Feline Love

Cat got your… socio-cognitive attachment?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Unlike dogs, household cats tend to act like they own the place. They SEEM notoriously aloof and independent. But are they really?

Kristyn Vitale from Oregon State University and her team tested how attached our whiskered friends are to us. They observed as a feline and its owner spent time together in a new room.

Then, the owner left for two minutes before coming back. Researchers recorded whether felines explored alone and if they greeted their owners upon reunion. This test was repeated for eighty kittens and nearly forty adult cats.

And? Surprise!

Only AFTER their humans returned did most cats seem relaxed and ready to explore again. This suggests that our feline friends feel comfortable in their relationships with us. Vitale also believes that this kitty comfort level partially explains why cats were so successfully domesticated.

Awww…they might not show it, but our cats DO love us! I’m not even KITTEN!