What Do Cats Look Like When They Cry?

As a cat owner, you know that your feline friend is an emotional creature. But have you ever wondered what they look like when they cry? Many people believe that cats don’t cry, but the truth is, they do. However, their tears are not always visible to the naked eye. As cat lovers, it’s essential to recognize the signs of a crying cat as it could indicate an underlying medical issue or emotional distress.

So, what exactly do cats look like when they cry? Well, it’s not as straightforward as you might think. Cats have a unique way of displaying their emotions, and their tears are no exception. Sometimes, you may notice damp spots around their eyes; other times, changes in behavior or excessive grooming may be more apparent.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the different ways that cats display their tears and investigate what these behaviors could indicate. We’ll also cover how to identify if your cat is crying due to a medical issue or emotional distress. Whether you’re a seasoned cat owner or planning to adopt one soon, this blog post is a must-read to ensure you understand and take care of your feline friend’s emotional and physical health. Get ready to learn all about those tearful moments with your furry companion.

What Cats Look Like When They Cry

Cats are fascinating creatures with complex emotions, and it’s essential to pay attention to their behavior and body language to identify when they’re crying. While cats don’t cry tears like humans, they can still display signs of sadness, fear, or anxiety that can indicate something is wrong.

One of the most common signs of distress in cats is excessive grooming or licking. This behavior can lead to hair loss or skin irritation over time and may indicate that your cat is feeling anxious or stressed.

Another tell-tale sign that your feline friend is upset is changes in their body language. When they’re feeling unwell or distressed, they may have dilated pupils, flattened ears, and a hunched posture. They may also refuse to eat or play and avoid social interaction with their owners.

In some cases, cats may vocalize their distress through meows or growls. While it’s important to pay attention to your cat’s vocalizations, it’s essential to observe their behavior and look for any signs of illness or injury.

When a cat cries, you may notice watery eyes or discharge from their eyes. These symptoms can be caused by various factors such as allergies, infections, or irritants. However, if you notice that your cat is displaying other signs of discomfort or distress, it’s crucial to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying health issues.

Furthermore, cats may also display changes in appetite or sleeping patterns when they’re upset or sad. They may become more withdrawn and avoid interaction with their owners or other pets, losing interest in activities they once enjoyed.

Physical Signs of Sadness in Cats

It can be challenging to determine when your normally stoic and independent cat is feeling sad or distressed. Fortunately, there are physical signs that you can look out for to detect if something is amiss.

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The first physical sign of sadness in cats is lethargy. If your usually active and playful cat suddenly seems disinterested in playing or interacting with you, it could be a sign of sadness. Keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and take note of any changes in activity levels.

Another physical sign that your cat may be feeling down is a loss of appetite. If your cat is not eating as much as usual or has stopped eating altogether, it’s crucial to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying health issues. A decrease in appetite can be a symptom of various health issues, including sadness.

Excessive grooming is another physical sign that your cat may be feeling anxious or distressed. While cats are known for their fastidious grooming habits, if your cat is excessively grooming themselves or pulling out their fur, it’s time to pay attention to their behavior and seek professional help.

If your normally social cat suddenly starts hiding under furniture or in secluded areas, it could be a sign that they are feeling sad or anxious. Keep an eye on your cat’s hiding habits and try to create a safe and secure environment for them.

Lastly, changes in vocalization can indicate that your cat is feeling sad or distressed. Cats use a variety of vocalizations to communicate, so if your cat’s vocalization patterns change suddenly or they start meowing more frequently than usual, it could be a sign that they are feeling down and out.

Common Behaviors That Indicate a Cat is Crying

Cats are known for their stoic nature and can be masters at hiding their pain and discomfort. But how do you know if your cat is crying? Here are some common behaviors to look out for.

Excessive Tearing or Discharge

One of the most obvious signs that your cat is crying is excessive tearing or discharge from their eyes.

This can be accompanied by redness or swelling around the eye area. If you notice your cat pawing at their eyes or rubbing their face against objects, they may be trying to relieve any discomfort.

