Our feline pals have a reputation for being both mysterious and quirky. Unsurprisingly, scientists have typically had a hard time deciphering kitty behaviors and traits. This happens, in large part, because Fluffy often refuses to cooperate in studies. However, a few recent kitty studies have revealed some interesting things about our mysterious feline friends. A local vet lists some of the key ones below.
We love to joke about how cold and calculating cats can be, but that really isn’t the case. A study done in 2019 showed that kitties really do bond with their humans. The study looked at 70 cats, who were put in a room with their owners for two minutes. They were then left alone for two minutes, after which their owners returned. The cats showed signs that researchers classified as demonstrating ‘secure attachment’ to their owners. (This is apparently jargon for purrs and headbutts.) Of course, this is old news to anyone with an affectionate feline!
Another study of feline behavior looked at whether cats prefer food to attention. The results were quite surprising! This purrticular study, done in 2017 by Oregon State University, tested both pet kitties and shelter cats. The furballs were given a choice of what they wanted to do: eat, play, or hang out with humans. Most of the kitties chose to interact with the humans. Food was the second choice.
This study, which was done in 2019, monitored 78 kitties to see if they gave any reaction when their names were called. As researchers watched (and listened), the cats’ owners clearly spoke five different words. One word was the kitty’s name. The other four were just generic, similar-sounding words. In a variation, they had strangers say the same words to the cats. As it turned out, Fluffy did respond differently when she heard her name called. (Of course, this also means that yes, your furry pal does sometimes ignore you when you call her. So, there’s that.)
Did you know that people with kitties tend to have better mental health than folks who don’t have feline pals? The affection, comfort, companionship, and, of course, live entertainment that kitties provide is actually very beneficial to us! Other benefits of being owned by a cat include better sleep, less anxiety, and lower hypertension. Fluffy may very well be the purrfect pet!
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