Generally speaking, most people believe that dogs love their owners more than cats do. Interestingly, a recent study orchestrated by researchers from Oregon State University published in Current Biology reveals that not only babies and dogs are attached to their parents but cats as well.
The common belief is that cats are more independent and less social than canines, while the study shows that felines get stressed when their humans leave the house and feel secure when they return.
The researchers used the same attachment test performed among dogs.
Here’s a cat attachment experience:
70 kittens were put in a room with their owners for two minutes, then the caretakers left for another two minutes and returned. As the researchers observed the felines, they paired them with attachment style criteria similar to dogs and babies: ambivalent, secure, avoidant, and disorganized.
It was found that during the period the caretakers were out of the room, 60% of the cats showed a secure attachment style meaning they were distressed. However, the kittens displayed a healthy balance of exploration and attachment as the caretakers returned to the room.
Almost 30% of the felines showed an insecure attachment style, meaning their stress level remained after they were reunited and displayed avoidance, excessive contact, and even disorganized mix. The study discovered that the distinction between secure and insecure is almost identical to that found in the literature for children.
It was mention that social cognition in dogs has received more scientific attention than cats and we might have all had it wrong and they are more attached to us than we’d think.