Meow there’s proof, cat love is fur real
Despite their well-earned reputation for being the less friendly house pet, scientists have proven that cats, in fact, do love their humans. Well, some of them do. We’re shocked too.
Some fine folks at Oregon State University recently published this breaking news worthy study that showed cats paw-sitively adore us over their snacks. There are few things we like more than our favorite snack, so this is a pretty big development.
“Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities,” the authors wrote in their paper. Translation: cats are hella smart. “Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable,” the authors added. Translation: their reputation as fierce, unloving rulers of their domain is so strong that we need science to counteract it. “This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for,” the paper said.
If you’ve met any cat and any dog than you probably already knew that last tidbit. Most dogs are ridiculously lovable and respond to literally anything: noises, sticks, strangers. You name it, and your pup is having a reaction. Cats are pickier. To see which stimuli interested our feline friends, scientists took 50 cats from their human’s homes and shelters and left them without food, toys, and people for hours. In our household, this was how all of our cats enjoyed every day. They hated being contained to the indoors and instead made our big yard their daily adventure.
Back to the study. Researchers brought back “human socialization, food, scent, and toys” to the kitties to see what their reactions would be to the various stimuli. About half the cats preferred human interaction to food. Can you believe it? They like us. They really like us. Granted, 37% percent did choose food over hanging out with humans, which sounds about right. Scientists said they didn’t notice a difference between shelter cats and kitties with fur-ever homes.
So the next time your cat scratches you across your face and pees on all your clean laundry, just remember they’re probably doing it out of love.