Cats attach to women as social partners

roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,633Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
I enjoyed reading about this study and thought I would share it with all the cat lovers. For those who are not cat lovers, maybe it will help explain the bond that cats/owners feel for each other.
The study is the first to show in detail that the dynamics underlying cat-human relationships are nearly identical to human-only bonds, with cats sometimes even becoming a furry "child" in nurturing homes.
Enjoy!

Cats bond with women -- and not just for food - Health - Pet health - msnbc.com

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
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Comments

  • J.S.M.J.S.M. Posts: 415Registered Users
    Hm. Well, that might explain why my boyfriend's cat has attached to me significantly more than anyone else that she comes across. I just care much more for her. Very interesting article.

  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Hmmm...my cat hates me, even though I'm the one who feeds her and cleans her litter box. But she's VERY attached to my husband...and he does absolutely nothing for her, other than scratch her chin occasionally. He hardly pays attention to her, but she craves to be with him every.single.minute. I joke that she wishes I would die, so that SHE could be his woman.

    (I think she hates me because the dogs are obviously most attached to me. She doesn't like the dogs very much.)
  • murrrcatmurrrcat Posts: 9,596Registered Users
    I love cats. Forever.

    That is all.
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  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    What a great article! Thank you for sharing. :)

    I love my Simon boy.
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  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Lol, this is one of those studies that validate what everyone already knows.

    Except for dog supremacists. You can all go suck eggs.
  • SpringcurlSpringcurl Posts: 8,002Registered Users
    That probably explains this:

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  • CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
    turtles wrote: »
    I love cats. Forever.

    That is all.

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  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    BTW, for people who've never had cats, they're not "eager to please the pack leader" the way dogs are, but they're generally very affectionate creatures. They often interact with humans in the same ways that they interacted with their mothers as kittens, sometimes even attempting to suckle from an arm or hand. Also, like the article mentioned, an individual cat builds up a vocabulary of body language and vocalization that can easily be interpreted by humans. It's actually pretty funny how precisely a cat can communicate. From my experience, I think that cats often communicate very specific things, while dogs "speak" in general statements.

    EDIT: Maybe I sound like I'm crazy, but I really like how animals and humans are able to communicate with each other.

    EDIT 2: Also, it's really funny when a cat is trying to be sneaky but is betrayed by its own body language.
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,633Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    From my experience, I think that cats often communicate very specific things, while dogs "speak" in general statements.

    I agree with this! And since you mentioned dogs in an earlier post, the article says that Kotrschal's team is presently involved in a long-term study of man's other well-known animal best friend: dogs.

    That should be interesting too!

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • PoodleheadPoodlehead Posts: 6,959Registered Users
    Hmmm...my cat hates me, even though I'm the one who feeds her and cleans her litter box.
    This is Merlin. I'm the only one in the whole house he attacks unprovoked.
    Minneapolis, MN
  • nikskenikske Posts: 556Registered Users
    It's true. As Eilonwy said, cats tend to look at humans as a "mother figure". A long time ago, I read this article that stated that because of the way we pet cats, they tend to stay in this kitten mindset. From experience, I'd say that's is 100% true.

    My ex has a cat too. She's quite aloof and even hostile at times to others. With me, she'll act like a baby, wanting to be cradled even, she loves for me to pick her up and treat her like a little kitten. She'll even try to suckle.

    My own cat has a wide range of noises she makes to verbalize her needs, and I seem to understand those quite well.
    Cats also seem to remember kindness and return the favors later. If owners comply with their feline's wishes to interact, then the cat will often comply with the owner's wishes at other times.

    So true! I've not experience the same kind of bond with my dog.
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  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    They often interact with humans in the same ways that they interacted with their mothers as kittens, sometimes even attempting to suckle from an arm or hand.

    Eddy still suckles from my left elbow and he's nearly 2.

    I love my Eddy.
    Fat does not make you fat. It's actually pretty important.
  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users Curl Novice
    I love cats because they are extremely affectionate (I never understand dog lovers who insist cats aren't!) and have their own very distinct personalities - much more so then any dog I've known.

