You may have noticed that cats have a reputation for being both mysterious and quirky. Scientists have typically had quite a hard time deciphering kitty behaviors and traits, in large part because Fluffy often refuses to cooperate in studies, or just sleeps through them. However, a few recent studies have revealed some rather interesting things about our mysterious feline friends. A local vet lists some key ones below.
We may love to joke about how cold and calculating cats are, but to be fair, that really isn’t the case. A study done in 2019 showed that our feline pals really are fond of their humans. (Of course, this is old news to anyone with an affectionate feline!) The study looked at 70 cats, who were put in a room with their owners for 2 minutes. They were then left alone for 2 minutes, after which their owners returned. The kitties’ behavior was classified as demonstrating ‘secure attachment’ to their owners.
Another study of kitty behavior looked at whether Fluffy prefers food or attention. The results were quite surprising! This 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 cats chose to interact with people! Food was the second choice.
This study, done in 2019, monitored 78 kitties to see if they gave any reaction when their names were called. As researchers watched (and listened) cat owners spoke five specific words to their pets. One was the kitty’s name, and the other four were just generic, similar-sounding words. Next, they had strangers tell the cats the same words. As it turned out, Fluffy actually does respond differently when she heard her name. (Of course, this also means that yes, she actually does sometimes ignore you when you call her.)
People with kitties tend to have better mental health than those who don’t have cats. The affection, comfort, companionship, and, of course, live entertainment kitties provide is actually very beneficial to us! Other benefits include better sleep, less anxiety, and lower hypertension. Fluffy may very well be the purrfect pet! Give your feline buddy some extra snuggles or catnip to show your appreciation.
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