Your cat likes you more than the food itself

  • Share This
Ricky Joseph

Scientists at the University of Oregon have discovered that cats have more loyalty to their owners than previously thought. It was previously thought that the cat "lives on its own" and some even hypothesized that it only lives around humans because of the easy food it receives.

Contrary to popular belief, the research, published in 2017 in the journal Behavioural Processes, revealed that most cats prefer interaction with people over toys, food and olfactory stimuli (pleasant smells).

Researchers Christine Vitale Shreve, Lindsay Merkham and Monica Udell suggest that cats are quite misunderstood because according to recent research, they have complex sociocognitive skills. In other words, the common belief that cats are not as sensitive to social stimuli may be mistaken simply because people don't know what specific actions cats findstimulating.

To assess the extent to which cats like certain things, the researchers tested the responses of two feline groups (19 cats each). One group consisted only of cats living in homes, while the other group consisted of cats from a shelter. They were kept separated from each other and from people for two and a half hours and then had their reactions observed.

(Image by Amna Sayeed from Pixabay)

The cat has a tendency to socialize

Each animal was offered food, some interesting smell, a toy, or an opportunity to interact with a human. The stimuli were mixed for different cats to find out exactly what the animals liked best. The degree of attraction of the stimulus was measured based on what or to whom the cat went first, and how long this interaction lasted.

Surprisingly, the scientists found that regardless of where they lived, cats preferred human companionship even over food, with a total of 65% going straight for humans. This, the researchers suggest, indicates that cats like to be close to their owners.

The research showed that your cat, as well as those living loose and in shelters, has a tendency to socialize with humans, regardless of the close and regular contact they had with them before. The presence of this characteristic seems quite logical for animals that, for millennia, have always been by the side of humans.

*Learn more about cats in books from Amazon

  • Cat Life: //
  • Understand your cat: Everything you ever wanted to know about feline behaviour: //
  • The cat charmer: The definitive guide to life with your feline: //

Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.