Study: Women May Bond Better with Their Cat Than Men DoPublished August 17, 2011
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The study was done to scientifically examine the differences and dynamics in the kind of relationships and bonds formed between cats and women compared with those with cats and men. According to the article on Discovery News, it is scheduled for publication in The Journal Behavior Processes.
The results of this new research study demonstrated that cats do become more attached to women than men as their "social partners.” However, the motive for this attachment is not only based on fulfilling survival needs; apparently these relationships closely mirror the bonds between humans, especially if the owner is a woman.
In the study led by Kurt Kotrschal of the Konrad Lorenz Research Station and the University of Vienna, interactions between 41 cats and their owners were videotaped and later studied by the researchers. These observations were made over lengthy four-part periods where every behavior of both the owner and the cat were recorded. Additionally, cat and owner personalities were assessed in a separate test.
Based on the interaction between the cats and their owners, researchers found that owners and their cats influenced each other and frequently controlled the other's actions. Young active cats and extraverted women connected easily, with the cats in these relationships inviting friendly contact with only a subtle cue of one upright tail flick.
"Food is often used as a token of affection, and the ways that cats and humans relate to food are similar in nature to the interactions seen between the human caregiver and the pre-verbal infant,” Jon Day, a Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, a researcher and co-author of the study told Discover News. “Both cat and human are, at least in part, in control of when and what they are fed."
Cat aficionados won’t find it at all surprising that this study, the first one to "scientifically" demonstrate that the bonds between cats and humans are almost the same as the bonds between humans, shows that cats are often considered a furry "child" in homes that are nurturing to felines.
But this writer feels strongly that, in spite of this “scientific” evidence about the bonds that develop between women and cats, men who truly appreciate felines and are in touch with their nurturing side are just as capable of building deep and loving relationships with these amazing animals.
What do you think about the study? Share your opinions with a comment.