Do Cats Cry? A Feline Behavior Expert Explains What To Do When Your Cat Is Feeling Blue

shallow focus photography of tuxedo cat

Do you wonder if your cat will likely cry if you’re not home long? And even worse, if his breakfast time is late? Behavior Consultant Linda Hall knows everything about cats’ sadness and how to soothe your pet. She co-founded Cat Behavioral Alliance and helped felines and their caregivers deal with emotional issues in their kittens. Hall has experienced firsthand that cats don’t cry as humans do. However, cat tears are real.

“Inky was the cat that would run around the home weeping,” Hall shares of her cat’s grandma after losing his father, Sebastian. The good news is that Hall had the proper tools to aid Inky in grieving and, at some point, getting back to his playful, energetic self. “Just like you would do if you were suffering or unhappy over something. Sometimes animals need time and someone to care for them,” she tells Daily Paws.

Your cat will not be tearful over a smaller treat. However, he may be crying when he’s sad or grieving for a family member.

Do cats cry when They’re sad or hurt?

white cat with yellow eyes

Cats aren’t known to cry in times of sadness or experiencing discomfort. However, Halls suggests that regardless of whether your cat is suffering from physical or emotional pain, it’ll show signs of distress, including crying vocally. The noise of crying cats generally lasts longer and is more frequent in frequency than normal cat chatter. If your cat seems sad, Hall says you might be able to recognize these indications:

  • More vocalization
  • Shaking
  • Hiding
  • Reduced appetite
  • A decrease in activity and an increase in sleeping
  • Changes in litter box usage
  • Change in the grooming environment
  • Aggression

An alteration in behavior could indicate physical or emotional stress. This is why Hall recommends a regular monthly review. “Every month, walk the cat from head to tail and look for any anomalies or areas of irritation. If your cat yells and screams, he’s not trying to yell you out. It’s a sign that he’s afraid, worried, or that something you touched hurts.”

The eyes that appear to be watery don’t necessarily indicate that you’re cat crying due to grief or sorrow. Most of the time, a cat’s tears could be a sign of an illness, such as conjunctivitis, an obstruction in the tear duct, or another common eye problem. Therefore, it is recommended to consult your vet to schedule a visit.

What Does It Mean When Your Cat Crying

brown tabby cat on white textile

Meowing isn’t your cat’s primary choice when it comes down to cat-to-cat interaction. Instead, cats communicate with each by using smell, body language, and even touch. When your pet is crying, it’s saying something’s wrong.


If you’ve put up a pet camera and then discover your cat crying during your absence absent, he may be suffering from the anxiety of separation. Other forms of stress might be caused by an alteration in the schedule, a new pet, or even shifting.

The Last Day of Mourning

Hall is proof of the fact that cat owners realize: that cats are deeply connected to their four-legged as well as two-legged friends. If there’s been an unexpected loss of a family member or pet, your cat might cry when they’re upset and sad. They may also be missing their pet.

Feline Cognitive Disease

The feline cognitive disorder is similar to the human form of dementia but usually affects cats aged ten years or older. Particularly at night, cats are confused and call for their owners to assist. Installing a nightlight can help your older cat to navigate its way and lessen the nighttime yowls.


“It’s believed that up to 95 % of all cats that are over 10 years old suffer from arthritis. If you’ve got an elderly cat, crying can mean discomfort,” Hall says. The most obvious symptoms of arthritis among cats include being hesitant to climb steps, having trouble jumping, and other changes in mobility.

Other medical conditions

Any abrupt behavior change is a reason for an appointment with the veterinarian to check for any underlying medical issues. This includes crying. Cats with hearing loss who are older might call more frequently than normal, or cats with high blood pressure due to kidney or heart issues are known to voice their opinions.

How to make your cat feel More At Peace if They’re Feeling Sad and crying

Inky grieved the loss of his cat’s dad for several months. Initially, he would cry every day, taking three months to suffer. If the notion of Inky (or any cat) being blue breaks your heart, Hall says there’s a silver shining ray. As humans discover ways to be comforted by others, we can do the same thing for our beloved pets.

“The first step is always to go to visiting the veterinarian to determine if there are any potential health issues,” Hall says. Next, concentrate on giving your cat things that he enjoys most: quality time, enriching toys, and a treat.

“Spend moments with the cat. If you are often away, request your relative, friend, or professional pet sitter to come and spend time with them.” Hall suggests. Inform them that your cat’s mood is down, and let them speak to your cat when you’re not keen on socializing. Make sure to keep your routine in the best way you can.

When Inky was grieving, Hall played special music to him throughout the day. “It’s composed by David Teie and is named “Music for Cats. We recommend it to play when you’re planning to be away for a long period or when your cat is anxious,” she explains.

The sound of a cat’s paw isn’t the only signal cats can use to soothe them. “A majority of cats’ recognition is based on their scent. Keep your cat’s favorite blanket by your bed, so they awake to smell your scent or your beloved cat.” The most important thing is, Hall says, to be gentle and compassionate.

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