    They are like little humans. I agree that I can understand exactly what my two cats are 'saying'/trying to communicate. Just by their noises/posture and actions.

    They will also love to be petted and cuddled by me - Poppy in particular lets me/likes me to hold her like a baby and she likes to just sit on my chest with the head bumped against mine for ages (which is cute but rather annoying if you're trying to watch the TV).
  • munchkinmunchkin Posts: 2,909Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    My two may love me, but they sure are "daddy's boys"!!! I can't get the one to jump on my lap but he wants to sit on my husband's lap every evening.
    3b/c
  • J.S.M.J.S.M. Posts: 415Registered Users
    nikske wrote: »
    It's true. As Eilonwy said, cats tend to look at humans as a "mother figure". A long time ago, I read this article that stated that because of the way we pet cats, they tend to stay in this kitten mindset. From experience, I'd say that's is 100% true.

    My ex has a cat too. She's quite aloof and even hostile at times to others. With me, she'll act like a baby, wanting to be cradled even, she loves for me to pick her up and treat her like a little kitten. She'll even try to suckle.

    My own cat has a wide range of noises she makes to verbalize her needs, and I seem to understand those quite well.
    Cats also seem to remember kindness and return the favors later. If owners comply with their feline's wishes to interact, then the cat will often comply with the owner's wishes at other times.
    So true! I've not experience the same kind of bond with my dog.

    What do you mean "the way we pet cats"? How do we pet them?

  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users Curl Novice
    My cat sat next to me for most of the day without leaving my side. Quietly purring, every so often chirping away, having a conversation with me. It was the funniest thing.
  • OBBOBB Posts: 4,174Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    no "BEWARE OF CATS" sign has ever been posted in front of a home. FACT.
  • J.S.M.J.S.M. Posts: 415Registered Users
    OBB wrote: »
    no "BEWARE OF CATS" sign has ever been posted in front of a home. FACT.

    Actually, there's a "Beware of Cats" sign on my grandmother's house. Fact. :smile:

  • DedachanDedachan Posts: 1,644Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I get so annoyed when people say cats aren't trustworthy. What is that supposed to mean? I personally have witnessed dogs act "petty" around me. My godmother's really annoying poodle tricked me into thinking it wanted affection just to climb the couch, but once he got there, he nearly bit me when I tried to pet him. Also, I have a friend with 2 dogs who only show interest in me as long as a 2nd visitor doesn't arrive. They just care about the novelty and seeing which of the two get more attention. You call that loyalty? Cats, on the other hand, take their time to assess who you are before they decide they can trust you. Sounds reasonable to me. It's what I do.

    I had two cats. One of them was very playful and loved to lie on my lap and have her tummy rubbed. The other one was more introspective and didn't like being held and had a whole ritual for letting us know when he wanted to be petted. He'd rub himself sideways on my leg and make me follow him through the yard until he found the right spot, lol. They were really my dad's cats. It was his decision to keep them (my mother was never fond of cats) and he actually cried when we had to give them away.

    What I discovered is that cats personalities vary too much in order for anyone to make generalizations about their personalities. But I like that they are not as clingy as dogs. Some dogs are miserable wrecks when you leave the house and make you feel guilty for it. If dogs were human, they'd need to be institucionalized, because they'd probably be that person who ends up stalking you or doing emotional blackmail. I think an emotionally well balanced person is someone who is fine alone, but will socialize with others and enter relationships not because they need to, but because they want to. So yes, I am a cat person, and proud of it.

    P.S. I heard somewhere that cats were often killed in the Medieval Ages due to supersticion, which was actually just contributing to the spread of rats carrying the bubonic plague. Cat hatred is no laughing matter. :toothy5:
  • nikskenikske Posts: 556Registered Users
    J.S.M. wrote: »
    What do you mean "the way we pet cats"? How do we pet them?

