guardian.

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