I love my cats and my cats love me and now science has finally validated our love.
Oregon State University published a study in Behavioural Processes on Friday that proves what many devoted feline luvrs have known for ages. Cats like people even more than kitty kibbles. Motherboard reports that scientists had been conducting particular cognitive tests on dogs and tortoises, because those are the two animals everyone associates with each other. They decided to fill in the gaping research gap:
“Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities,” the authors wrote in the paper. “Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. 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.”
For the tender-hearted, the following passage may be difficult to read: they rounded up 50 cats from people’s homes and shelters and removed them from food, toys and people for several hours. Nooo! Kitty!!
Scientists then reintroduced elements to the cats’ lives under the categories “human socialization, food, scent, and toys.” It turned out about half the cats in the study prefer human interaction to food, though 37% of them did still prefer food. You know if you have one of those meowing in your kitchen right now. There was no noticeable difference between cats living in shelters and cats who had been living with a family, so it seems like a love of humans is as deeply bred in felines as in their barkier counterparts.