    Most people focus on the head, especially between the ears or the sides. This reminds cats of their mother, who would groom them like this.
    Wurly 2b/2c/3a Miii - high porosity

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    Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum.

    Sodomy non sapiens.

    - Terry Pratchett
  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users Curl Novice
    ^ Yes. If you give cats a head massage they turn into a limp pile of purring, drooling goo.

    At least - that has been my experience lol
  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I just don't get cats. I try to please them and give them what they want, but I never know what the hell that is. Mine will be friendlier with total strangers than they are with me, their rescuer and caregiver. I always think "never again" until I see some sprite-like kitten with beautiful mischievous eyes, and then I start feeling like........maybe.

    I'd like to be able to take mine out like springcurl does hers.
  • LadyV69LadyV69 Posts: 3,397Registered Users
    This article is of no surprise to me. People who say all cats are aloof obviously haven't been around many of them. And no one who has ever met my cat Hazel can ever say she's aloof. She's very playful, sweet and affectionate. She likes getting her tummy rubbed and is somewhat of a lap cat. I say somewhat in that she'll sit on my lap for only a few minutes at a time, but while she's there she enjoys herself. She often will follow me around my apartment because she enjoys my company and we'll have whole conversations (she can be a chatty creature), but she isn't very clingy. At times, she'll hide in the bathtub or under the bed and wait for me to find her. Cats aren't pack animals, so they don't have any need to please the pack leader like dogs do. I'm tired of the bad reputation that cats have because while dogs are great animals, their reputation is sometimes overrated, IMO.
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  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,633Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I love dogs and cats. We are a cat free home because of allergies but I always enjoyed having them in the past.

    Some of the posts in this thread remind me of the saying "Dogs have owners, cats have staff!"

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    ninja dog wrote: »
    I just don't get cats. I try to please them and give them what they want, but I never know what the hell that is.
    Maybe it's just your cats' personalities. It happens with pets of any species.

    And yeah, it's really funny when a cat decides to have a conversation with you, especially if you can chirrup back :lol:
  • FieryCurlsFieryCurls Posts: 2,904Registered Users
    LadyV69 wrote: »
    This article is of no surprise to me. People who say all cats are aloof obviously haven't been around many of them. And no one who has ever met my cat Hazel can ever say she's aloof. She's very playful, sweet and affectionate. She likes getting her tummy rubbed and is somewhat of a lap cat. I say somewhat in that she'll sit on my lap for only a few minutes at a time, but while she's there she enjoys herself. She often will follow me around my apartment because she enjoys my company and we'll have whole conversations (she can be a chatty creature), but she isn't very clingy. At times, she'll hide in the bathtub or under the bed and wait for me to find her. Cats aren't pack animals, so they don't have any need to please the pack leader like dogs do. I'm tired of the bad reputation that cats have because while dogs are great animals, their reputation is sometimes overrated, IMO.

    You pretty much just described my big love bug.
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  • CurlyCurliesCurlyCurlies Posts: 1,641Registered Users
    My cat is 4 years old, so she's out of the kitten phase, but she still has these random bursts of energy where she'll run like a maniac through the house. These are the times that we play hide and seek. It's so fun. She's also up for a game of fetch the plastic bottle cap at pretty much any time of the day.

    I'm really attached to that cat and it makes me sad to think that she'll die one day.
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  • curlylauracurlylaura Posts: 8,352Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    And yeah, it's really funny when a cat decides to have a conversation with you, especially if you can chirrup back :lol:

    Me and Eddy have meowing competitions
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  • divegirldivegirl Posts: 1,286Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    How cute are these two kitties!

    My one cat makes those kinds of vocalizations all the time. When I pet her when she's asleep, when I get home from work and she says hello, when I chase her (it sounds like she's squealing as she's running), or just to get my attention. So cute! I wish I knew what she is trying to say.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    kat180 wrote: »
    ^ Yes. If you give cats a head massage they turn into a limp pile of purring, drooling goo.

    At least - that has been my experience lol
    Oh yeah, drooling is definitely something cats do when you hold them and pet them.
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