Why do cats only feel contempt?

| March 22, 2012 | Comments (6)
Contemptuous cat

What do you think this cat is thinking about you?

In our previous post about why cats purr we wrote that the only feeling that cats can feel is contempt. After publishing that post, emails have flooded in from fans saying that the question has plaguing them for a long time: Why do cats actually feel so much contempt?

The question is not easy. To answer it, we have to go deeper into a cat’s psyche, needs and wants. What awaits there, however, is quite shocking to most people.

The cat and mouse contempt experiment

Believe it or not, cats are one of the few things that scientists have yet to really understand. In one famous experiment, conducted by renowned Ph.D. and professor, Dr. Zeal, a mouse was put into a room with a hungry cat. The mouse was fragile – although it was young and fresh, it simply wasn’t strong and couldn’t run fast.

When the mouse was put into the room, the cat curiously walked up to it and started playing with it. But the game didn’t last long – the cat soon lost interest. It didn’t even eat it, even though it hadn’t been fed in a long time and was very hungry.

Meanwhile, the older cat wasn’t doing anything but curiously watching the younger mouse.

Next, the professor brought in an already dead mouse. The cat immediately ate it.

After that, the professor killed the first mouse and put it into the room. The cat walked up to it and smelled it, but refused to eat.

Finally, the professor brought in a healthy and strong mouse. As soon as it saw the cat, it tried fleeing. The cat chased it with great enthusiasm, and finally caught it. After some torturous play, the cat finally ate the mouse.

According to Dr. Zeal, the curious behaviour proves that contempt is one of the cats basic emotions – perhaps even its only one: “When the weak mouse didn’t create any real resistance, the cat simply felt so much contempt that it didn’t even want to eat it. Meanwhile, the dead mouse was just a food object in the cat’s mind. You can’t feel contempt for food – it is simply food. So the cat simply ate it without any real emotion as a motive. And the final mouse didn’t awaken any feeling of contempt in the cat – it made good resistance. Hence, the cat could eat it.”

Dr. Zeal is also quick to point out that the cat didn’t feel respect for the final mouse: “It was not respect the cat felt – cat’s can only feel contempt. Instead, the final mouse simply failed to arouse any emotion in the cat. As a result, the cat simply chased it to satisfy its hunger.”

Beware your cat’s contempt

Next time you play with your cat, be careful not to appear too weak towards it. In the best case scenario, the cat will simply not feel anything special about you. But if you make a mistake, your cat can feel a strong feeling of contempt towards you.

You have probably noticed this when your cat suddenly stops playing with you, or suddenly loses interest.

Lucky for cat-owners though, cats memory is short. In 10-20 minutes your cat will have forgotten everything it felt for you, and treat you like its toy again.

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Category: Pets

Comments (6)

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  1. Laurie Nelson says:

    What a bunch of garbage about cats feeling contempt. This sounds like the “researcher” didn’t know cats very well. Notice, too, his bogus name–Dr. Zeal. Probably the reason the cat didn’t eat the fragile mouse is because it sensed (possibly smelled) something about the mouse that made it realize it might get sick if it ate the mouse.

    The reason it chased and played with the active, healthy mouse for a long time before eating it is because that behavior is instinctual in cats.

    I ran across this site accidentally. If this is the kind of stuff you publish, I won’t be visiting it again.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your comment, Laurie.

      We will be revisiting Dr. Zeal’s research to see if any further research is needed into your comments. I am sorry that we did not fulfill your expectations with this post and appreciate your feedback. We take our readers’ opinions very seriously and will talk to our research team to investigate this further.

      Site Administrator

    • Phil says:

      Okay, you say its in the cats instinct to “play” with its prey before it kills it, doesn’t this suggest a cat has cruel instincts to torture a much smaller animal than itself, as it would do with a rabbit, or even a small child because it wouldn’t be able to defend itself. Cats are basically small lions or tigers, and they wouldn’t think twice of killing a human if hungry. This shows they do indeed feel contempt and don’t show any emotions such as loyalty.

  2. Indu says:

    Phil – Cats chase and hunt.It’s an instinct thing, pretty much in the same way that most dogs chase cats (although I’m told they can be trained out of it). Yes, it’s cruel, but calling labeling cats themselves as cruel is like calling dogs bloodthirsty for killing cats. It’s a facile, weak argument.

    You want to see emotion? Watch a cat groom it’s kitten(s). And if you think that’s just a natural survival instinct (to ensure it’s genes are passed on), actually take the time to bond with a cat, and watch it try to groom you! Or bump noses with you (exposing it’s weakest part). Then talk.

    In the mean time, please stop spreading this ridiculous stereotype. Cats have a bad enough rep as is. Thank you.

    • Dave says:

      Well, you talk of a cat grooming a human as an expression of love or affection. Allow me to disabuse you of this notion.

      Cats do not “groom” to keep themselves neat and clean. You (and many others) anthropomorphize this behavior. Cats lick themselves to reestablish their scent on their bodies, on kittens on any item they consider their own. Cats rub their jowls, chins, nose to mark their ownership and not out of love. Ever wondered why your kitty licks itself clean right after you caress it? It hates your scent on its body. Source: living with cats.

      Please understand that facts need to be given due consideration and not twisted to suit certain opinions.

  3. Chris Vaughn says:

    I think it’s hilarious that people are discussing what cats “feel” as if anyone knows what an animal “feels” emotionally. Everything that this blogger has posted about anything is presented as a “truth” or “no bullshit”, but it is clearly just a bunch of crap that he made up.

    “Contempt”. LOL!

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