I have always been a dog person, but I do love cats as well. There may be a special place in my heart for dogs, but I can recognize the unique and special traits that make cat people as obsessed over their feline friends as I am over my canine ones.
However, while I would have imagined that cats viewed their owners as peasants or slaves (don’t come for me) I can admit that I was wrong. According to a recent study that was published in Current Biology, cats bond with their owners in the same way kids do with their parents.
The study was carried out by Oregan State University. In their research, they point towards the massive amounts of studies that have sought to understand the social cognition of dogs, while not so much research has been done on cats. “Despite fewer studies, research suggests we may be underestimating cats’ socio-cognitive abilities,” they wrote.
To carry out their research, they carried out tests to understand the attachment styles of dogs and primates with three- eight month-old kittens and their human owners. They had each of the kittens spend a few minutes in a room with their owner, who then left them alone before later returning two minutes later.
They used the same criteria to grade the dogs and sorted 70 kittens into different attachment styles, according to how they greeted their owner upon their return.
Much like humans, kittens who were insecurely attached ignored their owners when they returned or acted clingy, Out of the kittens 64% of them were securely attached while 35% were insecurely attached.
Another thing worth mentioning, was when a kitten developed an attachment style, it remained steady over time.
What this all translates to is that “the majority of cats use humans as a source of comfort,” says lead author Kristyn Vitale. Cats are just as capable of forming attachments to their caregivers as dogs and even children, based on this study.