Cat Moms: Study Finds Cats Actually Love Us May 03 2017
With Mother's Day just around the corner, we thought you may want to know that even though cats don't always show us love and affection...they do actually adore us! A study done by Oregon State University named Behavioural Processes found that cats often love their humans more than food. Who would have thought!
For the study, felines went through a series of cognitive tests. Fifty different cats were used as subjects, some of which were pets, others from shelters. All of the kitties were deprived of food, toys and human contact for a few hours. After this separation, the cats were presented with human attention, food, scents and toys to see what they missed most. Almost all of the cats craved human attention, with half of the felines opting for chin scratches over any of the other stimuli, food included. Only 37% of the cats chose food first.
The researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the homed and the shelter cats, and that most cats preferred human socialization to any of the other categories.
The study was done to scientifically clear up misconceptions around cats' bad reputation for being unsociable. The cognitive tests had already been done on dogs and even tortoises, and cats were clearly the next plausible animal.
"Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities," the authors wrote in the paper. "Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for."
"While it has been suggested that cat sociality exists on a continuum, perhaps skewed toward independency," the authors wrote, "we have found that 50% of cats tested preferred interaction with the social stimulus even though they had a direct choice between social interaction with a human and their other most preferred stimuli from the three other stimulus categories."
So, what does all this mean? Basically, that cats are nice and they do actually love us back! But you knew that anyway didn't you ;-)
Of course this may not ring true for every cat, as researchers suggest that a cats life history and breed can ultimately affect their preferences for socialization. But this doesn't always mean they don't like you.
While some cats prefer to be independent, even hiding out most of the time, we like to think they still like having us around. Even if it is just to be fed and watered...
An early HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you CAT MOMS out there! <3