A cat’s seemingly irrational hatred of their owner’s husband has got the internet speculating that the furry feline “knows something” she doesn’t.
Some people believe cats to be excellent judges of character, pointing to the apparent innate ability of many felines to read human emotions.
If their owner feels low, a cat may offer comfort. Alternatively, if they are angry or annoyed, a feline friend may instead keep their distance. Similarly, cats have been known to keep a distance from certain individuals in the home.
While these claims currently remain more grounded in subjectivity than science, a pet’s judgment can, on occasion, impact human relationships. In the case of Aurora the cat, her owner Amy and her helpless husband, it’s certainly starting to get a little weird.
Footage of Aurora shooting a death stare in the direction of Amy’s partner was uploaded to TikTok under the handle roro.cat, where it quickly gained traction, racking up over 5 million views. It can be watched here.
“She hasn’t blinked for two hours,” Amy wrote alongside the clip, which features Aurora, sitting on their coffee table, staring, motionless, at her husband.
Her partner looks understandably unsettled, though seems happy to jokingly play along. “My cat hates my husband,” Amy explains in a caption accompanying the video. “She will just stare at him like this until he leaves the room.”
To add insult to injury, Amy revealed that her husband actually brought the cat home from an animal shelter as “a present” for her.
But while the clip was clearly shared on social media in good humor, for many, joking or otherwise, Aurora’s behavior represented a “red flag” about Amy’s husband.
Impulsebreeder said: “Girl she’s trying to tell you something,” with self.timer.tori in agreement, writing: “She knows something we don’t.”
“Beware,” kaylalala298 warned. “They are usually spot on.” 6emerald9, meanwhile, noted: “If a cat doesn’t like someone, I don’t like them.”
Purplehazeee0 was similarly convinced, writing: “Your cat knows more than you…they feed off energy,” while crystallezuniga claimed: “My dog hated my ex husband and she was right.”
Not everyone was quite so convinced though. “The people in the comments are so dramatic,” Raina Monet said. “My male cat hates everyone except for me.”
While there appears to be plenty of people willing to back the idea that cats are good judges of character, the scientific evidence suggests otherwise.
In a 2021 study conducted by researchers in Japan, scientists found that cats did not avoid strangers who openly refused to help their owners.
The experiment saw a cat watch their owner try to get something out of a box. Two strangers sat on either side of their human companion. In each iteration, the owner turned to one of the two strangers and asked them for help.
In half of the trials, the stranger agreed to help, while in the other half they refused. In each test, the stranger who was not interacted with sat motionless.
Then, the two strangers offered the cat a treat. When this test was conducted with dogs, they demonstrated a clear negativity bias by repeatedly opting not to take food from the stranger who refused to help—something which indicated they felt distrustful of this individual.
However, when the cats were tested they showed little preference for the helper and made no effort to avoid the unhelpful person.
All of which suggests cats may not be the best judges of character and that Aurora’s owner Amy need not worry about her marriage.