The Cat-Human Relationship

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The Cat-Human Relationship

The cat-human relation can be tough to understand at times. This is because cats are famous for being distant and non-expressive. This makes it difficult to gauge their true feelings and understand what is going on in their minds. However, our guide explores the complex feelings between humans and cats, how they all originated, and the factors that impact them.

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Initially, the cat-human relation developed due to a mutually beneficial partnership between humans and animals. When humans started settling in some of the earlier communities, they would store grains and seeds in tents once they had harvested them. However, since there were no locks and mousetraps at that time, these grains would often become eaten by rats.

During this time, cats have also started to take shelter in these human settlements for food and shade. In their free time, these cats would eat the rats that attacked the grains and seeds. Seeing how beneficial cats were, the humans in these settlements started feeding them, which was the beginning of the domestication of cats.

Therefore, the earlier cat-human relation developed when cats saw human beings as potential food suppliers, and humans saw them as good rat killers!

How Do The Early Days Of A Kitten’s Life Matter?

Numerous factors impact a cat-human relation. One of the most significant factors is how a cat is handled in its early days. As a child, a young kitten is also very impressionable and sensitive to its people.

Beautiful grey tabby kitten in hands.

For cats that need to be domesticated, humans must start interacting with them and handling them no more than 2 weeks after they are born. This process should continue till the cat has reached about 7 weeks of age. These 5-6 weeks are the formative part of a cat’s life and are the ideal time to teach them how to live with humans.

If a cat does not interact with humans for about 8 weeks after its birth, it can become almost impossible to domesticate them since they become “feral.” Unfortunately, this happens with many stray cats born to mothers who are not used to human interaction.

More Handlers Mean More Social Cats

Another factor that impacts the cat-human relation is the number of people that interact with the cat. As a general rule, if a cat has interacted with numerous individuals when it is young, it is more likely to be friendly and comfortable in larger settings and families.

However, if the cat has only ever been handled by one particular individual, it will be more challenging to adjust to new people. This is because such cats will be scared when they see too many new faces, having become used to a single individual looking after them from the start.

How Does Separation From Humans Affect Cats

The separation between humans and cats can have a negative impact on pet cats. If you miss your pet when you are away from home, your pet cat misses you too! A pet cat’s relationship with their human families is a profound one.

Gray kitten looks through window, feeling lonely

If you stay away for too long, you will see that your cat starts displaying signs of anxiety. This could be manifested through your pet cat over-grooming itself, looking gloomy, roaming around, or behaving anxiously.

Some breeds are exceptionally social, and they can start “talking” too much if they miss you! For instance, the Siamese cat is a particular social breed, and the cat-human relationship between them is especially deep!

Some Cats May Have A More “Materialistic” Relation

While many pet cats develop an intense bond with their owners, it is important to know that some cats have a more superficial relationship with humans. Stray cats may start to frequent a particular home or person who gives them food. Like all animals out there, cats also care for their preservation and protection.

Any human who gives them food, water, and shelter is seen as a good person. While these cats are not your pets, and they might not get anxious when you leave them, they still care for you. It is just that their care stems from the fact that you give them material protection and help, and nothing more!

However, this does not mean that such cats are cruel or cold. It is just that since they do not live with you like pets, they never develop an emotional bond with you.

Casual Relationships Can Exist Between Humans And Cats Too

As with relationships between humans, casual relationships can exist between humans and cats too. A human cat relation is casual when the owner and the pet are not too attached. Due to this, they have a loving but less intense bond.

Such a relation usually exists when the cat lives in a large household. It does not get one-on-one time with a particular individual and is allowed to roam outdoors.

Co-Dependent Cat-Human Relation

In some cases, we can also see that humans and cats have a dependent relationship. Such a cat-human relation exists when the feline has not interacted with too many people.

The cat owner usually lives alone or in a small household and frequently allows the cat to roam outside. In such a relation, the cat finds it difficult to interact with other humans since it is deeply attached to its particular family only.


As you will have understood by now, the cat-human relation can come in different varieties. It is essential to know that every cat-human relation is unique since all cats have different personalities.

While we have explored some of the factors that can generally impact the interaction between felines and humans, numerous other factors could play a part too. The best way to determine a cat’s relationship with humans is to determine the unique personality traits of that particular cat in the first place.

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