Though Sometimes Coy, Cats Prefer People to a Toy
Many people – cat-lovers and those unreasonably evil haters of cats alike – hold the belief that cats don’t like humans as much as their domestic counterparts, dogs. This belief is based upon their sultry attitudes, independent natures, and affinity for occasionally avoiding human contact.
But a new study was released in March 2017 that suggests that cats don’t dislike humans as much as many of us may assume. The study, published by a journal called Behavioral Processes, argues that a majority of cats actually prefer human interaction over other stimuli, followed by food, which came in second place.
Study Shows That Cats Prefer Human Contact
Despite the fact that there are over 85 million domestic cats in the U.S., many people still believe that cats are independent creatures and sidestep our attempts to train.
For the study, scientists used 25 adult domestic cats and 25 adult shelter cats. The study included exposure to human “play time,” exposure to food, exposure to various scents (including catnip and the scent of a gerbil), and exposure to assorted toys.
The Purrfect Pal
The study used duration of time that each cat engaged with a given stimuli to judge their affinity for that stimuli.
The final part of the study involved placing all four categories of stimuli in a room with each cat to see which type the cat approached first and most quickly. The conclusion of the study showed that while cats enjoy a large variety of stimulus, the majority of cats preferred human contact.
Cuddling Is Physically Good for Your Cat’s Health
An article published by Popular Science shows that a raised tail from a cat is a sign of good intent, and if you are a cat lover, then you know that cats often raise their tails as they rub against your leg.
Another study published by a journal called Preventative Veterinary Medicine asserted that “gentling” you cat can actually improve its health. The researcher who conducted the study, Nadine Gourkow, told Huffington Post that she found “a strong association between positive emotions induced by gentling and good health.”
The study showed that a cat’s positive reaction to being pet stimulates the production of an antibody which helps to fight upper respiratory disorders.
Make Sure You Listen To Your Cat and Give Him or Her Space
Although current research decidedly shows that cats aren’t as demure as they may come off, it is still important to give your cat plenty of the space that cats need. If your animal companion gives off vibes that it doesn’t want to be touched, definitely pay attention to those vibes.
Some less recent studies have shown that when a cat is pet or cuddled in a nonconsensual way, things can quickly go awry. A 2013 journal titled Physiology & Behavior reports that cats pump stress hormones into their bloodstreams when pet excessively or when they don’t want to be touched.
Never Stop Lovin’ Your Furry Friend
This study doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pet your cat – it simply demonstrates how sensitive cats are to human contact. Listening to your cat’s signals will keep your cat happy and unstressed.
And when it approaches you want wants to snuggle, snuggle with good conscience because you could be improving it’s respiratory health. Pawsome!