New research is showing that cats really do love human company. Funny, as I’m writing this blog post, my cat Wildfire is keeping me company, very closely!
Are you a cat person?
If you consider yourself to be a cat person, you are likely to prefer intimate conversations rather than parties, be intelligent and enjoy talking about your cat! All great things. But what if you don’t like cats?…
What (some) people think of cats
“I don’t like cats!”… “I’m a dog person”… “Cats are so aloof” … “Cats used to be worshipped and they’ve not forgotten it” (Think Ancient Egypt)… “Dogs have masters; Cats have slaves!”
And the more unpleasant:
“I like cats but I couldn’t eat a whole one!”… “The only good cat is a dead cat!”
Cats love us
Well re-think these thoughts. Cats are not aloof. Quite the opposite. Yes, cats love us!
When cats were given a choice, in a recent study, of spending time with humans, food, scent, and toys, their number one choice was us. This was followed by food, toys and only one preferred a scent stimulus. Some were a little too nervous to choose any of the offered stimuli.
It did not matter if cats were owned cats or shelter cats. Humans were their preferred choice.
For cat owners, what does this mean?
Well, it means that you can be reassured that your cat really does like you. You probably knew that already (I hazard a guess that it’s dogs owners who consider cats to be aloof!) but it’s nice to have it confirmed.
It means when your cat annoyingly sits on your laptop, when you try to work, or your head, when you try to sleep, that they really do enjoy your company.
For dog owners?
Dog owners (and I am also one) can start being worried. If your dog was offered a choice of you or food, can you be sure that they’d pick you?!
Don;t worry too much. Measurement of the love hormone, oxytocin, confirms that dogs love us too.
For all pet lovers
As with all animals, offering your pet a choice is often in their best interests, as long as all the choices are healthy ones. If your pet is more food motivated, offer them food-releasing toys when you need to occupy them. If they love human company, organise a friend or a sitter when you cannot be with them (and be prepared for a touch of separation anxiety).
Be glad that your pet loves you!
Original article: Social interaction, food, scent or toys? A formal assessment of domestic pet and shelter cat (Felis silvestris catus) preferences
The difference between cat and dog owners
Cats vs dogs: Who loves us more?