If you own a cat, you already know that they’re kind, fun and super duper adorable. They purr when you pet them. They snuggle with you in bed. The bond you share is unbreakable.
If you don’t own a cat, not only are you totally missing out, but your feelings regarding these fluffy creatures are probably a bit different. Cats can be standoffish, complex and hard to read. They want to be pet, but if you don’t stop at the exact second they’re done, you might not like what comes next. And while some will happily greet you at the door, others would prefer you keep your filthy human hands to yourself and just leave them be.
Regardless of how you feel about these furry felines, the ones that are lovable and cuddly might leave you thinking one thing: Do they really love me or do they just want treats? But worry no more! Scientists have found that our cats actually do love us!
In a new study from Oregon State University, published in Behavioural Processes, researchers found that cats are really, truly nice. In fact, they like interacting with humans more than food. More. Than. Food. Pretty sure that doesn’t even apply to me.
The idea behind the study was to squash the common belief that cats are antisocial. Us cat lovers know these assumptions to be untrue, but it’s a belief commonly held by others.
“Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities,” the authors wrote in the study. “Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for.”
Now, all of this applies to the majority of cats, just like any other study. Not all cats love you more than food (and neither do some humans). Of course, their temperament depends upon their life history and even breed but, for the most part, you can stop believing the myth that cats are inherently evil.
Instead of plotting to kill you, perhaps they’re just planning for the next time they get to see your pretty, human face!