New research says your cat is only pretending to hate you

By Lindsay de Freitas
02 April 2016

The age-old belief that dogs are man’s best friends has been thrown into question thanks to new research.

While dogs bound excitedly to the front door to greet us when we get home at the end of the day, cats often seem as if they couldn’t care less. But after dealing with years of unfair stereotypes that they are aloof and selfish, science is finally letting us in on what’s going on in the mind of felines.

And it seems as if their icy cold demeanour has been nothing but an act all along...

According to research from Oregon State University in the US, which was recently published in animal behaviour journal Behavioural Processes, there is scientific evidence that cats are really loving animals.

In fact, the study revealed that cats like interacting with humans more than they like eating food.

Read more: So, your cat might be making your PMS worse

To conduct the study researchers left 50 cats - from shelters and people’s homes - without food, toys and any human interaction for several hours.

They then presented them with four different kinds of stimulation, including human interaction, food, scent and toys and recorded the duration of time that the cats spent indulging in each activity.

Finally, the researchers presented all four types of stimulation to the animals at the same time and let them choose their favourite. Each cat was placed in the middle of a cross surrounded by their favourites of each of the four stimuli and was free to move around however they wanted.

Read more: 16 cats who forgot they weren’t human

The shocking finding was that although their preferences varied, most cats preferred to socialise with humans than eat food.

Majority of the cats in the sampling craved human attention over any other stimuli, while only 37 percent chose food first. Research also showed that there were no significant differences between the homed and the shelter cats meaning that whether they had a home or not, many cats crave love more than anything else.

"While it has been suggested that cat sociality exists on a continuum, perhaps skewed toward independency," the authors of the study wrote.

"We have found that 50% of cats tested preferred interaction with the social stimulus even though they had a direct choice between social interaction with a human and their other most preferred stimuli from the three other stimulus categories."

So there you have it cat-lovers, you’re seemingly selfish cat would probably choose your loving chin-rub over a bowl of kibble.

Sources: telegraph.co.uk, independent.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, motherboard.vice.com

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