Can Cats Recognize Faces?


When I looked up into the window while walking past our apartment the other day, I saw one of my cats looking down at me and wondered if she can
recognize my face, or if she only recognizes me by smell. Do my cats know my face, or only my smell?

Vinsebeck, Nrw, Germany

Although I’m not aware of any scientific study that conclusively proves it, I am confident that both cats and dogs can recognize humans by sight.

This assessment is based upon my own experiences. Both cats and dogs have appeared to recognize me through glass doors or windows. And, although I can’t prove that they recognized me by sight rather than by smell, it certainly seemed like they did.

Personal experience is a notoriously inaccurate way to prove the answer to a question like this one, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that yes, cats can recognize faces.

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