ginger cat with the owner

Cats are known for being independent and aloof. They don’t typically do what humans or other animals want them to do. They usually march to their own beat, depending on their mood and their attitude. However, cats aren’t just hardened animals that don’t enjoy affection or love. In fact, almost all cats show affection to their owners daily. But are cats loyal to their human counterparts? Dogs are well-known for being loyal, but the same isn’t said about cats. However, this does not mean cats don’t have the capacity to be loyal to their human family members. We explain everything here.

Studies Indicate That Cats Can Be Just as Loyal as Dogs

Research is being done to help prove that cats are not as unattached as many people think. Researchers based at Oregon State University set out to see if cats could be as loyal as dogs are to humans. What they found is that cat can bond and get attached to their human companions when they feel safe and secure.

The study revealed that cats use their human family members as a sense of security. So, when they are around their humans, they become engaged and interactive. The study also revealed that kittens and adult cats act similar to babies and dogs when their humans leave them alone. Cats may not show their loyalty the same way that dogs do, but there is a reason for that.

Dogs have a pack mentality. They look to a leader to know what they should be doing and how they should be behaving. The leader of any dog pack living in a household must be a human. Once leadership is established, a dog will be loyal and follow the lead of their pack “leader.” This is not the case with cats. Felines are independent and don’t have a pack mentality. They don’t see humans as “leaders,” but rather as peers.

This means that humans must earn the loyalty of cats by showing them loyalty. It is a reciprocal relationship. If a cat is not being treated with kindness and respect, they likely will not show any kindness or respect back. If a cat is largely ignored, they will probably ignore everyone in the household.

Man cuddling his adult cat
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Cat Loyalty Isn’t the Same as Dog Loyalty

It should be noted that cats don’t show loyalty the same way that dogs do. While a dog will shun someone who is being mean to their owner, a cat doesn’t seem to have the social skills to recognize that any wrongdoings have gone on. Live Science highlights a study that shows that cats are too socially inept to be loyal in a situation where their human companion is in danger or has been slighted in some way.

Cats may not show loyalty when it comes to sticking up for their owners, but they show loyalty in many other ways. For instance, they might be the first ones to greet you at the coffee machine when you wake up in the morning. They might never let you hang out on the couch without them cuddling in your lap. They may “talk” to you while you make dinner in the kitchen each evening. They may even loyally sleep at the foot of your bed every night.

How to Encourage Loyalty From Your Cat

You cannot make your cat loyal to you. However, you can encourage loyalty as time goes on. First, always be gentle with your kitty and treat them with dignity and respect. Try to remember that they are their own being with their own thoughts, especially when they won’t do what you want them to do. You don’t have to go out of your way to give your cat everything available on the market, but you should make sure there are plenty of bedding and toys available in the house for comfort, exercise, and mental stimulation.

Make sure your cat knows that you are loyal to them in all facets of their life. The safer they feel in your presence, the more likely they will develop loyalty toward you. Don’t push your cat to be affectionate or interactive. Allow them to bond with you at their own pace. Being pushy is likely to push your kitty away rather than make them feel closer to you.


It seems that cats can be just as loyal as dogs when it comes to their human family members. However, their signs of loyalty tend to look different than those of a dog. Don’t expect your cat to turn into a guard cat, but you can expect them to show their love and loyalty through small everyday behaviors.

Featured Image Credit: U__Photo, Shutterstock