We know that when you leave your house every day for work, your dog can get upset but also instantly cheers up at your return. If you have a cat, it hisses to scare you away or purrs at you when happy. Because being happy, sad, or angry are very basic emotions, everyone feels them, even animals. However, the real question is, can they feel complex emotions like being embarrassed or disappointed? Let’s find out!
The Notion of Being Embarrassed
Embarrassment is an emotion people feel when they think they have let down others or failed in a specific scenario. It can be as straightforward as falling in front of someone or as complicated as violating a social norm. It’s also possible that one undergoes the feeling of guilt, shame, or regret when embarrassed. Being embarrassed holds a social purpose. It makes us aware that we made a mistake, learn from it, and avoid repeating it in the future. So, you can say it’s crucial to feel embarrassed for humans to survive, but is it also important for pets to feel the same?
Can Pets Feel Embarrassed?
In a study done by researchers, they observed that monkeys, when they take a fall, check whether others have noticed it. It could seem like they were embarrassed, but it doesn’t necessarily prove it. Suppose your cat is scratching the furniture. Now, that’s natural for cats, but when caught, they instantly stop or run away. Could it mean that the cat was embarrassed? Not entirely. It’s possible your cat just got scared or simply didn’t want to upset you. A theory states that pets can pick up our moods and body language. So, they are likely responding to our reactions and emotions instead of feeling embarrassed. There is still very little research on the topic, so the correct answer is still up for grabs.