Most of the people think that cats view us as simple-minded meat suits which exist to keep them nourished. The reason for that opinion is because cats are notoriously witchy. But one myth-busting study proves something opposite. The cats form attachments to us exactly like the dogs and the babies.
The journal Current Biology on September 23 announced the findings of the study. It is the first scientific research that showed that cats form insecure and secure bonds with humans who take care of them. The researchers explained that the findings suggest that bonding ability across species can be presented by traits that are not specific to canines.
The scientists identified the key responsibilities of an infant when reunited with their caretaker to measure whether or not cats form emotional attachments to human owners. The findings showed that the insecure individuals engage in avoidance behavior or excessive clinging while the secure infants return to relaxed exploration when the caretaker returns. Vitale and her team knew how to run this test because they had similar tests run before with dogs and primates.
They took a kitten and an adult cat. Then they let them spend two minutes in an unknown environment with their human owner, and after that, two minutes, the cats were left alone. Again the owner and the pets had the two-minute reunion. The findings, as GoodNewsNetwork reports, suggested that the cat’s response to seeing their caregiver again are placed into attachment styles.
According to the results, felines bond in a way that is very similar to infants. In humans, around 65 percent of infants are attached to the caretakers. It’s approximately the same percentage of both kittens and cats that behaved as securely bonded to their people.
Another fact is that attachments between cats and humans are present and stable in adulthood. The social flexibility helped facilitate the success in human communities.
Scientists are moving to new research to explore the significance of the work related to the thousands of cats and kittens that are in animal shelters.
“We will try to find out whether fostering and socialization opportunities influence attachment security in shelter cats,” said Vitale.