Turns Out Cats Bond With Their Owners In The Same Way Children Bond With Parents

Stop the presses, dogs might not be people’s only best friends anymore! Felines are also angling to take up the mantle of our special buddies after scientists have made some startling conclusions in recent research.

Scientists at Oregon State University conducted a study and proved that our favorite felines can form secure bonds with their owners — just like doggos do. What this means is that cats, no matter how arrogant or aloof they might act, really do care about us and think of us as their caregivers.

Scientists discovered and amazing think about cats

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Attachment behavior studies involve reuniting kids with their parents or caregivers after a short period of absence. Previously, researchers found that human babies, baby monkeys, and cute lil puppers can be securely or insecurely attached to their parents. Naturally, scientists decided to test the theory with kittens as well.

Research shows that cattos can form secure bonds with their owners…

Image credits: Current Biology

Image credits: Current Biology

Well, scientists found that around two-thirds (or 65 percent to be exact) of kittens were securely bonded to their owners. What’s more, these bonds stayed firm right into adulthood. The ratio of secure to insecure bonds is almost identical to that found in human babies as well.

…just like dogs, monkeys and even human babies!

Image credits: Current Biology

But what exactly is (in)secure bonding? Well, it’s pretty simple. A secure bond means that when a kitten’s owner returns to them, the catto will both pay attention to them and explore its surroundings. Meanwhile, an insecure bond means that the kitten’s seriously stressed-out: it avoids its owner, and has the body language of an animal that’s anxious.

That means that two-thirds of felines view their owners as their caretakers or even parents

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Study author and researcher Kristyn Vitale of Oregon State University had this to say to Science Daily: “Like dogs, cats display social flexibility in regard to their attachments with humans. The majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment.”

Even though cattos might seem arrogant and aloof, they really do care about us

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Image credits: Phillip Stewart

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“Once an attachment style has been established between the cat and its caregiver, it appears to remain relatively stable over time, even after a training and socialization intervention. Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof. There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out,” Vitale explained.

Dogs might not be people’s only best friends anymore

Image credits: KLMircea

Dear Pandas, what do you think of these startling discoveries? Will they make you look at cats differently from now on? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

You can watch a video of a cat attachment experiment in progress right here

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