We like to keep up with all the latest pet research, and a new study from Oregon State University definitely caught our eye. The researchers tested a variety of preferences among a group of adult cats, both pets and shelter cats. The findings will come as no surprise to cat lovers everywhere…but for those who think cats are not social or friendly, and would take a bowl of food over human company…well, it might be time to re-think that.
The study is nicely summarized on the website Motherboard. Each cat in the study was deprived of food, toys, and human contact for a few hours. Then the cats were presented with stimuli in 4 categories: human socialization, food, scent, and toys. The results? Among both pet cats and shelter cats, human socialization was preferred over any of the other categories.
50% of the cats preferred human interaction over all other stimuli, while 37% preferred the food. The bottom line? Presented with a choice, most cats would take quality time with you over any other type of “treat.” And the fact that the cats in the study were deprived of human contact for some time, makes it all the more important for us to give them the affection they need after we’ve been out of the house for a while!