Meow you know the truth.
Whenever I reveal that I prefer cats to dogs, I’m met with a slew of judgmental remarks. If I had a nickel for every time I hear, “cats are assholes” and “your cat doesn’t love you back,” I could pay scientists to conduct a study proving felines aren’t the unfriendly creatures they’re made out to be. Thankfully, I can save my money, because science has already taken care of it.
A new study reveals what cat people have known all along: Our kitties not only like us, but they are—brace yourselves—NICE.
New research from Oregon State University published in “Behavioural Processes” discovered cats like interacting with humans more than they like eating food. Take a minute to let that soak in.
To dispel feline misconceptions, researchers performed cognitive tests on 50 cats. The test subjects were a mix of house pets and shelter felines. The researchers then gave the cats different stimuli, including food, scent, toys and human socialization.
Guess what happened? The majority of cats preferred human socialization over any of the other stimuli. The cat’s origin — whether it lived in a house or a shelter — didn’t make a difference. According to the study, half of the cats preferred social interaction, while 37% preferred food.
The authors note: “While it has been suggested that cat sociality exists on a continuum, perhaps skewed toward independency, we have found that 50% of cats tested preferred interaction with the social stimulus even though they had a direct choice between social interaction with a human and their other most preferred stimuli from the three other stimulus categories.”
Cats’ personalities differ on an individual level, though. The authors point out that cats’ preferences for socialization may depend on their breed and life history.
Regardless, this is the study cat people definitely needed. To celebrate, here are videos of cats being adorable. You’re welcome.