Cats can come across as such independent creatures. They can survive on their own without the need of human care unlike dogs. Their nature is widely being recognized as almost snooty and sassy. Cute Figaro can give off an aura of being better than us humble humans.
However, do cats really think of us as being beneath them? Do cats think they own us?
The answer is very multi-layered. In short, cats don’t think they own us. Cats don’t have the ability to determine a hierarchy of top, middle and bottom ranks like dogs do and so therefore can’t see us being strictly above or beneath them.
How Do You Define Own?
Remember cats brains are not wired the same way as human brains. Whereas humans will think they own something meant to dominate and keep like a prized possession.
It reflects a sense of authority and control over something. Cats don’t think in terms of controlling or dominating someone. A cat’s ability to “own” someone is better explained by their traits, thoughts and characteristics towards humans and fellow felines.
Think of cats as displaying a bunch of characteristics which defines how they interact with humans. This can be through their views on hierarchy, territory, and dominant/submissive behaviors.
Cat Hierarchy With Humans
Here’s the thing. Unlike dogs, cats don’t have a strict hierarchy when it comes to who is the “alpha” in the room.
With male dogs you have the alpha, then beta who comes second in terms of dominance. If there are female dogs there comes the Alpha female dog then beta female.
The “Omegas” come last and are the least dominant.
With domesticated dogs the owner normally has the alpha status in the household.
Cats on the other hand do not have this pack hierarchy of top, middle, and bottom ranks. Their hierarchical structure among fellow cats is not as clear as with dogs and is non-linear.
With humans the hierarchy is non-existent.
Cats “do not demonstrate explicit linear hierarchies”.
In multi-cat households their territories in the house can change overtime, and they can even share spaces.
They use subtle signals to communicate with each other. For example, when communicating over a resource or territory they can show subordinate or dominant behavior. An example of a cat showing dominant behavior would be stiffening limbs whereas a subordinate cat would crouch.
Dominant cats might not always show their dominance over a territory or resource and subordinates might avoid a confrontation all together. The relationship is not clearly defined among each other.
Since they can’t demonstrate these clear linear hierarchies among themselves they will not demonstrate it with humans.
Cat Sees You As A Social Companion and Giant Cat?
Biologist Dr. John Bradshaw believes cats may just think you’re a giant cat. For example, many of a cats behaviors are similar to what it would do to another cat. Kneading and rubbing up against your arm or leg, are all things cats would do to each other.
So your cat may just think you’re this big, weird, and somewhat much uglier version of themselves.
Cats do not see us as “humans” or this entirely different species altogether.
However, not all experts share the same view that a cat views us as just another big cat.
For example, it can be argued that Cats see us more as social partners and an important means to yummy food.
A cat may treat us like other felines simply because they have a strong attachment to us, rather than classifying us as fellow felines.
Cats Can Still Be Territorial With Humans
Cats in some cases can be territorial with humans. Cats may be territorial over a specific part of the house. They may bite, hiss or raise their back and tails at you if they feel you’re intruding.
Other signs can also be urinating on their turf or rubbing their scent.
This may make you think like your cat owns you even if it is a part of your house.
Nonetheless, being territorial should not be confused with ownership.
When cats were in the wild they needed to survive and claim certain territories for hunting and breeding. Although cats are now domesticated in the house and get fed food, they still have their natural instincts.
So if you ever see your cat being territorial it does not mean they have put us in a specific category of being “unworthy”. They are just acting out on their instincts to hunt, provide, and survive.
Cat Sees You As A Source of Security and Comfort
Cats do depend on their humans even if they can come across as being independent bosses.
For example research found cats to be attached to their owners similar to the relationship between dogs and babies. The majority of Cats look to their owners as a “source of safety and security”.
In the research this was shown through a cat saying hello to their owners after they had returned from leaving the same room for two minutes.
Not related to this research, but cats show their love in other ways too like kneading, purring, and slow blinking to name a few.
So this shows in some way cats do have an affection for humans. They have their own way of showing love, trust, and depending on humans for safety.
This goes against the notion that a cat is somewhat cold and aloof, believing it is somewhat superior to you.
Cats Do Still Show Submission
Cats still show submission. So they are not entirely our controllers and masters. For example, here are the times a cat can be submissive:
A cat will lower its ears and crouch low so as to appear smaller and less threatening. A cat may also avoid eye contact to not engage the other cat in a stare down.
Other body language may be rolling over on the ground, showing its tummy, once again appearing smaller and weaker.
Dominant cats on the other hand will engage in stare downs, raise their back and tails to appear bigger and more intimidating. Growling, scratching, and hissing are all other signs a cat is exerting dominance.
So if you notice dominant or submissive behavior towards you, understand the cat is not viewing you as unworthy but simply acting out on its instincts of survival.
Times You May Think Cats Own You
In some circumstances you may think a cat thinks it owns you. Here is a list of comical things that show cats
Cat Purrs For Attention
What’s interesting cats may purr to lure their owner into giving them what they want. Cats can bury their desires into a pleasant purr, to elicit a response from their wonders.
The sound of a cats purr is extra sentimental for humans. It appeals to the maternal instinct of parents to care for their young. it sounds like a baby crying.
Maybe cats really do have us wrapped around their claws.
Refusing To Move
Ever tried trying to get your cat to move off of a book or keyboard. Their stubbornness is comical yet at the same times sends the message: “I can do what I want and you can’t stop me”.
Jumping On Your Keyboard
Regardless if you’re working hard, a cat would suddenly just walk on your keyboard like it rules your work desk. A simple push to remove the cat might result in a hiss or swat.
Tough felines think they can walk all over us humans.
Showing its Butt…
Your on the bed minding your business and your cat jumps on your chest and shows its butt on your face…How offensive, who does this cat think it is? …They can just do anything they want.
In actual fact its a way to say hello for a scent .