Green Room

Study validates cat-human relationships for cat owners

posted at 12:03 pm on January 10, 2013 by

This is from last year, but it popped up on my radar for the first time yesterday. Since the Internet is so cat-friendly, here ya go. Awww, yeah. Told you, dog people!

The bond between cats and their owners turns out to be far more intense than imagined, especially for cat aficionado women and their affection reciprocating felines, suggests a new study.

Cats attach to humans, and particularly women, as social partners, and it’s not just for the sake of obtaining food, according to the new research, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Behavioural Processes.

The study is the first to show in detail that the dynamics underlying cat-human relationships are nearly identical to human-only bonds, with cats sometimes even becoming a furry “child” in nurturing homes.

The idea of a cat lady is just science, then, not a stereotype. I will say this part is not true in my house (she much prefers my husband if she has the choice), but I also have a dog-like cat who comes when you call her and greets you at the door when you come home, so who knows?

While cats have plenty of male admirers, and vice versa, this study and others reveal that women tend to interact with their cats — be they male or female felines — more than men do.

“In response, the cats approach female owners more frequently, and initiate contact more frequently (such as jumping on laps) than they do with male owners,” co-author Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna told Discovery News, adding that “female owners have more intense relationships with their cats than do male owners.”

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

It’s because they want to infect women with their feces parasite: Toxoplasma gondii. Their cat litter box acts as a Trojan horse. Crazy kitties.

LaughterJones on January 10, 2013 at 12:20 PM

The bond between cats and their owners turns out to be far more intense than imagined, especially for cat aficionado women and their affection reciprocating felines, suggests a new study.

What about cat aficionado beta males (like Allah)?

I kid :-)

I acutally much prefer cats to dogs. Cats are much more individualistic and independent. I could let my cat outside for a year and he would likely survive just fine on his own.

Dogs reminds me of slobbering welfare recipients, ignorant slaves to their master. Sort of like Obama voters.

Norwegian on January 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Norwegian on January 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Ain’t that last sentence the truth?? My cat takes messages….she doesn’t think I’m her Master. And she doesn’t like Obama, either. Cats are smart.

NJ Red on January 10, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Female cat owners–a.k.a. moms–are the ones that generally feed the cats. In my household growing up, all my cats liked my mom the best.

Another study I read somewhere a while back said that dogs are pack animals, so they consider their owners the alpha, while cats consider their owners their mother.

Meryl Yourish on January 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Daughter bought a house last year and the cat that lives next door has chosen her as his new owner. She doesn’t like cats but this cat is amusing because it is so relentless. He pushes his way into her house whenever a door is opened. Other neighbors say the cat is mean but it is docile and purrs whenever it sees her. It is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s real owners think it is funny, too.

Fallon on January 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

The study is the first to show in detail that the dynamics underlying cat-human relationships are nearly identical to human-only bonds, with cats sometimes even becoming a furry “child” in nurturing homes.

I believe this, and I also think it is a sad comment on our society. We have devalued parenting and children in our society. We’ve encouraged women to wait later and later in life before having children, if we do at all. We’ve made motherhood something to be looked down upon, with the goal of having a successful career being the thing that was sure to bring women fulfillment. We’ve made sure there is widespread use of contraception and widespread abortions to make sure women aren’t “burdened” with children. We treat pregnancy as a disease.

Meanwhile, because we’re not naturally meant to be alone, and we have natural drives to raise children, people are left with very hollow, superficial lives where they are constantly searching for something to fill the void. And what have many people chosen to fill it with? Animals. At the same time, the leftists who are deriding motherhood and devaluing children have been preaching animal rights to us and elevating animals to the level of importance of humans. If a million babies are to be aborted, that’s a victory for women’s rights. If a million stray animals are to be euthanized, that’s a horrible failure of society and Sarah McLachlan needs to get on TV and plead for your help.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t have pets and enjoy them. But far too many people have got their priorities completely backward and do, in fact, elevate their pets to the level of a child. And it’s sad.

Shump on January 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

My first cat bonded with my mom and not me so much.
But all of my other cats have bonded with me even when I was still living at home.
My current kitty has known only me, so naturally he bonds with me.

dverplank on January 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I’m not pet specific; have enjoyed the company of dogs and cats, sometimes at the same time. Dogs always seemed to be simple critters, feed them anything, scratch behind the ears and they’re happy.
Cats are more complex, mysterious, in their ways.

srdem65 on January 10, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Shump on January 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

I’m all for treating all animals — not just dogs and cats — with a respect that is closer to that with which we should also be treating our fellow human beings. I also believe it’s sad in any place where having children is looked down upon. Just remember that not every single woman or man is single by choice.

bmmg39 on January 10, 2013 at 1:26 PM

“Do you take this cat to be your lawfully ………………….”

punditbob on January 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I have potted plants on my desk. I think they like me. I worry about bringing plants into such a crazy, messed up world though.

