Posts Tagged ‘science’
The Telegraph‘s Sarah Knapton reported on a study that might depress some.
Researchers at the University of Lincoln have concluded that cats, unlike dogs, do not need humans to feel protected.
Before cat lovers start despairing about their aloof pets, however, animal behaviourists said they should take the finding as a compliment. If cats stay, it means they really want to be there.
Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, said: “The domestic cat has recently passed the dog as the most popular companion animal in Europe.
“Previous research has suggested that some cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way that dogs do, but the results of our study show that they are, in fact, much more independent than canine companions.
“It seems that what we interpret as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration.” To find out if cats needed their owner to feel secure, the researchers observed how 20 cats reacted when they were placed in an unfamiliar environment together with their owner, with a stranger or on their own.
At The Guardian, Fay Schopen argued otherwise, concluding in the end of a 25-point list that “maybe your cat doesn’t love you. At least, not in the way you think. There’s no need to anthropomorphise them. Cat love, I suspect, is deeper, truer and more mysterious than the human variety.”
I’m actually OK with that. Cats, whatever else they are, are not exactly human.