Remember, cats’ tear ducts are primarily used to keep their eyes lubricated, so any excess fluid could indicate a health concern.

Changes in Vocalization

Cats are known for their unique vocalizations, but when they’re crying, they may sound different than usual. Your cat may meow or yowl more frequently, and their sounds may be more plaintive or distressed than their usual meows. They may also become more withdrawn or lethargic, indicating that they’re experiencing physical or emotional pain. Pay attention to changes in the tone and frequency of your cat’s meows.

Grooming Habits

Cats are fastidious groomers, but changes in grooming habits can also indicate that your cat is crying. Some cats may lick themselves excessively, causing bald patches or skin irritation. Alternatively, they may neglect their grooming entirely and appear unkempt or disheveled. This behavior may be due to physical discomfort or emotional distress.

Consult with a Veterinarian

It’s important to understand that these behaviors can also be indicative of other health concerns. So, if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or appearance, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. They can help determine if your cat is experiencing emotional pain or discomfort and recommend the best course of action. Remember, early detection and treatment can prevent further health complications.

What Causes Cats to Cry?

Many people assume that cats are stoic and independent creatures that don’t cry. However, this is a misconception as cats can cry just like humans. It’s not always easy to tell if a cat is crying as they don’t shed tears the same way humans do. Instead, cats’ tear ducts drain into their noses, so any excess moisture usually appears as nasal discharge.

So, what causes cats to cry? There are several reasons why your feline friend may cry.

Firstly, eye irritation or infection can lead to excessive tearing. This could be due to allergies, foreign objects in the eye, or conjunctivitis. If you notice your cat’s eyes are irritated and they’re producing more tears than usual, it’s essential to take them to the vet for an examination and appropriate treatment.

Secondly, stress and anxiety can cause your cat to cry. Cats are sensitive creatures and can become overwhelmed by changes in their environment or routine. If you’ve recently moved houses or added a new family member, try providing a safe and secure environment for your cat to ease their discomfort.

Thirdly, physical pain or discomfort can cause your cat to cry excessively. If you notice your cat crying more than usual, it could be due to an injury or illness that requires immediate attention from a vet. Don’t ignore your cat’s crying as it could be a sign of something more serious.

Lastly, some cats may cry simply because they want attention. They crave social interaction and love from their owners just like humans do. If you notice your cat crying for attention, provide them with plenty of love and affection to help ease their anxiety and stress.

How to Comfort a Cat Who Is Crying

Cats are unique creatures, and they express their emotions differently than humans. When a cat is crying, they may not shed tears like humans, but they may exhibit other signs of distress. If your cat is crying, it’s essential to understand what might be causing their distress and provide them with the comfort and support they need.

Identify the cause of their distress

The first step in comforting a crying cat is to identify the reason for their distress. This could be anything from a change in their environment to an underlying health issue. Once you’ve identified the cause, you can take steps to help alleviate their stress.

Provide a safe and quiet space

As a pet owner, one of the ways to comfort a crying cat is to offer them a safe and quiet space where they can retreat and feel secure. This could be a cozy bed in a secluded area of your home or a cardboard box lined with soft blankets. Make sure the space is away from any loud noises or distractions that could further upset your cat.

Offer food and water

If your cat hasn’t eaten or drank in a while, offering them some food or water can help ease physical discomfort they may be experiencing and provide them with some much-needed distraction. It’s also important to note that cats may cry when they’re hungry or thirsty.

Use physical touch and affection

Cats love physical touch and affection, especially when they’re feeling down. Gently petting them while speaking to them in a calm voice can help ease their anxiety and provide some much-needed comfort. You can also try using pheromone sprays or diffusers designed specifically for cats, which can help promote feelings of calmness and relaxation.

