Traditionally, it has been said that the dog is man’s best friend given his great sociability and empathy. However, the latest findings of science on the affection of cats reflect the strong bond that can be established between owners and felines.
most of people conceive the domestic cat as a distant, independent and even arisco animal. This presumption is increased among dog owners, to the detriment of those who own cats.
To demystify it, some studies have proposed a new way of assessing sociocognitive skills and depth of attachment of these felines.
Science studies on the affection of cats
On September 23, 2019, the scientific journal Current Biology published the conclusions obtained by the study conducted by the Oregon State University on the affection of cats. The project, which was sponsored by Nestlé Purina and the National Science Foundation of the United States, obtained the following results:
Cats, like dogs, primates and babies, can create safe and insecure bonds With your human caregivers. Affirmation that disputes the theory of can as the animal with greater fidelity towards the human being.
To prove it they placed a cat, of indifferent age, in an unknown room and accompanied by his caretaker habitual. After two minutes, the owner left the room for another two minutes, to meet his pet again after the interval.
The experiment was repeated with more than 100 cats, so that the responses of the latter when meeting their owners were evaluated in degrees of affection.
- Secure attachment. 65 percent of cats were more relaxed when their owner returned to the room, which demonstrates the confidence and degree of security inherent in the link between owner and pet. It should also be noted that these cats were only encouraged to explore the room in the presence of their owner. According to the researchers these results were equivalent to those observed in dogs and babies.
- Avoiding attachment It was experienced in the minority of cases, in which cats were still insecure both in the presence and in the absence of their caregiver and even dodged it.
- Ambivalent attachment. After secure attachment he was the most adopted in cats that, despite surrounding and demanding the attention of their owners, were still insecure.
Conclusions about feline affection
In addition to evidencing the different degrees of attachment, the researchers stated that once a type of link between cat and owner has been created it is very difficult to modify it. This conclusion is also applicable in the case of felines with ambivalent attachment, whose security in the presence of the master will not increase despite being trained.
On the other hand, in regards to benefits of such affection for the human being, Washington State University published a study in the magazine AERA Open in June 2019. To do this, an experiment was conducted with 249 volunteers from the university itself, which were divided into four groups.
The members of the first group caressed and played with cats for ten minutes, while the participants of the second group watched them. The third group observed a presentation with the same animals that were interacting with the first group. Finally, the fourth group, was with members qualified as “on the waiting list.”
After collecting a salivary cortisol sample from all participants, significantly lower levels were evident in those who had had a direct interaction With the cats. Cortisol is one of the main stress hormones, hence the affirmation of the advantages of petting an animal, be it cat or dog.
Both this and the previous experiment demonstrate the strength of the bond that can be created between cats and humans. In this way, the stereotyped perception that relates felines to aggressiveness and distant attitude is not justified. Cats, like people, can have different characters according to their own individuality, without having to apply bad behavior to its entire group.
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