Also, yeah, I wonder how much of cat behavior is caused by their parasite. Certain parasites can gain complete control over ther host to the point of forced suicide.

antisense on January 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

“Do you take this cat to be your lawfully ………………….”

punditbob on January 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

How will the courts handle divorce proceedings between humans and cats?

Are your cats old enough to learn about Jesus?

antisense on January 10, 2013 at 1:32 PM

My boy is in my lap whenever and wherever I sit, like now! And I’m a guy (last I checked).

Rixon on January 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM

“A lot of people around here are intimidated by cats. I’m an American Senator, not a cat Senator.”

Seth Halpern on January 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

We got a kitten from an animal rescue group when she was very young and our children were about 3 and 7. They loved that kitty—hugged her, petted her, and our daughter would put her in doll clothes and place her into her doll stroller and take her for a walk.

As she grew, we thought she considered the kids to be her kittens. We started calling her Kitty Nana (Peter Pan). Sometimes we wondered if she thought she was the matriarch of the entire family. She would wait at the top of the stairs until everyone was in bed. Then she would make the rounds, and if anyone was sick or upset from the day, she would stay on that person’s bed. She’s gone now, and we still miss her.

At the moment there is a neighborhood cat who takes walks with my husband and I. Kid you not. This started several months ago. She would come out and walk with us for a little bit. Then she started accompanying us around the neighborhood. If we leave it to go for a longer walk, we have to go onto a busy street, and my husband tells her to stay. She does it, too. She’ll be lingering around the entrance waiting for us to get back.

We’ve found her owner, and he has at least one other cat and two dogs, but we don’t think she gets the affection she needs. We’ve decided she makes the rounds with us for companionship and protection. She’s a young cat, and there are a couple of large, mean ones who are frequently out at night at all hours.

Once she had lingered behind us and a big white cat who was lurking down a slope on the other side of the road and suddenly gave her chase. We couldn’t do a thing, and we got back she was waiting at the front door. We spoke to her and she turned her back on us. She obviously was quite perturbed we hadn’t done something about the white cat.

(That white cat is something else. Once we saw it hiding in the bushes at night as if to camouflage itself, but it’s such a stark white, that it showed up as a big white blog.)

The kitty who walks with us will actually hang around our front door at night waiting for us to come out and walk. She frequently sleeps in the front flower bed or on the mat right in front of the door. It’s been amazing.

INC on January 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM

blog s/b blob

:)

INC on January 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

It’s because they want to infect women with their feces parasite: Toxoplasma gondii. Their cat litter box acts as a Trojan horse. Crazy kitties.

LaughterJones on January 10, 2013 at 12:20 PM

This explains why women are crazy.

cane_loader on January 10, 2013 at 4:18 PM

My kitty yowled if I wouldn’t let him in to curl up between my ankles, came running to my bedroom if he’d been in a catfight, and did his level best to comfort me when I’d come home after being clobbered by a car. And when he was nearing the end – hurting and sick as he was – he’d purr like a motor if I so much as said “hey kitty cat”.

The people who blithely say that cats are just in it for the food and shelter are as ignorant as liberals. Love your feline and he/she will love you back.

I miss you, Pumpkin.

MelonCollie on January 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM

My cat actually prefers affection over food. After I am home from work, she insists on being well petted before she even thinks about eating. She is waiting by the front door every day to greet me. If I sit down for any length of time, she jumps in my lap and will sleep there for hours. I call her my purr machine because the only time she stops purring is when she is asleep.

I have had dogs and cats, but no animal has ever loved me like this little critter does. She has a gift for making me happy too so I think I’ll keep her ;-)

I also had a dog-like cat growing up. Sunny would come when he was called. He loved to cuddle. And he followed me and my dog on our twice daily walks from the time he was about a year old until my dog passed 9 years later. My neighbors just got a total kick out of it. Every morning my dog and cat would greet each other by touching noses and Laddy would always wag his tail. There wasnt a mean, stuck-up or cold bone in Sunny’s body. People who don’t like cats just don’t know what they are talking about.

Texene on January 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Cat: Whatever foolish human. Now feed me.

Yakko77 on January 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Dogs have masters; cats have staff – Rush

Sam Adams on January 12, 2013 at 7:43 PM