In the argument over cats versus dogs, one of the things that often comes up is the affection that dogs show and the standoffish nature of many cats. It’s something that many of us accept as truth, but it is always good to question what we know to be a fact.
In Current Biology, there was a study published that has turned this truth on its head.
It seems as if cats have their own type of attachment toward their human families that is no less affectionate than what dogs or babies have. As many cat owners know, they love their humans but they don’t always show it in the same way as others.
The research came from a group working from the Oregon State University. According to their findings, 64% of felines have an attachment style that is described as “secure.”
In other words, if they were in a room without their human family, they didn’t get stressed out over it. It was a healthy type of attachment that included bonding.
On the other hand, a type of insecure attachment was shown by approximately 35% of the felines in the study. Those cats would get stressed out when their owners were out of sight until they got back again. When they were around with their family, they would show an excessive amount of contact and some avoidant behavior.
This will come as a surprise to many dog owners, but many people who have a feline in their family realize that they are individuals, just like any other type of animal.
Some will become very attached to their human partners and will not want to be out of sight for even a moment. Others will be perfectly fine to be out of sight, but they appreciate it when they are around again.
In order to get the data, 70 kittens and 38 cats were selected for the study. Handlers would put the felines with their owner in a room for two minutes and then remove them for two minutes. The behavior of the cat was recorded and they wanted to see how they reacted to the difference. It just goes to show what many cat owners assumed to be true all along.
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