Empaths and animals – an unconditional bond of acceptance 

Empaths share an amazing bond with animals.

It’s one that is built on understanding, care, and unconditional love – and it immensely benefits both animals and humans.

Read on to find out just how much empaths connect with animals – and why it’s such an important bond to have.

Are you an empath?

Before we delve into empaths and the animal kingdom, here’s a quick breakdown of what an empath is:

The term “empath” literally comes from the word “empathy”, which means being able to put yourself in the shoes of other people and understand how they feel.

Empaths have a unique ability to truly care for others, even if they’ve never experienced that person’s pain or worry themselves.

In case you’re asking yourself, “well doesn’t everyone have empathy?”, I’ll explain the difference.

You see, empaths take “empathy” to the next level. They don’t just sympathize with your pain or hurt, they physically feel it too.

Think of them as “emotional sponges”.

That’s why it can be tough for empaths to be around people all day because they can’t switch off from picking up on everyone’s emotions.

So to stop themselves from being burnt out or overwhelmed with everyone else’s problems, they need time to recharge and recover their emotional grounding.

And one great way to do that is to spend time with animals. But do all empaths feel this way? Read on to find out more.

Do all empaths share a connection with animals?

The truth is, not every empath is the same.

In fact, it is believed that there are eight different types of empaths, with only one type being particularly connected to animals.

But in my experience, most empaths tend to feel a strong connection with animals.

Here’s why:

Animals march to the beat of their own drum. They’re not like humans, who have spent years being conditioned by society, changing who they are to fit in and suppressing their instincts.

And the problem is that navigating through a world of people like this can be a tricky job for an empath – they pick up on the insincerity much quicker than non-empaths do.

On the other hand, animals are completely themselves.

There’s no fakeness, they’re not deceptive or dishonest (although the mischief of monkeys comes to mind, that’s usually harmless).

They have their routines, their personality, and their basic survival instincts, and that’s all they need.

All of this makes it so much easier for empaths to resonate and connect with animals because what they see is what they get.

And – spending time in the presence of animals can be a great way to escape the hecticness of daily work and life for empaths, so it makes sense that they’re drawn to animals both in the wild and as pets.

But let’s look a bit further into why empaths can read animals so well, and how this special bond can improve the lives of both man and animal.

10 reasons why empaths connect deeply with animals

1) Animals love without agenda

Unconditional love.

Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of looking after an animal or who has a pet will know what I’m talking about here.

It’s that look in their eyes or the way they gently rub against your leg when you go to feed them.

Or it’s how they curl up in your lap or come bounding towards you when you get home from work.

Animals love in a way that doesn’t need any explanation or reason. And, since they’re pretty upfront about how they feel, empath’s know exactly where they stand when they’re around animals.

It’s not always that easy with humans, so it’s natural for empaths to loosen up and feel comfortable around animals.

And that’s not all.

With animals, there are no hidden agendas or manipulation at hand (unless it’s for an extra doggy treat).

Empaths don’t need to worry about their kindness and loyalty being abused when they give it to an animal, and this only works to strengthen their bond.

2) Animals are a chance to get out into nature

And just as much as animals give pure, natural, unconditioned love to people, they’re also the ideal way for empaths to spend more time in the great outdoors.

Whether it’s to take the dog for a walk or out in the fields with horses, empaths need this type of escape into nature to reconnect with themselves.

Being around running water, picnicking in greenery, or simply walking and enjoying the fresh air are all important ways for empaths to press the reset button and detox from any stress they’re experiencing.

And fortunately, animals are right at home in the wild, making for the perfect companions on a day out in nature.

3) Animals make great life teachers

If there’s one thing I know about animals, it’s that we have a lot to learn from them.

Animals teach us about survival – they don’t waste time thinking about what the cat next door said or what their five-year plan is.

Instead, they focus on simply being in the present and on what they need to survive.

As if that’s not enough, they have a whole heap of other amazing qualities that empaths and non-empaths alike can benefit from.

Compassion, resilience, and bravery are just a few of the qualities that come to my mind as I think back over all the pets I’ve had in my life.

And it makes sense.

Alongside their survival instincts, animals love to play, interact with each other and people and they have their unique personalities.

Watching how they conduct their lives with such bravery and joy is a heartwarming and humbling experience, which only makes empaths feel even more connected to them because it brings out their sense of primal survival.

It’s this connection that helps empaths to feel like they truly know their pets or animals they encounter, it goes deeper than just a superficial meeting.

4) Empaths understand animals easier than they understand people

And by superficial, I mean not getting down to the nitty-gritty of who the animal is.

There’ll be people who don’t think there’s much going on under the surface, but animals are so extremely complex and they each have their unique ways of communicating with us.

And empaths get that.

With people, empaths know when someone isn’t being honest with them. They can hang around with you, but if you’re not genuine, they’ll quickly pick up on it.

But with animals, empaths know that they’re dealing with authentic souls.

Animals don’t pretend to be anything else other than themselves – they have nothing to hide.

So, for an empath, this exceptional ability to be able to understand animals brings them an immense amount of joy.

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They don’t need to spend time trying to work out what their pet needs because they’re already so in-tune with the animal’s instincts and moods.

The term “animal whisperer” is often used to describe people who understand animals, whether it’s when they’re in pain or just by picking cues through their behavior, and there’s good reason to believe that many empaths could fall into this category.

