Just like us, cats, dogs, and some other animals are able to produce tears. Remember that our bodies use tears for more than just crying – for example, if dirt gets in your eye, your body will produce natural tears to wash it away. The same thing can happen to a cat or dog with something irritating in their eye: Their eye might tear up to wash away the bothersome object.
Whether or not cats and dogs cry from sadness isn’t clear. The eyes of an animal might water or tear, but we can’t know for sure if it’s related to feeling sad. (Too bad we can’t just ask!)
There are, however, ways that many pets will seem to show their feelings. Making sounds (barking, meowing, chirping) more or less than usual, putting their tail between their legs, losing interest in food or games, or sleeping a lot are all possible ways for pets to express themselves. While some scientists and people don’t believe animals experience emotions like people, others point to these kinds of behaviors as evidence that they do! Even though an animal might not cry, you can still pay attention to the signals your pet sends you about how he or she is feeling!
ExplorationMan's Best Friend
Lots of people who have pets feel like their pet is able to cheer them up when they are feeling sad. Sometimes animals like dogs or cats will be able to sense when you are feeling down, and will spend extra time cuddling up next to you or trying to get you to interact and play a game.
What are some things your pet does when you feel sad that help you to feel happier? When your pet is sad, what are some things you do for him or her?
Sources & links
Hartwell, Sarah. “When Cats Grieve.” 2004. Messybeast.com. 15 Oct. 2010 Cook, Denise. “Do Dogs Cry Real Tears?” Pet Talk. 23 Sep. 2007. Parker Paws. 15 Oct. 2010 Flintoff, John-Paul. “Do animals have emotions?” The Sunday Times. 24 Aug. 2008. Times Online. 15 Oct. 2010