Science has finally proven that cats are just as competent as their canine counterparts to position themselves as man’s best friend.
Cats’ enigmatic personalities have unfairly led to assumptions that their aloofness demonstrates an inability to connect and bond with humans. But researchers at Oregon State University found that cats are able to — and do — form strong bonds with humans much the same way dogs do. In a studypublished in Cell Press, the lead author Kristyn Vitale said cats “share social traits once attributed to dogs and humans.”
Scientists conducted tests on more than 100 cats to measure how strongly they connected with humans after short absences. Similar tests had been done on dogs and primates. Their findings? Much like apes and dogs, cats form secure and insecure bonds with their human caretakers.
"Like dogs, cats display social flexibility in regard to their attachments with humans," Vitale said in astatement. "The majority of cats are securely attached to their owners and use them as a source of security in a novel environment…Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.” Another scientific study conducted in 2011 and reported inTIME also concluded that cats and their human caretakers “form strong social bonds and a mutual understanding based on affection—and maybe just a little indulgence.” The report further stated, “the study showed that the dynamics underlying the relationship between mutually adoring cats and their humans are nearly identical to human-to-human bonds.”
So move over Fido! Cats have equal rights to be considered as man’s best friend.
Want more reasons why we think cats make even better best friends? Consider the following six great attributes cats bring to the table:
Cats show great restraint. You certainly won’t see Mr. Mumbles snatching your sandwich and licking his chops when you turn your back on your plate of food. He’s much too dignified to pull such a stunt.
Cats couldn't care less about eating your homework. It’s not likely you’d ever be able to sell that story to your math teacher. Felines have more important things to eat such as the lizard that snuck in through the back door and is wreaking havoc on the household.
Cats don’t depend on you for bath time. They've got that covered. Grooming themselves takes up a large part of their day and quite frankly, they’re rather adept at self-bathing. And typically, cats don’t smell, which is quite the bonus.
Cats are self-sufficient. They can entertain themselves and don’t need you to take them out for a walk or toss a Frisbee for them. Cats are content to bat around a furry ball on the floor and then climb into an empty box for a quick nap.
Cats are great listeners. After a grueling day of work, you can come home and vent to your furry friend without judgment or interruption. You might even get a head nudge of approval or a brush of the tail to let you know that you’re loved and heard.
Cats don’t need potty trained. Provide a safe and secure place for your cat to do his business, and he has no problem mastering the litter box.
As much as you love and feel attached to your cat, rest assured the feeling is mutual. She may not always show her attachment, but the moment you return after a short absence, you can be sure your cat will find a way to reconnect with you whether it’s in a playful, loving secure way or an avoidance “I’m upset with you for leaving me” behavior. Science says so.
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