5) Animals need protecting

It’s no lie that our ways of living have impacted animals and their natural habitat. All over the world, there are animals in need, through deforestation to climate change, and direct animal abuse.

Even for those who have housepets, their vulnerability and size make us naturally want to protect them and care for them.

They’re our responsibility and they deserve to be treated with kindness and love – all the qualities that empaths love giving to others.

So when it comes to animals, they’re no exception.

And, as empaths feel their emotions so deeply, it’s normal for them to become upset when watching animals being mistreated or hurt.

This may increase their desire to help animals when possible and to affectionately care for and protect the ones they have at home.

6) The company of animals is relaxing

And just as animals need looking out for in the wild, empaths need their own form of protection.

Simply put, empaths can easily feel overwhelmed, exhausted, or drained by other people’s energies.

A day out in a crowded place can end up with a very irritable empath – through no fault of their own. It’s just that they’re extremely receptive to other people’s emotions and this can take its toll.

On the other hand – animals tend to be a calming influence on empaths.

After coming home from a long day at work, being greeted by a fluffy furball who’s eager to see you is exactly what many empaths long for.

They don’t have to talk, they don’t have to listen, they can simply just be.

It’s the ultimate form of company, and perfect when empaths need to just switch off and relax.

7) Animals offer plenty of affection

If you know how to approach an animal right, there’s more probability you’ll be greeted affectionately rather than with hostility.

As empaths share a natural connection with animals, they often find that their care and compassion is returned.

And what could be more humbling and joyful than having the pure affection of an animal?

It’s more than just the physical act of a brush against the leg or a paw on your arm, it’s about the company, the understanding, and the love that’s shared.

Many people describe how their dog understood when they were in pain, or how the cat wouldn’t leave their side when they were crying.

Animals do have a wonderful ability to pick up on our emotions, especially if you have a close relationship with them.

And for empaths, this can be the understanding and affection that they lack from other people, so it’s no wonder they can form such a close bond to the animals in their lives.

8) Animals are sometimes drawn to empaths

Considering how animals can pick up on our emotions, it’s natural for them to be drawn to certain types of people.

Usually, people who are confident with animals or who have a calm nature will attract them, because the animal doesn’t feel threatened and may want to explore.

But with empaths, animals can pick up on the fact that the empath understands them – there are numerous accounts of empaths who’ve had animals follow them home or react differently with them than towards others.

Here’s why:

A stray dog, for example, who’s lived in rough on the streets will probably be wary of people as he could have been hurt in the past.

But, then an empath walks by who doesn’t give off a feeling of strangeness, instead, they feel comforting, understanding, and kind.

The dog will naturally be drawn into these unseen qualities, simply by picking up on the person’s energy and vibrations.

9) Bonding with animals is a form of mindfulness

In the famous words of Eckhart Toll, “I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”

The thing is, animals live in the now. They focus on what’s going on at that exact moment in time, without worrying about what might be or what has passed.

And being around then can have the same effect on people – in particular, empaths might feel a visible reduction in their stress levels when they’re around animals.

Numerous studies show how animals can have positive effects on:

  • Anxiety and pain
  • Blood pressure and heart rate
  • Learning
  • Overall health
  • Cortisol levels (which contribute to stress)

And since empaths pick up on different energies easily, the effect of being around such calming forces can go a long way in making them feel less stressed or tired.

Who knew that just the simple act of petting a dog could bring down blood pressure, increase relaxation, and decrease stress?

And let’s be honest, the empaths and non-empaths aren’t complaining, and the dog certainly doesn’t mind either so it’s a win-win for all.

10) Animals welcome care

And just as much as animals love a good petting from time to time, they also don’t often say no to being looked after.

Most animals, even cats who are known for being notoriously independent, love being cared for and treated well.

And who can blame them?

But for an empath, this openness to being cared for is extremely satisfying and rewarding.

You see, empaths are good at putting themselves into the shoes of others and working out what can be done to help.

Empaths take immense pleasure in helping other people – but sometimes other people don’t want help.

The opposite is true of animals though.

It’s rare to see a cat get annoyed at its owner for putting down more food or a dog to walk away in a huff when they’re given a blanket to snuggle onto.

So it’s kind of the perfect duo – the empath who instinctively wants to help and the animal which is ready to receive any love or care that comes their way.

A self-care tip for empaths:

If you’re empath reading this article, it’s always useful to know different ways that you can self-care, and alongside spending time with animals, here are some useful tips:

  • Have plenty of rest and alone time when needed
  • Keep up with healthy eating and exercise
  • Learn to say no when you’re tired or emotionally drained
  • Spend as much time as you can in nature

With that in mind, if you have a pet or animals you can visit – make the most of it.

Your pet will surely love you for it and you’ll reap all the wonderful benefits that come from strengthening your bond.

So whether it’s taking them for an extra walk a day, or simply playing with them when you get in from work, remember that they can be a great source of comfort and relaxation.

Even if you just stop to admire deer in the forest or birds singing in the tree, it’s a great way to reconnect with the world and quieten your mind for some much-needed relaxation.

And hey, if you don’t have a pet or natural areas nearby, there’s plenty of shelters that need an extra pair of hands. It’s the perfect place to reconnect with animals and help them at the same time.

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Written by Kiran Athar

Kiran is a foodie, writer and traveler. She considers herself a citizen of the world, who gets her inspiration from the people she meets along her journeys. She's currently living in Spain, where she spends her time writing, watching the shepherds and eating tapas in the mountains of Andalucía.

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