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OlianderClub's avatar

Do animals have souls?

Asked by OlianderClub (86points) March 22nd, 2016

Do animals have souls?

Do cats and dogs have souls? Why or why not? Do they feel love?

My cat of 14 years was sick recently and it made me very sad. I feel very close to her like she’s my own child. Thankfully she fully recovered, but it made me think about life/death, and whether animals have souls, feel love, etc. When she was sick I gave her medicine, cuddles, blankets, and lots of love. I think all the attention and love did make her feel a little better.

Just wondering what you guys think?

Can they feel love or attachment like how we feel?

Do you think they have souls? And if they do…. where do you think their spirits go when they pass on?

My cat being sick just recently made me think of all this.

It was painful to see her being sick in pain, just like seeing any person in pain, but I know she’s an animal.

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33 Answers

kritiper's avatar

No. People don’t have souls either. There is no such thing.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Of course, nobody knows for sure. Nobody knows exactly what a soul is, or if it exists. So, this lies in the realm of belief. What people believe. I’m quite ambivalent about the subject, having been enured to all things religious or spiritual by ten years of Catholic school, but I can tell you this: When my young mind had a definite conception of souls, influenced by my catechism, I worried now and then if my dog would be able to join me in heaven. The nuns were adamant on the subject: Animals have no souls. Only humans have souls. I took this information and did with it what I often did with catechismic information in those days. I quietly dropped it in the trash bin in the back of my head. I decided that, if there were truly a benevelont God, he would let our best friends, especially those who are by nature free of sin, into heaven with us. And that was that.

Interestingly, this present pope has decided differently. All Gods creatures have souls, according to Pope Francis.

Here2_4's avatar

Some cats have soul, others are just rock, or pop


OlianderClub's avatar

@kritiper Can you explain why you think/believe people don’t have souls? I’d like to better understand your point of view. I’m guessing you’re agnostic or atheist or non-religious?

OlianderClub's avatar

@Here2_4 :D I can’t handle all that cuteness :) !!!

marinelife's avatar

I believe that they do.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If we do, they may as well.

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t confuse “soul” with “emotion”. I believe everything has the spark of the Divine’s creation within it, whether cat or dog or tree or rock.

And cats and dogs certainly exhibit some emotional connection to guardian companions, and dogs more than cats. Yet that emotional exhibit is not fully developed nor is it universally demonstrated, making me think that much of that emotion is learned.

Coloma's avatar

Animals absolutely have feelings and emotions and attachments but I don’t think I’d go so far as say they have a soul, as I don’t believe in souls, for humans or otherwise. I believe all life forms manifested from the same cosmic soup eons ago and how our forms came about is just luck of the DNA draw. Different branches, same original tree of life.
That said, I love my animals very much and they are all unique individuals as we are with their own special blend of personality, quirkiness and how they show up in the world.

Having to let go of our dear little furry and feathered friends is always poignant.
Glad your kitty made a full recovery from her illness.

NerdyKeith's avatar

There is no direct proof or evidence that any sort of a soul exists for anyone.

However if a soul exists, there is no reason to assume that it would be restricted to humans only. After all from an evolutionary point of view, human beings are an animal. I think there might be something like energy left over after we doe, perhaps that could be a soul. But like I said, it cannot be restricted for humans only.

And I believe that all creatires (especially mammals) experience pain and emotion.

kritiper's avatar

@OlianderClub Yes, I am Atheist. If you could point out where in the physical body the soul is, I’ll believe in it. Otherwise, it is only a metaphysical/religious concept with no basis in fact.

Jak's avatar

^^ ”... I just don’t like his “I’m right, you’re wrong, get lost, ‘nuff said” attitude.” and yet..

PriceisRightx26's avatar

I stayed at my parents house recently. When I woke up, I opened my blinds and saw my cat (whom I sadly had to leave behind when I moved out). He saw me through the window, came running to the house, climbed to the roof and through my window, just to curl up next to me. He doesn’t beg me for food. He’ll only take pills from me. He sleeps in my bed every time I’m home. He comes to me whenever I call. Comes to me if he’s hurt or scared (actually the cutest thing ever, because he’ll run and hide behind me). He’s my little spoon and always has to be touching me. He is only like this with me (don’t get me wrong, friendly in general, but everything to do with trust is limited to me). The only thing that I have to offer to this cat is love. I don’t live near home, so I don’t see him often. I don’t feed the cats (my mom does). I don’t give him treats or feed him scraps or buy him toys and catnip. But I can be gone for 6 months and he doesn’t miss a beat, will be my shadow from the second I walk in the door until I leave. I’m agnostic (admittedly a bit of an anti-theist), so I don’t have much in the way of divine beliefs, but if I thought soulmates were a thing, mine would be in that cuddly little shithead.

