Secret Scotland

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Careful – your cat may not be as independent as you thought

Looks like stories about cats not being quite the independent and aloof solitary, introvert, loners popular mythology labels them as are… true.

While the stereotype may appear to fit, and cats are definitely not dogs (personality wise), if you’ve shared your home and given space to one of our fluffy overlords, then you’ll probably have come to the conclusion that the reality is not so much that they’re loners, but that they simply like to have their space respected.

They’re just as social as their canine cousins, but in a different way.

Forget puppy love – cats can develop a love for their owners in the same way that dogs do, a study has found.

Despite cats being cast as aloof and less needy than their canine counterparts, research shows that felines are capable of strongly bonding with their owners.

In fact, the bond formed between cats and humans is much the same as the attachment developed between babies and parents, according to US scientists.

Researchers at Oregon State University put 38 cats and 70 kittens through a test similar to one previously devised to measure attachment behaviour in dogs and infants.

In the test, the cats spent two minutes in a new room with their caregivers, followed by two minutes alone and then a two-minute reunion.

The team found that cats with a secure bond to the person were less stressed when they returned, balancing their attention between the person and their surroundings.

However, cats with less secure attachments showed signs of stress such as twitching their tails, licking their lips and either standing away from the person or jumping on to their lap and not moving.

About two-thirds of both the kitten and cat groups had forged “secure” relationships with their owners, meaning that they were bonded to them and relied on them for comfort.

“Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof,” said Kristyn Vitale, the lead author at Oregon State.

“There has long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owners as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.”

“Our study indicates that when cats live in a state of dependency with a human, that attachment behaviour is flexible and the majority of cats use humans as a source of comfort. 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 socialisation intervention.”

Cats may seem aloof but they form attachments to their caregivers just like dogs and babies do, research suggests

Cat holds on

Cat holds on

Try this list of ‘Clingy Cats’ 🙂

25/09/2019 - Posted by | Civilian | ,


  1. My cat just wants to hug me. The last one was like an unbearably cute Hannibal Lector. This one is like David Hasselhoff.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Barney Rubble | 25/09/2019

  2. I had to rescue him for his ear hair

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Barney Rubble | 25/09/2019

  3. I just wish I’d known as much about cat psychology in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Apollo | 25/09/2019

  4. I think Ernest Hemingway said that one can never be bored with a cat in the room.
    They keep it simple and do everything well.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Barney Rubble | 25/09/2019

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