| Pet Care Advice By Veterinarians |

How To Apologize To Your Cat



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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When it comes to apologizing to our cats, it’s important to be sincere and make sure that the apology is genuine.

After all, cats are highly sensitive creatures, and they can tell when an apology isn’t heartfelt. So how do you apologize to your cat?

The answer lies in understanding your cat’s needs, body language, and emotions, as well as knowing what’s appropriate for the situation.

Here are some tips on how to apologize to your beloved feline companion.

Key Takeaway

  • You can tell if your cat is upset or offended by observing signs such as their tail moving differently, their pupils dilating or constricting, their ears going flat, avoiding you, their fur looking puffed up, low-pitched yowling, and behaviors like hissing, growling, biting, or scratching.
  • To apologize to your cat, approach them calmly and gently, speak in a soft voice, offer them their favorite treat or toy, and pet them affectionately, paying attention to their preferred spots.

How Do I Know When My Cat Is Upset or Offended?

How To Apologize To Your Cat

Cats communicate upset feelings by placing their tail low and swishing quickly back and forth, which can be an indication of anger or annoyance.

If a cat is feeling threatened or upset, their ears may turn flat and point to the side, resembling airplane wings.

Constricted or dilated pupils can also indicate emotional distress. Cats may also avoid you or refuse to come near you if they are upset.

Their fur may look fluffed up, and they may adopt defensive postures like crouching low to the ground or standing with their back arched and hackles up.

Vocal cues such as low-pitched yowling can also be a clear indicator of displeasure.

How To Apologize To Your Cat

  • Give Your Cat Some Space
  • Approach Gently
  • Use Soft, Soothing Voice
  • Offer a Peace Offering
  • Respect Their Boundaries
  • Spend Quality Time Together

Step 1: Give Your Cat Some Space

When your cat is upset or offended, the first step is to give them some space. Cats need time to calm down and reset their emotions. Avoid trying to pet or cuddle them immediately as this could further stress them out.

Step 2: Approach Gently

Once you’ve given your cat some time alone, approach them gently and slowly. Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements. Make sure your body language is relaxed and non-threatening.

Step 3: Use Soft, Soothing Voice

Speak to your cat in a soft, soothing voice. You might not understand your words, but they can pick up on the tone of your voice. Apologize calmly and express that you didn’t mean to upset them.

Step 4: Offer a Peace Offering

Offer your cat their favorite treat or toy as a peace offering. This can help to show your cat that you’re sorry and you want to make it up to them.

Step 5: Respect Their Boundaries

If your cat still seems upset or wants to be left alone, respect their boundaries. Don’t force interaction. Over time, your cat will forgive you and return to their normal behavior.

Step 6: Spend Quality Time Together

Once your cat has forgiven you, spend some quality time together. Play with them, groom them, or simply sit with them. This will help to strengthen your bond and show your cat that you care about their feelings.

When Should You Apologize To Your Cat

You should apologize to your cat when you’ve done something that has upset them such as accidentally stepping on their tail, raising your voice, or forcing them into an unwanted situation like a bath.

It’s also appropriate to apologize if you’ve been away for a long time and your cat might have felt neglected.

Notably, it’s important to give your cat some time to calm down before you attempt to apologize. Unlike with humans, it is often best to wait a little while before saying sorry.

Give it at least an hour, as you want your cat’s heightened emotions to settle first.

Once they are calm, approach slowly, talk to them in a soft voice, show affection, and offer them treats or their favorite toy.

Do Cats Hold a Grudge?

Cats don’t hold grudges in the way that humans do. They may remember negative experiences and associate certain actions with these experiences, but they do not harbor resentment over time as humans might.

Cats have both short-term and long-term memories, and negative memories may linger for a while.

However, most minor offenses seem to fall into the short-term memory category, and cats are likely to forgive within a few hours to a few days.

In fact, some studies suggest that a cat’s memory may endure up to 16 hours. While cats can become annoyed or angry, they are generally forgiving animals.

Do Cats Recognize Apologies?

Cats may not understand apologies in the human sense, but they can recognize the soothing tones and gentle behavior that often accompany an apology.

If you’ve accidentally hurt or upset your cat, they’re likely to understand if you didn’t mean it, especially if you immediately show concern and affection.

Cats are sensitive to the tone of voice, so avoid loud, panicked, or sudden exclamations as these will only startle or upset your cat more.

How Do I Know My Cat Forgives Me?

Signs that your cat has forgiven you include them being relaxed around you, seeking your attention, purring, and showing their belly.

Cats don’t hold grudges and tend to forgive human transgressions as an act of self-preservation. Your cat will forgive you if you accidentally hurt them.

After such incidents, they’ll appreciate a little love and treats. However, cats do remember long-term abuse, so it’s important to always treat them with kindness.

Your cat will likely forgive you if you show remorse, speak to them in a soft voice, and provide affectionate touch or their favorite treat.


Q: Is it possible to offend a cat?

A: Yes, it is possible to offend your cat. Cats have their own unique personalities, and they can become upset or offended if they feel ignored or if their favorite spot is taken away from them.

Q: How do I know if my cat is upset?

A: If your cat is upset, you may notice changes in their behavior. They may become more withdrawn, refuse to eat, or avoid interaction with you. They may also become more vocal or display aggressive behavior.

Q: How do I apologize if I accidentally step on my cat?

A: If you accidentally step on your cat, the first thing to do is check them for any signs of injury. Then, calmly apologize to your cat by using a soft tone and gentle body language. Offer a treat or their favorite toy as a peace offering.

Q: Can cats understand when I say sorry?

A: While cats may not understand the words, they can pick up on the tone and body language. Saying sorry to your cat in a soothing voice and showing remorse through your actions can help to mend the bond.

Q: Should I take my cat to the veterinarian if I accidentally hurt them?

A: If you accidentally hurt your cat and they are showing signs of distress or injury, it is best to take them to the veterinarian for a professional evaluation. They will be able to assess any potential injuries and provide the appropriate treatment.

Q: How do I make amends with my cat?

A: To make amends with your cat, give them some space and time to calm down. Use soothing body language and offer them treats or their favorite toys to show that you want to make things right.

Q: How do I approach a frightened cat to apologize?

A: When approaching a frightened cat, it’s important to move slowly and avoid any sudden movements. Offer your cat treats or food to help build trust and gradually extend a hand for them to sniff and potentially rub against.

Q: Is it possible that my cat needs some space and time after an incident?

A: Yes, it is possible that your cat needs some space and time after an incident. Cats are independent animals, and they may prefer to be alone to process their emotions. Give your cat some time to calm down and approach them gently once they seem more relaxed.

Q: How do I know if my cat is offended?

A: You may notice that your cat is avoiding you, hiding, or displaying signs of aggression if they are offended. They may also become more vocal or demonstrate changes in their eating or grooming habits.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, apologizing to your cat is all about understanding their moods and feelings.

By being observant and attentive to your cat’s behaviors, you can quickly identify when they are upset or offended.

When this happens, be patient and gentle with them; talk in a soothing voice and offer an appropriate apology in the form of petting, playtime, or a special treat.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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