Are Cats as Loyal as Dogs?

Here’s a joke:

Most dogs are loyal to their masters, but most masters are loyal to their cats.

Amidst cats and dogs, the true question revolves around loyalty: canines to their masters, felines to their charm.

In this blog post, we will answer the long-forgone question; are cats loyal? And if yes, are they as loyal as dogs?

To put it in simple words:

Indeed, cats possess loyalty, yet not to the extent of dogs. Rooted in feline psychology is autonomy; unlike obedient dogs, cats hold caring independence.

If you keep reading, you’ll understand that cats love humans in their own complex way.


Are Cats Loyal? Maybe!

Are they, or aren’t they? That is the question.

The problem starts with the comparison. Do you remember that famous book: “Men are from Mars Women are from Venus”? The same is the problem with cats and dogs; their natures diverge.

The problem lies in how different cats and dogs are. Take note of these pivotal aspects:

  • Cats fall within the Felidae animal family. Within this group, you find domestic cats, large wild cats like jaguars and leopards, as well as iconic species such as lions and tigers.
  • The dog belongs to the Canidae family of animals. Under this family come all kinds of dogs, wolves, coyotes, and similar animals.
  • Since both families are different, their biological traits are also different. For example, they operate in packs with a dominant alpha. However, lions, a unique case among cats, hunt in groups. In general, cats are solitary creatures, lacking a pack structure and alpha figure.
  • This means that when a dog befriends a bigger animal or a human being, their psychology makes them believe that that human is alpha and must be obeyed. On the contrary, when a cat is adopted by a human, they consider their human as a friend. The cat displays care, concern, and a willingness to go to great lengths for their well-being. However, a master-slave dynamic doesn’t establish.
  • A cat is loyal in terms of care and help, but not in terms of blindly obeying you like a dog.

Is that all? Keep reading to learn more.

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Cats Are Autonomous Beings

Believe it or not, cats are freer than you think; they are autonomous beings. This means that they need you just as much as you need them.

A savvy approach to fostering loyalty in cats is reciprocating their loyalty by tending to their needs. They operate on a “you care for me, I care for you” principle.

You cannot play your favorite “fetch the ball” with your cat; while a dog will immediately leap to get the thing. A cat would look into your eyes as though you said something extremely stupid.

Equality is the key here. In order to win a cat’s heart and trick her into loyalty, you need to first take the role of a caretaker and provider.

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With time, cats will learn to appreciate this and respond with affection, if not loyalty.

A Cat’s Kind of Loyalty

Cats are already loyal to their owners, but some biased dog people are not willing to understand it.

Here is this thing – reverting to the cat psychology’s maze – cats are loyal in their own different ways.

Cat loyalty manifests uniquely. It involves a bond built on mutual understanding and trust. Cats show affection in subtle ways, from seeking your company to following routines. Their loyalty reflects an independent yet genuine connection.

Cat loyalty is a distinctive expression, captivating in its subtlety. They exhibit devotion through belly displays, gentle purring, toe-licking, and tender cheek rubs, endearing gestures that communicate their love for you.

Once cats know that you treat them equally (actually more than equally because you give first), they accept you as a family member and act like a loyal partner (not slave).

How Attached Are Cats to Their Owners?


Hold Science for a Second – Here are Some Cat Loyalty Stories

Do you know what beats rumor? True, reliable, and provable news.

Here are stories of some loyal cats that you must check out. They checked all the loyalty boxes like a dog.

Fancy reading those stories? Here you go:

  • Tara – Irony! In this story, a dog attacks a human kid, and the family cat Tara is the first one to fiercely attack the dog and save the kid. Loyal enough?
  • Pudding – Cute name! Amy Jung adopted this cat from a shelter and took Pudding home. That same night Jung had a seizure in sleep. Pudding woke her up to call her son.
  • Pwditat – strange name and a strange story! Terfel was a pet dog, and with the passage of time, he lost his eyesight. Pwditat was a stray cat that won her place in the family because she started guiding blind dogs from point A to B.

Doesn’t this sound like a parallel universe; a cat saving a kid from a dog, a cat playing the role of a caretaker dog, and a cat caretaking a dog?

Science, Cats, and Loyalty

As we delve into the ancient interactions between these creatures and humans, and contemplate the intricate web of dependence that existed, it becomes evident that an even more significant influence comes into play – science.

Here is what science says about how loyal are the cats:

  • A cat’s love and affection for you starts with providing, but then it grows into a sincere relationship. A study at the University of London found that while your dog will have a binding relationship with you, a cat sets you free whenever you need it.
  • Why cats are not as responsive as dogs? A Japanese study proves that cats can listen to you, but they are not wired to run and fetch the ball.
  • Researchers believe that dogs are selfishly obsessed with humans, while cats have a mature relationship.
  • Research says that when a cat rubs against your leg, it is more than just showing affection; they actually mark their territory, which means as long as you are with them (or you come back), they are possessive of you.
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So yeah … when she rubs her cheeks, it is more than loyalty.

Some More Scientific Evidence – This Time Against Our Notion

So, we believe (at last) that cats are loyal to human beings, but they have their own way of showing affection and loyalty.

I even compiled scientific evidence and true stories to prove to you that: yes, cats are loyal, and yes, their way of showing loyalty is unique.

However:

There is this scientific evidence to reject the notion that we have nurtured by now; it is better to take a look at it before we jump to the conclusion.

  • Research at the University of Lincoln proved that cats prefer to look for themselves, and they do not rely much on humans.
  • However, to some, it was good news for cat lovers. It meant that while cats can do good on their own, they still come back to you because a) they love you, b) they want to make sure that you’re fine (loyalty).

Introvert vs. Extrovert

The last angle to add to our comparison and study of cat loyalty is that of how social a cat or a dog’s life is.

While dogs are made for a party and they are extrovert animals, a cat can most astutely be categorized as an introvert or a solitary reaper.

Due to this big difference between the psychological frameworks of both animals, cats are not able to act the way dogs do, and vice versa.

This is why dogs know how to express love and loyalty, and are known as “a man’s best friends”, while cats are known as an animal that takes more and gives less.

Wrong!

Cat’s are just oblivious to expressing that bond and affection. They show love differently from dogs, and have their own ways of expressing affection, which may not include saying “I love you” like dogs do.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make my cat friendly/loyal?

At the beginning of your relationship, take it as a date. Give more and expect very less. Show affection by feeding, providing shelter and toys, and by talking to your kitty.

Do cats care about their owners?

Yes, cats can develop a caring bond with their owners. While their expressions of care might differ from those of dogs, many cats form strong attachments and show affection through various behaviors like purring, rubbing against their owners, and seeking their attention.

Are cats protective of their owners?

Cats can be protective of their owners, showing it through behaviors like staying nearby and hissing at potential threats.

How long my cat can remember me?

Cats have demonstrated the ability to remember people and experiences for weeks to years, especially if they have formed a close bond. However, the strength of the memory and the specific circumstances play a role in how long a cat can remember its owner. It’s important to note that each cat is unique, and their memory capabilities can differ.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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