Our feline friends have a reputation for being both mysterious and quirky. Scientists have typically had a hard time deciphering many of those oddly adorable kitty behaviors and traits, in large part because Fluffy often refuses to cooperate in studies. However, some recent studies have revealed some interesting things about our mysterious feline friends. A local vet lists some key ones below.
We may love to joke about how cold and calculating cats are, but that really isn’t the case. A study done in 2019 showed that our feline pals actually do bond with their humans. The study looked at 70 kitties, who were put in a room with their humans for two minutes. They were then left alone for two minutes, after which their owners came back. The kitties showed signs that researchers classified as demonstrating ‘secure attachment’ to their owners. Of course, this ‘revelation’ is old news to anyone with an affectionate feline!
Another study of kitty behavior looked at whether cats prefer food over attention, or vice versa. The results were quite surprising! This study, done in 2017 by Oregon State University, tested both pet felines and shelter cats. The felines were allowed to choose what they wanted to do: eat, play, or hang out with humans. Most of the cats chose to interact with the humans. Food was the second choice.
This study, from 2019, monitored 78 cute kitties to see if they gave any sort of reaction when their names were called. As researchers watched (and listened) cat owners said five specific words. One was the kitty’s name, and the other four were just generic, similar-sounding words. In another test, they had strangers tell the cats the same words. As it turned out, the kitties did respond differently when they heard their names. Of course, this also means that yes, your cat does sometimes ignore you when you call her.
Did you know that people with kitties in general have better mental health than those who don’t have feline pals? The affection, comfort, companionship, and live entertainment kitties provide is actually very beneficial to us. Other benefits include better sleep, less anxiety, and lower hypertension. So much for those crazy cat lady jokes!
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