Grumpy cats are not news to us, it is the new finding that cats don’t really need their owners that bedazzles us. According to scientists, cats often ignore their owners simply because they are more independent than dogs and not because they do not care about them.
Researchers at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom have looked deeper at the relationship between cats and their masters. The goal of their study was to determine why cats are less bonded to humans than dogs.
For this purpose, scientists have resorted to the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test (SST) which starts from the premise that there are different types of bonds between children and their pet dogs.
Previous tests have suggested that the relationship between dogs and masters should be regarded as a ‘secure attachment’. More specifically, dogs keep close to their owners because the latter can better provide for them and protect them against dangerous situations.
Researchers have adapted the test to the current situation to observe how cats behave towards their owners. Cats were placed in an unfamiliar set in company of the owner, a stranger or left simply on their own.
During the experiment, researchers have noticed that cats remained just as impartial towards the other persons in the room, regardless of whether they were familiar or not. Scientists have concluded that cats behave this way because they do not feel they should be protected by their owners when in an unfamiliar set.
There have been many changes in the evolution of felines, but some reminiscences still exist, according to scientists. In their opinion, cats feel independent because they preserve the solitary hunter trait of felines.
Alice Potter, the lead author of the study, believes her new findings could be extremely useful in understanding cats. Owners can use this information to bond and improve their relationship with their pets.
Cats have become the main choice for companion in Europe and other countries, leaving dogs far behind in point of popularity. It is precisely this independence and autonomy that has contributed to making these domestic felines the favorite choice of pet lovers, Potter has concluded.
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