Our feline fr iends have a reputation for being both mysterious and quirky. Scientists have typically had a hard time deciphering Fluffy’s different behaviors and traits, in large part because Fluffy often refuses to cooperate in studies. However, a few recent studies have revealed some interesting things about our mysterious furry pals. A local vet lists some key ones below.
We love to joke around about how cold and calculating cats are, but that really isn’t the case. A study done in 2019 showed that cats really do bond with their humans. The study looked at 70 cats, who were put in a room with their owners for about two minutes. They were then left alone for two minutes, after which their owners returned. The cats actually showed signs of affection, enough that researchers classified as demonstrating ‘secure attachment’ to their owners. Of course, this is old news to anyone with an affectionate feline!
Another interesting study of kitty behavior looked at whether cats prefer food to attention. The results were quite surprising! This particularly study, which was done in 2017 by Oregon State University, tested both pet kitties and shelter cats. The felines were given a choice of what they wanted to do: they could eat, play, or hang out with humans. Most of the kitties chose to interact with the humans. Food was the second choice, followed by playtime. We suspect catnip would have come in fourth.
This study, from 2019, monitored almost 80 cats to see if they gave any reaction when their names were called. As researchers watched (and listened) kitty 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 a group of strangers tell the cats the same words. 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 deliberately ignore you when you call her.
Did you know that people with cats tend to have better mental health than those who don’t have feline pals? The affection, comfort, love, companionship, and, of course, live entertainment kitties provide is actually very beneficial to us, both mentally and physically! Other benefits include better sleep, less anxiety, and lower hypertension. Fluffy may very well be the purrfect pet!
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