We’ve heard the phrase the dogs are people’s best friend, but we don’t often hear about the loyalty that cats have. Yeah, we might think that cats don’t care about humans at all, but a recent study says otherwise.
Oregon State University scientists recently did a study suggesting that cats can actually form bonds with their owners just like dogs.
So the next time you feel unloved from your kitty, just remember they really do care about you.
Attachment behavior studies involve reuniting kids with their parents or caregivers after a short period of absence. Previously, researchers found that human babies, baby monkeys, and cute lil puppies can be securely or insecurely attached to their parents. Naturally, scientists decided to test the theory with kittens as well.
In addition to scientists finding that 65% of young kittens securely bonded with their owners and this bond remained strong through adulthood. Secure bonding means that when a kitten’s owner returns, the kitty will not only pay attention to them, but also explore its surroundings. The other 35% of kittens have an insecure bond meaning they kitten is usually stressed out and avoids the owner.
What this means is that two-thirds (65% to be exact) of cats view their owners as their parents or caretakers.
Study author Kristyn Vital said, “Although pet cats outnumber dogs in many countries, including the United States, we still know little about cat behavior and human-cat interactions,” Vitale said. “There has been relatively little research into the cat-human bond, especially when we compare it to the number of research studies with dogs and humans.”
“So our motivation was to bring more knowledge to this field of study. The research itself went very smoothly and we did not have any issues recruiting cats and owners to participate. Overall, this was a fairly easy study to conduct.”
Vitale continued: “We found that the attachment bond cats display toward their owners is very similar to the bond dogs share with their owners and even the bond human infants display toward their caretakers.”
“We found that the attachment bond cats display toward their owners is very similar to the bond dogs share with their owners and even the bond human infants display toward their caretakers.”
“All three species display the same distinct patterns of attachment behavior. The majority of individuals in all species are securely attached to their caregiver, meaning they use their caregiver as a source of comfort and security in an unfamiliar situation.”
“We are hoping this is the first of many projects looking into cat-human attachment. Although we found that cats display attachment behavior toward their owners we still do not know what factors influence the formation of these attachment bonds or what factors may strengthen the human-cat bond.”
“In the future, we will look at some of these questions. Right now we are examining how socialization opportunities impact the formation of attachment bonds in shelter cats and ways to use this information to increase shelter cat adoption rates.”
Yes, they really do love us even though they might ignore you and seem arrogant at times.
You can watch a video of the experiment here: