Placed in an unknown place, about 65% of cats are as interested in their master as they are in the room they are discovering and show confidence
Appearances can be deceiving. Cats’ affection for their owners would be comparable to that of dogs. Their attachment would even be similar to what a child feels for the adults who care for him, according to a study published this Monday in Current Biology Magazine.
The researchers’ work consisted of applying an experiment already conducted on dogs and children to cats. They placed a cat and its owner in an unknown room for two minutes. He then went out for two minutes before returning and spending another two minutes with the animal. The test was performed on 79 kittens and 38 cats.
Sociability similar to that of dogs
Thus, 64.3% of kittens that had an interpretable reaction showed signs of trust and attachment when their master returned. For example, they paid as much attention to it as they did to the piece they were discovering. 35.7% of young cats, on the other hand, expressed their insecurity by staying away from their owners, remaining motionless or licking their lips.
The trends observed in adult cats were very similar, with 65.8% of felines in confidence and 34.2% not very reassured. The scientists recall that in the same scenario, the percentages recorded in a dog population were 58% and 42%. And 65% and 35% in the experiment conducted on children. “The cat attachment pattern seems to be relatively stable and present in adulthood. (…) Our study provides evidence that this social adaptability applies to interspecies disease and that, like dogs, cats show general sociability,” specialists write.