Cats get a bad rap for being independent. They come off as aloof. Sure – they might wrap themselves around your legs and meow incessantly when you walk through the door. Of course you have a sneaking suspicion it’s all a big ploy to get you to break out the can opener or scoop the poop. So you often wonder if your cat actually loves you or if he’s just a furry opportunist.
Well, wonder no more!
A recent study conducted by Oregon State University proves some cats do actually prefer hanging out with humans!
Researchers recently set off to assess the sociability of cats. They collected 38 cats from both shelters and homes. They deprived the little felines of any stimuli – delicious food, human attention, catnip, irresistible toys – for hours. Then, they offered all of these choices to study each cat’s reaction. Can you guess what cats overwhelmingly purr-ferred?
Thirty-seven percent chose food. Eleven percent chose toys. One cat preferred the cat-nip. But 19 out of the 38 cats preferred the company of humans over any other option. That’s half!
According to a paper published in Behavioural Processes, scientists concluded that cats may be interested in you for more than just providing food.
Their social behaviors and motivation are much more complex than previously thought.
We are only beginning to scratch the surface of a cat’s social and intellectual complexity! Does this mean more research is needed? We sure hope so. We are still pondering what they are thinking when they stare deeply into our eyes? What do they dream about? And why do some of them twitch while they sleep?
One thing is for sure: Rest assured your feline friend loves you after all. So, keep scratching those furry chins. And keep turning on those oh-so-entertaining laser pointers because your cat’s meow might actually be a cry of love!