Cat-human relationships differ significantly from dog-human relationships better tools are needed to define the specifics of the cat-human bond . 7 Some cat owners prefer a lot of interaction with their pet, others don't have. The bond between humans and cats is said to be similar to other human Cat owners are usually familiar with the behavior and traits of their cats. Although A good relationship with your cat can improve your emotional and. And the fact that cats often engage in undesirable behaviours (from an owner's perspective) such as hunting, mean that that bond must have.
The researchers mixed up the items for the cats so they could better evaluate which they found most stimulating, and determined the kitties' level of interest for a given stimulus by whether they went for it first, and how and how long they interacted with it.
The researchers observed a great deal of variability from one cat to the next, regardless of whether they lived in a home or a shelter. But overall, the cats preferred interacting with a human to all other stimuli, including food.
How To Bond With Your Cat - A Complete Expert Cat Behaviorist's Guide
The kitties spent an average of 65 percent of their time during the experiment interacting with a person, leading the study authors to conclude that cats really do like being around their humans, despite how they might behave around them. While genetics certainly play a role in feline personality and behavior, it's clear environment is also a significant factor. The cats in the study lived with owners who worked during the day and were home in the evenings.
They were all well cared for. The kitties were separated into two groups, with the first group living in smaller homes and in close proximity to their humans.
How To Bond With Your Cat
Over time, the cats in the first group adopted similar lifestyles to their owners in terms of eating, sleeping and activity patterns. The second group became more nocturnal. Their behaviors were similar to those of semi-feral cats, for example, farm cats. They watch and learn from us, noting the patterns of our actions, as evidenced by knowing where their food is kept and what time to expect to be fed, how to open the cupboard door that's been improperly closed and where their feeding and toileting areas are.
Studying the Bond Between a Cat and Its Human
And if you happen to keep the litterbox in your bathroom like many cat parents do, you might notice Fluffy often seems to use her "toilet" while you're using yours. Feline personalities are often described in terms like " aggressive ," "arrogant," "curious" or "timid.
Dennis Turner is a leading expert on the feline-human bond and his research shows that unlike dogs, cats follow their human's lead when it comes to how much involvement they have with each other. Kitties are quite adaptable to their humans' needs in this regard and fall into step easily with the pace the owner sets. They do this without complaint, and their independent, self-sufficient nature helps them get along without a need for the same level of interaction their canine counterparts demand.
Even more fascinating is Dr.
Studying the Bond Between a Cat and Its Human | Science | Smithsonian
Turner's discovery that cats seem to understand the need for balance in their relationship with their humans: They go up together, or they go down together. If the person doesn't comply with the cat's wish to interact then the cat doesn't comply with the person's wishes.
It's a fantastic give and take partnership. It's a true social relationship between owners and cats. She is a very different cat with me friendly and cuddly, though she refused to pose for a photo for this post versus people she has met before friendly but often standoffish versus strangers where did she go? And I suspect other cats may be the same. Any study in which you place total strangers into the animal's home environment is going to produce some abnormal behavior, and judging a cat on that behavior only is probably unfair to the cat.
Furthermore, some of the tests of the cats' behavior may not have given an accurate accounting of the cats' personality. For example, they tested the cats' response to a novel object, a plush owlet left on the floor.
Many cats, like Sabrina, ignore most anything simply lying on the floor perhaps they are used to messy housekeeping but are happy to pounce on on object suspended just an inch above. And there are some cats, like my own, that do not enjoy the sensation of being picked up would you? If I were to do this study, I would use a much bigger sample size, add more behavioral tests and have the human in each study pair repeat the tests without the researchers present but in front of a camera.
All that said, the researchers deserve some credit for being the first to attempt to tackle the complex personality dynamics within cat-human relationship. Sadly, though, they only scratched the surface of this complex world. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.