Cats are full of interesting quirks. In fact, these little furballs 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. And to be fair, we may never quite understand why our pets love boxes so much, or abhor the sound of kitchen pans clanging. However, a few recent studies have revealed some interesting things about our mysterious feline friends. A local vet lists some key ones below.
We may sometimes joke about how cold and calculating cats are, but that really isn’t the case. A study done in 2019 showed that our feline buddies really do bond with their humans. The study looked at 70 cats, who were put in a room with their owners for two minutes. The kitties were then left alone for two minutes, after which their owners came back into the room. Upon reuniting with their humans, the kitties showed signs that researchers classified as demonstrating ‘secure attachment’ to their owners. Of course, this is old news to anyone with an affectionate furball!
Another study, from 2019, monitored 78 kitties to see if they gave any reaction when their names were called. As the researchers watched (and listened) the cats’ owners said five words. One was their kitty’s name, and the other four were just generic, similar-sounding words. In a variation, they had strangers tell the cats the same five words. As it turned out, Fluffy really did respond differently when she heard her name. Of course, this also means that yes, your cat does sometimes deliberately ignore you when you call her.
Another study of feline behavior looked at whether cats prefer food to attention. The results were quite surprising! This particular 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 them chose to interact with their humans! Food was the second choice. We suspect that Garfield would disapprove.
Did you know that people who have kitties tend to have better mental health than those who don’t have feline pals? Turns out that 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!
Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. We are always here to help!