I understand that structurally other animals have less developed brains than humans, but I have found it near impossible to ever view their lives/souls/energy as any less than ours.

Glad your gal is feeling better :)

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think the term “soul” throws people off, because the word is so closely related to religion.

I can’t imagine anyone who has had pets (well, mammalian pets at least) could think that animals don’t feel pain or that they don’t love. And what basis is there for denying that they do? They have a nervous system and a brain. Humans are animals, too; we should expect similarities here.

PriceisRightx26's avatar

@dappled_leaves IMO, it’s a lack of empathy in those individuals. I’m sure I’ll catch a lot of slack for that.
From a physiological standpoint, as I mentioned before, there is a structural difference that might suggest an inability to process emotions, etc. I just think it’s incredibly arrogant to believe that the knowledge we have now in the field of neuroscience is the end-all, be-all. Neuroscience rapidly outdates itself, and yet still obtains a high level of uncertainty (e.g, the lymphatic system—something greatly understood in the body, though just recently discovered to play a part in the brain). If someone says that an animal doesn’t feel emotion because they don’t have the same pieces that we have, what I hear is “we haven’t found it yet.”

kritiper's avatar

@PriceisRightx26 No reason why an animal couldn’t feel love or emotion. They just don’t think about it like we humans do. GA!

PriceisRightx26's avatar

@kritiper Which might actually be a good thing ;)

Coloma's avatar

^ Because animals don’t have egos, lucky them. Every experience for them just is, minus the drama and ego stories humans make up over every-little-thing. lol

Lulu4500's avatar

As a Christian we are taught they do not but I personally think they do, even though it goes against what I’ve been taught. They all have different personalities, mourn and feel pain. They may inherently be without sin but I think they more or less fall in the middle ground between having nothing and having the same type of soul that we do.

MooCows's avatar

I believe all animals have souls and go to heaven!

Inspired_2write's avatar

Whether they do or not is not the real question but rather “why’ is it important to know when treating an animal or human should not be in question/
treat all with respect for life and feel glad that we partake of this wonderful existance!

Inspired_2write's avatar

**** Alert****
sending report to moderators to check into.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Clearly, all dogs go to heaven. They made a movie about it ;)

Here2_4's avatar

The link goes to YT. Nothing wrong with it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Inspired_2write The link is to a YouTube video. Perhaps your computer was already infected.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Took a couple hrs but soon returned to normal.
Messege taht I need a driver comes up, but I never clicked on it..may be loaded with a virus, and I never asked for this messege/repair.

MysticSheep315's avatar

I believe that anything can or use to dream has a soul.

abcbill's avatar

This is a question that can create such divisiveness between people of all faith-paths and cultures, yet all faith-paths and cultures have traditions of our companion animals…and herd-beasts and, yes, all animals having souls.

In another answer, I cited the Rainbow Bridge poem…which has a basis in the Viking tradition of the Bridge between the Roots and Valhalla of the World Tree.

My favorite quote regarding companion animals comes from no less than Martin Luther…“Be comforted, little dog, for thou, too, shall have a golden tail in the Resurrection”; this was spoken to his little dog Topfel…whom I believe to be a dachshund.

Is there conclusive PROOF…no. As a student of metaphysics, I perceive that there might well be many planes of existence; some chose to call the next plane either Heaven or Hell.

I chose to call “what happens next”...just that…what happens next. As David Clayton Thomas Thomas sang in the song…

“I ain’t scared of dying, I don’t really care” and death, as the Eastern paths teach, is a part of life…the next plane. I will be with Lucia, Max and my other guys, including my cats. And some of my human friends.

In my purview…animals…and humans have souls…a LifeForce, if you will. Provable, no. Do i give two fetid dingo kidneys what others think, Also no.

Be comforted, Perla, Lucia, Max, thou too, will have a Golden Tail…and Bill, DB…and…


NomoreY_A's avatar

I’m agnostic, so for my money, that’s a toss up. The jury is still out on the soul question. Probably always will be.

BasedAmerican1's avatar

Yes animals have souls. How can they not? They have feelings. Therefore, they have souls.
Cats and Dogs can feel love. You can tell by how they react to you. They can feel pain…They can feel LOVE!

AshlynM's avatar

Yes, I believe they do. They have feelings, most pets are excited to see us come home.

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