For a long, long time, it has been said of domestic cats that they are very greedy animals, and only look for their humans when they need food.
They are directly opposed to dogs, which are treated as animals faithful by nature, and capable of giving absolutely everything for their owner.
While there is talk of dogs that have waited for years for their owners, in the case of cats we talk about cats that ate their owners once they died.
The stories can not be more opposite. But is this really the case?
Are cats so opportunistic? Or are these nothing more than clichés?
Those of you who have a cat will know the answer very well, but for others it may not be so clear. Cats are capable of loving their owners with the same strength as dogs, and even more;
They are faithful, yes, although they may not defend their owners from external aggression as directly as dogs do.
But they are able to realize when their owner is not well, for example, and know how to lavish kisses on those special occasions. They are more independent to a certain extent, yes, but that does not mean that they do not know how to love in the same way.
“Cats also need attention”
A new study, published in the journal Behavioral Processes, could change the conception we had of cats until now.
Three American researchers from the Oregon State University and the University of Monmouth
have been responsible for conducting various experiments with cats, to try to analyze carefully what their response to external stimuli is.
Kristyn Vitale Shreve, Lindsay Mehrkam and Monique Udell have been commissioned to carry out this study and, subsequently, explain it so that everyone can understand it.They started from the same basis that we explained earlier: cats have a reputation for being unkind, even distant, and some have even suggested that they only look for their owners because they represent a much easier way to obtain food. But like all the owners of a cat will have said many times, this could be more a fiction than a reality.
it has also been pointed out that cats are less reactive to social stimuli, perhaps because we do not know what cats find stimulating. In that case, then, the ruling would be ours and not yours.
The experiment they carried out
To try to show what stimulates cats, what the researchers did was to
keep cats that have lived all their lives with humans isolated in a room.
There they had to stay for a period of about two and a half hours and, subsequently, they would be released. In their liberation, they would face stimuli from four different categories: food, smells, toys and interaction with humans .
The researchers mixed the stimuli in such a way that they managed to get many different ones to the cats and, thus, they could see which they gave more attention.
It was evaluated which the stimulus was that each cat chose first and then how much time had passed interacting with that stimulus.
“The preferred stimulus of cats was humans”
The first thing the researchers pointed out was that the behavior
varied greatly depending on the type of house in which the cat was raised, of course, but that, as a rule, humans were the preferred stimulus of more than half of the cats .
More than half of the felines preferred to interact with a human than with food, or with toys, and they spent about 65% of their time interacting with that person.
This would indicate to the researchers that, despite everything, the fact is that
cats do prefer their human owners before any other stimulus. Part of this study can be found on the Web, but the complete study has only appeared published in the magazine that we mentioned above.
The truth is that it is interesting to read studies of this type, because they come to confirm us that, in fact, cats are not as greedy as we have been thinking for years.
They do look for their humans, regardless of whether or not they can give them food.
The fidelity of cats
While anyone can win the affection of a dog, it is much more difficult to get the same from a cat. They are animals that are not bought with food; far from it, they require constant affection, and large doses of pampering and understanding, as well as play.
The games of cats, in addition, can even be painful for humans (they do not control their claws too well, for example), but they will always be fun.
But there is no point really in comparing them, since we are talking about two totally different species.
“Cat that was abandoned in Russia”
You may have heard a thousand and one stories about
abandoned dogs that have decided to wait for their owners for years and years, but…
Did you know that there are cats that do exactly the same?
In Russia, in Belgorod, a cat became famous long ago because he
stayed months in the street waiting for his owners, who had left him.
There were some who said that they had seen how the cat, desperate, tried to run after the owners’ vehicle, but he could not.
Many neighbors continued to feed him, saddened by what had happened.
Cats are true, and of course they love their owners above all things.
What is different is that, certainly, they have a somewhat peculiar way of showing it in each moment.