Our feline overlords have a reputation for being both mysterious and quirky. Scientists have typically had a hard time deciphering many kitty behaviors and traits, in large part because Fluffy often refuses to cooperate in studies. However, a few recent studies have revealed some very 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 our feline pals really do form close and loving bonds with their humans. (This is old news to anyone with an affectionate feline, but that’s another topic.) The study looked at 70 kitties, 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 kitties showed signs that researchers classified as demonstrating ‘secure attachment’ to their owners.
This study, from 2019, monitored 78 kitties to see if they gave any reaction when their names were called. As researchers watched (and listened) cat owners said five words. One was the kitty’s name, and the other four were just generic, similar-sounding words. In a variation, they had strangers tell the cats the same words. As it turned out, Fluffy did respond differently when she heard her name. Of course, this also means that yes, your furry pal does sometimes ignore you when you call her.
Another study of kitty behavior looked at whether cats prefer food or attention. The results were quite surprising! This study was done in 2017 by the Oregon State University. It tested both pet kitties and shelter cats. The felines were given a choice of what they wanted to do: eat, play, or hang out with humans. Most of the furballs chose to interact with the humans. Food was the second choice. We suspect sleep would have been third.
Did you know that people with cats tend to have better mental health than those who don’t have feline pals? The affection, comfort, companionship, and, of course, live entertainment our feline pals provide is actually very beneficial to us! Other benefits of having a kitty include better sleep, less anxiety, and lower hypertension. Fluffy may very well be the purrfect pet!
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