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Our feline buddies have earned a reputation for being both mysterious and quirky. It’s no surprise that scientists have had a hard time deciphering these little furballs. Fluffy often refuses to cooperate in studies, leaving researchers scratching their heads! However, recent studies have revealed some interesting things about our mysterious feline friends. A local vet lists a few of the key ones below.
We can’t help but joke about how cold and calculating cats are. However, to be fair that really isn’t the case. A study done in 2019 showed that our feline pals really do bond with their human friends. The study looked at 70 cats, who were put in a room with their owners for about two minutes. They were then left alone for two minutes, after which their owners returned. The kitties actually did show signs of affection, leading researchers to classify them as demonstrating ‘secure attachment’ to their owners. Of course, this is likely old news to anyone with an affectionate feline!
Another study on cat behavior looked at whether cats prefer food to attention. The results were quite surprising! This study, which was done in 2017 by folks at the Oregon State University, tested both pet cats and shelter kitties. The furballs were given a choice of activities. They could eat, play, or hang out with humans. Most of the cats chose to interact with the humans. Food was the second choice. (We’re not sure where boxes or catnip would have ranked.)
This study, from 2019, monitored a group of 78 kitties to see if they gave any reaction when their names were called. As researchers watched (and listened) the cat owners said five specific words. One was the kitty’s name. The other four just sounded similar. In a variation, they had strangers speak the same words to the cats. As it turned out, Fluffy actually did respond differently when she heard her name. Of course, this also means that yes, your cat does sometimes ignore you when you call her.
Did you know that people with kitties often tend to have better mental health than those who don’t have feline friends? As it turns out, the affection, comfort, companionship, and, of course, live entertainment kitties provide is actually very beneficial to us! Other benefits of having a furball include better sleep, less anxiety, and lower hypertension. Fluffy does have a good reason to look proud of herself.
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