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Do Cats Cry Real Tears?

Read my reader responses, then post your own reply

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In a previous FAQ, I replied to a reader who asked if cats cry real tears. My initial response was in the negative, citing various medical reasons for cats' eyes to water.

After I posted this FAQ to my blog, the stories started coming in. Although I have still seen no medical evidence proving cats can cry from fear, pain, or grief, there are enough anecdotal stories to convince me.

Have you seen a cat cry real tears? Share your story with other readers in the form below. Note:This form is not for asking questions or replying to others readers. It is your own mini-article on the About.com Cat site.

1. Eliminate Medical Causes First

Although I am inclined to believe that cats are capable of crying real tears because of emotions or pain, it is always important to eliminate potential medical causes, especially when the tears are accompanied by gunkyness or inflamation of the eye, sneezing, runny nose. Also see your vet if the crying continues for any duration of time. None of the anecdotal stories I've read reflect the crying continuing longer than a few minutes.

2. Sheri's Story

Yesterday, one of my cats of thirteen years died. My other cat had led me to see her, lying paralyzed. I took her to the vet, and the vet had to put her down. It was the very first day my other cat spent at home alone without the other cat. When I returned home and settled down, the remaining cat came and sat on my lap. She was looking at me and then tilted her head down for a while. When she looked back up at me her eyes were filled with tears. I have never seen such a thing. Of course, my tears fell too because there was no explanation for this other than she was telling me she knew the other cat would not be returning and was sad. She had seen the condition of the other cat before I took her to the vet.

3. Mark Says his Cat Cried from Frustration

I have a one-year-old female Maine Coon (Kira) who despises the dog: she regularly clacks her teeth and makes a strange chattering sound when the dog's in sight.

Yesterday while I was working, Kira was especially agitated at the dog's presence — and I noticed large, clear drops on the desk where she was sitting. I Called her name and she looked over at me with two tears rolling out of her left eye, and one from the right.

I examined both eyes; neither were matted and there were no signs of irritation. Could only conclude she was crying out of frustration!

4. Lulana: Cat Cried After Scolding

Yesterday my boyfriend got home and found that our kitty had vomited on the rug yet again. He was very upset and yelled at the kitty for a while. Well the kitty went to sit on top of the microwave (where she usually hides when she’s upset) and when I went in to check up on her I saw tears rolling down her face. I was so upset that I began crying as well. I picked her up and held her while she hid her little face against my shoulder. I hope I never have to go through this again!

5. Christine's Cat Cried From Mourning

My cat Inky died last Wednesday. I had to put her to sleep. My other cat, EJ, sat in the box I took Inky in all night. In the morning there were tears in his eyes. He has been like that for three days. Yes, I believe they can cry. They were together for fourteen years.

6. Jennifer's Cat Cried After Being Abused by a Neighbor

Yesterday my baby Holly, got out (she is an indoor only cat). When I found her an hour later she was very upset and nuzzled against my neck like she did when she was a kitten. I felt water so I looked at her and she was crying real tears. I later heard from a neighbor kid that he saw my cat get KICKED by a guy who lives in my apartment building. Later in the day Holly was still crying. It is obvious that cats can cry when they are hurt or upset.

7. Jenna K. Posted Video of her Cat Crying

I saw my cat cry the other day. He was laying on my lap kneading on my tummy and i was telling him no. He jumped off my lap onto the top of the couch and started crying. I video taped it. It was the weridest thing i ever saw. I never knew cat could cry.

8. Bailey: Cat Cries After Fight With Housemate

Hey, this happens with one of my cats quite often. Most of the time it seems it's because she's staring out the window - and I swear- "wistfully." Last night she and my other cat started real fighting (caterwauling meows and it got ugly) over a male stray they saw outside the window.

After the crying one started backing off, my other cat was still pissed. I watched as her eyes started welling up with tears, almost as if she was saddened by the conflict between them. I was baffled.

9. Ron Wilson Says Cats and Birds Both Cry

I am a pet sitter of both cats and birds for 28 years now. I have not only seen cats cry real tears, but I have witnessed birds mourn the loss of their mate by keening, letting out long, high pitched cries upon seeing the body. Do not for a moment be so arrogant is to believe only humans have emotions.

10. Shirley Says her Crying Cat was a Con Artist

My old cat used to puddle up his eyes when it was dinner time. The tears would get to just about overflow but when he got what he wanted off your plate, no more puddling. Then he’d move on to the next person. He did this for 17 years. It was a sympathy ploy and it worked (for anybody that didn’t know what a con artist he was that is).

11. Kaye's Cat Dee Cried for Many Reasons

I have seen my cat Dee cry. He just came back from the vet after a (thankfully) minor operation to remove a lump from his tail. Even so, they cut quite deep and he had to have stitches and a collar to stop him playing with the wound.

At the time we had a new kitten about five months old. As soon as she entered the house she instantly took to Dee and followed and copied him in everything he did. They instantly became best friends!

On returning from the vets, our kitten was scared of him (the smell? the collar?). Dee sat on the floor at my feet with his shaved tail, stupid big collar and the kitten being really frightened of him and sobbed and sobbed. He really cried. For sure. Never seen anything like it. Hopefully never again!

Readers Respond: Have you seen a cat cry real tears?

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