Seek professional help

If your cat is still crying despite your efforts, it’s essential to seek professional help from a veterinarian. They can examine your cat and determine if there’s an underlying medical condition that needs treatment. Sometimes, constant crying can be a symptom of an underlying health issue, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to Tell if Your Cat Needs Medical Attention

Here are some key things to look out for:

Vocalizing or Meowing Excessively:

Your cat may exhibit excessive vocalization or meowing when experiencing pain or discomfort. If your cat is crying more than usual, it’s essential to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Cats are known for hiding their pain, so if your cat is showing obvious signs of discomfort, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly.

Changes in Behavior or Appetite:

If your cat suddenly stops eating or drinking, this could be a red flag. Similarly, if your cat is avoiding social interaction with you or other pets in the household, it’s important to investigate further. If your cat seems more lethargic than usual, this could also be an indication of an underlying health problem. Don’t ignore these changes and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Physical Symptoms:

Physical symptoms can also be a key indicator that your cat needs medical attention. If you notice any unusual lumps or bumps on your cat’s body, visible injuries such as cuts or bruises, swelling, or open wounds, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. Additionally, if your cat is experiencing any respiratory issues such as coughing or wheezing, this could be a sign of an underlying respiratory infection.

Excessive Grooming or Licking:

Cats may groom themselves more than usual when they’re feeling anxious or stressed. However, excessive grooming can also be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you notice that your cat is excessively grooming themselves, it’s important to investigate further and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Changes in Litter Box Habits:

If your cat suddenly starts going outside of the litter box, this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other medical issue. If your cat is straining to urinate, has blood in their urine, or seems to be in pain while using the litter box, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

Tips for Preventing Your Cat from Becoming Distressed or Anxious

Cats are known for their independence, but they can also experience anxiety and stress. As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of distress in cats and take steps to prevent them from becoming anxious or upset.

Establish a Routine:

Cats thrive on predictability, so it is essential to keep a routine. Changes to their environment or daily schedule can cause stress. Try to keep feeding times, playtimes, and litter box cleaning times consistent each day. If you need to make changes to your cat’s routine, try to do so gradually over time.

Provide a Safe Environment:

Cats need a place to retreat and feel safe when they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Provide your cat with a cozy bed or hiding spot where they can go when they need some alone time.

Additionally, providing your cat with plenty of toys and scratching posts can help them release stress and anxiety.

Regular Exercise:

Playtime is crucial for cats as it provides physical stimulation and mental stimulation that can reduce stress levels.

Interactive toys such as puzzle feeders or toys that mimic prey can also provide mental stimulation and help prevent boredom.

Positive Reinforcement:

Reward your cat with treats or praise when they display calm behavior or use their designated scratching post instead of furniture.

Positive reinforcement can help build trust between you and your cat and create a more relaxed and happy environment for everyone involved.

Pay Attention to Your Cat’s Behavior:

If you notice any signs of distress, such as excessive meowing, pacing, or aggression, try to identify the cause of their anxiety and address it accordingly. It could be something as simple as a loud noise or unfamiliar scent in the home that’s causing your cat to feel stressed.

Regular check-ups with the vet can also help catch any underlying health issues that may be causing anxiety.

Introduce Changes Gradually:

Major changes in your cat’s environment such as moving or introducing a new pet should be done gradually. Give your cat time to adjust and provide them with plenty of love and attention during the transition period. It is essential to make sure your cat feels safe and secure in their new environment.


In conclusion, cats are complex creatures that experience a range of emotions, including sadness. Although their tears may not be as visible as humans’, it’s important to recognize the signs of a crying cat. These can manifest in various ways, such as changes in behavior or appetite, excessive grooming, hiding habits, and altered vocalization patterns.

If you notice any physical symptoms or behavioral changes in your cat, seek professional help from a veterinarian immediately. To comfort a crying cat, provide them with a quiet and safe space away from loud noises or distractions. Offer them food and water and use physical touch and affection to ease their anxiety.

Preventing your cat from becoming distressed or anxious involves establishing a routine and providing them with plenty of mental stimulation through toys and scratching posts. Regular exercise and positive reinforcement can also help build trust between you and your feline friend.

In summary, understanding what cats look like when they cry is crucial for maintaining their emotional and physical well-being.