According to the findings of a recent study, cats are more independent than dogs and they actually do not need their owners in order to feel safe. But they stick around anyway, because they actually love their masters.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Lincoln’s Veterinary School and it was led by Professor Daniel Mills, who teaches veterinary behavioral medicine.
They studied a group of 20 cats when they were together with their masters and when they were placed with strangers, so that they could observe the exact responses that the animals displayed.
They were interested to see whether or not the animals would suffer from separation anxiety when taken away from their masters, but to everyone’s surprise, the group of cats included in the study displayed no such reaction.
“Although our cats were more vocal when the owner rather than the stranger left, we didn’t see any additional evidence to suggest that the bond between a cat and its owner is one of secure attachment” concluded professor Mills.
He also pointed out that the cat’s reaction is more likely one of frustration, rather than one of separation anxiety, because the cat is clearly bothered when its master is no longer there.
The findings of the study were published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE and the most important thing that the researchers wanted to make absolutely clear was that the conclusion of their study did not reveal that cats do not love their masters.
The study implies quite the opposite actually, because cats choose to stay and show affection to their masters in spite of the fact that they do not actually need them. This means that they actually make the decision to develop feelings for their masters, which is actually pretty amazing.
Furthermore, previous studies have revealed that cats leave when they are not happy and content in their environment, which is another manifestation of their great sense of independence.
While dogs are completely trusting of their masters, cats adopt a more reserved standpoint on things. They would rather feel that they have a firm grip on things before they make any kinds of attachments.
And when they feel threatened, they tend to rely on their own powers to stay safe, such as hiding under the sofa or climbing on top of furniture, where they cannot be reached, rather than running towards their masters.
Therefore, cat owners should consider themselves lucky to be loved and appreciated by their furry companions, and they should be proud that it is more likely related to the connection that they have with the animal, rather than with the fact that they are the cat’s care givers.
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