Study: Your Cat Thinks You’re Pretty Special!

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Although they exhibit an aloof demeanor, new research says that cats are playing it cool. It turns out that your feline really does like people!

Researchers from Oregon State and Monmouth Universities have discovered that cats, contrary to popular (dog!) opinion, do indeed like people!

The study’s findings were based on experiments that tested cats’ reactions to various people and common daily occurrences. Tests show that human interaction seemed to garner the most reaction and appreciation. While you might think that your cat would walk over your dead body to get to her favorite catnip toy, researchers believe their findings prove this isn’t the case.

Related: How Do Cats Show Affection?

The study looked at nearly 40 cats–19 from private homes and families and 20 from animal shelters–and took away their access to food, toys, smells, and human interaction for a few hours. They reintroduced each item individually, and observed the reactions to each.

While a good portion did indeed prefer food the most (37% of the cats), half of the subjects had the most favorable reaction to human interaction and affection.

Related: Fur Will Fly on Animal Planet’s New Show “Cat Meets Dog

Researchers acknowledge that cat sociality seems to exist on a spectrum, and cats are often viewed as more independent and needing less human interaction than other domestic pets. But it turns out that when given the choice between human interaction and affection or their most preferred of the other three stimuli, half chose the interaction of a human.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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