It’s not just dogs who treat their owners as their own parents, study shows cats, too treat their owners like their own parents!
In a recent study made by scientists at Oregon State University, they concluded that felines actually form a secure bond with their owners just like dogs. This means that no matter how much cats treat their owners like they don’t care about them or they act too arrogant, they really do care about them.
Kristyn Vitale, PhD, researcher and educator in the field of animal behavior and author of the study, told Bored Panda that they found 65 percent of kittens to be “securely bonded to their owners.” These bonds also grew as they grow older and into adulthood.
She continued to explain that a secure bond means when a kitten’s owner goes back to them, the cat would pay attention to them. Insecure bond, on the other hand means the kitten is stressed out, anxious and mostly avoids its owner.
“Although pet cats outnumber dogs in many countries, including the United States, we still know little about cat behavior and human-cat interactions,” Vitale told Bored Panda. “There has been relatively little research into the cat-human bond, especially when we compare it to the number of research studies with dogs and humans.”
Vitale said they found the bonding of cats and dogs the same as how human infants display towards their caretakers.
“All three species display the same distinct patterns of attachment behavior. The majority of individuals in all species are securely attached to their caregiver, meaning they use their caregiver as a source of comfort and security in an unfamiliar situation,” Vitale continued.
They hoped they could still improve their study and create more projects involving cat-human attachments.
“We are hoping this is the first of many projects looking into cat-human attachment. Although we found that cats display attachment behavior toward their owners we still do not know what factors influence the formation of these attachment bonds or what factors may strengthen the human-cat bond,” she said.
Vitale added that they, the researchers, are now examining how “socialization opportunities impact the formation of attachment bonds in shelter cats and ways to use this information to increase shelter cat adoption rates.”