A new study has confirmed something you may have always known to be true but never wanted to admit – cats actually enjoy the company of people who don’t identify as “cat lovers”.
A study found that when cats are around people who simply tolerate them, they actually get the control and independence they want.
Meanwhile, some cat lovers may be overly attached to their cats, keeping them in an area they don’t like or petting them to the point the cat doesn’t enjoy it. Yes, we know this is hard to accept, cat owners.
Animal behavior scientists from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham surveyed 120 people and measured the interactions between each cat and human, assessing how comfortable the cat was, how the person behaved and what behavior the cats liked best.
In short, the scientists found out that people who lived with cats were more prone to irritation and often held their cats on their laps, more than the cats wanted.
Older people try to grab and hold cats more than younger people, and extroverts initiate contact, which cats, known for their independence, don’t like.
Instead, the cats gravitated toward participants who gave them “passive” attention and offered “minimal touching.”
The researchers also noticed that cats were more relaxed around those who petted them up to the base of the ears and under the chin, compared to areas where cats don’t like to be touched, such as the base of the tail and belly.
So maybe that’s the biggest takeaway – it’s not that your cat doesn’t love you, it’s that maybe she just needs her space. When it comes to affection, she prefers to have it on her terms.
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