Does your cat love you? Here’s what the science says

Cat owners may find it absurd that scientists even ask whether cats really love their humans.

Those who have lovingly rubbed their cat on their leg or looked into their understanding eyes know the comfort and comfort cats can bring. However, cats are just as motivated by food and shelter as many humans, and there is an evolutionary advantage in feigning interest in their masters in exchange for such things. Modern science allows us to look inside the brains of animals, but to really know the answer to such a question would have to ask animals to verbalize their feelings directly – and apart from a few rare cases, animals cannot speak human language .

A study in PLOS One suggests that cats are at least more independent than their dogs. Animal behavior experts Alice Potter and Daniel Simon Mills wrote that “adult cats are usually quite autonomous in their social relationships and do not necessarily depend on others for a sense of security and security.” People May Not Feel That Way: A 1994 study in the journal Psychological Reports found that people who have cats as pets feel unconditionally loved by them and that feelings of emotional comfort and pleasure are healthy for them.

So what is there?

“Though I wish we could, we can’t get into cats’ brains and know if they’re ‘loving’,” said Dr. Stacy Choczynski Johnson, DVM, Veterinarian on staff at Pumpkin Pet Insurance, emailed Salon. “It’s a complicated feeling and that feeling of love is up for debate.”

However, this does not mean that there is no evidence that your cat is emotionally invested in their relationship with you.

“Cats certainly feel attached to their owners, which could be viewed as a form of affection or love,” added Johnson. “Cats feral outdoors also form a bond because we provide food and shelter. We also bond with our cats through play and entertainment.”

Would you like more health and science stories in your inbox? Subscribe to Salon The Vulgar Scientist’s weekly newsletter.

Samantha Bell, an expert on cat behavior for the Best Friends Animal Society, found that cats show their feelings towards us in observable ways.

“While there is no scientific way of measuring love in relation to cats, I believe they can have great affection for humans and one another,” wrote Bell at Salon. “I can safely say that we can help them feel safe and comfortable. And we can say that they enjoy being around us when they are sitting on our laps, lounging around and not walking, purring, etc.” . “

Bell found that cats, like humans, have different ways of measuring affection – similar to human “love languages,” a pop psychological explanation of how humans express affection in different ways that is currently in vogue.

“Each cat has its own personality and some show more affection than others,” says Bell. “I have one cat that sleeps on my pillow and another that sleeps at the foot of the bed. In my opinion, they both ‘love’ me – they just show it to different degrees. “

Although cats are individually expressive, there are certain general tendencies that give clues about their thoughts and feelings. Johnson told Salon that cats communicate through “physical, vocal, and chemical signals,” from purring and blinking to sharing their pheromones by rubbing their cheeks against you. The latter is done to “mark people and objects as familiar and reassuring”. They will also show confidence by leaning forward or arching their backs while stroking, giving you access to vulnerable areas like their bellies, and greeting you when you arrive and using their tongues to care for you. Even if your cat tolerates your presence in areas where it might otherwise be defensive (e.g.

The reasons for this behavior relate to evolution. For the most part, cats in the wild are solitary animals and avoid social groups (lions are an exception). These cats, who have forged an alliance with humans, have adapted to a pack, but unlike dogs, they are not naturally pack animals. It could be argued that when a cat decides that they consider you family and wants you to stay with us, you should be honored in some way.

“When cats are comfortable around other cats, they rub against them and spend time and sleep near them,” said Bell. “If your cat does these things to you, she’ll likely see you as one of them – one of the family.”

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.