Cats are a loving pet but are often surrounded by a stigma that they’re standoffish, sassy, and only appreciate their owners as a source of food. However, a new study suggests that your cat actually does form a special bond with you.
The research, published in the journal Current Biology, found that cats form bonds with their owners similar to those of dogs or babies with their caregivers.
Researchers wanted to test the bond between a cat and their owner like a parental and infant bond. The cats were placed in a room with their owner for two minutes, then left alone for two minutes, and then reunited with their owner for another two minutes. How the cat responded to their owner returning determined the type of attachment style they had.
Cats with secure attachments trust their caregiver and feel more comfortable.
“The characteristics of a secure cat, for example, [are] greeting their owner and then going back to what they were doing,” Kristyn Vitale, lead author on the study, told NBC News. “That’s how a secure human also behaves.”
Cats with an insecure attachment tend to show more fear and anxiety towards their owners.
However, 64% of the cats were securely attached to their owner, similar to what is seen in both dogs and babies.
These findings help debunk the myth that cats are more standoffish and are not as lovable towards their owners as other pets might be. Now you have scientific proof that you fluffy feline friend isn’t just sucking up to you for their next bowl of dinner!