A new study has proven that cats are truly independent pets that do not look to their human owners for safety and security. And they never show any sign of separation anxiety when left home alone or with a stranger. But this does not meant that Mr Whiskers doesn’t love you.
Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioral medicine with the University of Lincoln (England), stated that “The domestic cat has recently passed the dog as the most popular companion animal in Europe, with many seeing a cat as an ideal pet for owners who work long hours”.
And the reason may be precisely the dependency issue. Dogs generally require more attention than cats. Not only do they need to be taken out for walks, but they also form a loving child-like bond with their human owners. After all, they’re called man’s best friend for a reason – they will always come to your aid and cone to you for aid. But many dogs also hate being left alone for long periods of time.
Professor Mills wanted to conduct the new study because there was some research suggesting that cats, just like dogs, feel separation anxiety when their human owners are nowhere in sight. But the new study has shown that this isn’t true.
For the project, Professor Mills and his colleagues studied 20 cats that they took out of their normal environment and placed in a new one. Some of the felines were moved along with their human owners, others were “given” to strangers, and others were left in humanless environments.
The animals proved to be more vocal in the last two scenarios, but Professor Mills belies that this may simply be a sign of frustration, as they showed no other behavior that would suggest they form a bond of safety and security with their human owners.
But don’t despair! Celia Haddon, cat expert, gave a statement of her own stressing that this is exactly why cats will refuse to live in a house where they are not happy. So if Mr Whiskers is sleeping on your pillow rather than eyeing the door, this is a clear sign that he loves you.
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