Cats Enjoy the Company of Their Owners

Some new studies suggest that cats truly enjoy the company of their owners. Not only that, it's a lot more important to them than what most suspected. Of course, cats and cat-lovers already knew that.
Cats Enjoy the Company of Their Owners

Last update: 20 June, 2019

Many people believe that cats are too independent, too cool for school, and too reserved to ever be affectionate. However, a recent study confirmed that cats do, in fact, enjoy the company of their owners. So, enough with the slander against these beautiful animals.

Cats enjoy human company, and always have, in spite of how often some describe them as cold, stand-offish and indifferent. However, as much as it may seem so, it’s all part of their strategy to set themselves apart from canines or to not make themselves vulnerable by showing their true feelings. Recent studies confirmed that cats not only enjoy human company but also that they love and need their owners.

We could say there are two types of people in the world: dog-people and cat-people. Members of the first group argue that dogs are a lot more affectionate therefore better companions.

While this may be true, it’s also the case with felines and therefore their bad reputation may be about to end. Cats are just a lot more independent and self-sufficient. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy human company.

Cats enjoy the company of their owners

A woman holding and kissing a cat.

For sure, many cat guardians often wonder if their pets feel any sort of affection for them. Well, you’re about to get an answer and it’ll be thanks to a study by the Oregon State University, published in the Behavioral Processes Journal.

The people in charge of this study claim that cats prefer the company of and contact with humans more than they care about food, other animals and games. For this, researchers analyzed the behavior of 55 cats. 23 of these lived in loving homes and the remaining 32 came from a shelter. All the cats were put in isolation for two hours with plenty of food (sweets, tuna, etc.) and toys, but no humans.

Later on, the cats were placed in a similar environment but this time with humans. To everyone’s surprise, the animals chose to go with the people in order to be pet and pampered. Social interaction with humans seemed to be the main goal of most cats whether they came from a loving home or a shelter. Food came in second place.

The animal evaluation was conducted with a method called “free-operant preference assessment.” It consists of placing the subjects with several objects around them to see what degree of interest they show on each one. However, this experiment hadn’t been done with cats before.

Can you train a cat to be affectionate?

A kitten lying down on a couch looking at the camera.

Cats do prefer solitude more than dogs. Still, many of the latter aren’t too comfortable in the company of children or certain humans. Of course, it all depends on the temperament of each animal, and their training and quality of interactions since they were puppies.

As for cats, did you know some breeds are a lot more affectionate than others? If you’re looking for a pet who’ll keep you company by lying on your lap or next to you on the couch, then choose a Maine Coon, a Siamese, a Ragdoll, a Norwegian Forest, a Turkish Angora, a Russian Blue, a Persian or a Somali. All of these love human contact.

If you already have a cat and it doesn’t belong to any of these breeds, don’t you worry. You may not know it, but there are methods that can help them to be a little more affectionate. For example, you can give them toys and play with them. Also, pet them and be very affectionate with them yourself, and they’ll reciprocate.

So, remember the law of karma: what you give will come back to you. That is, if you’re kind to your pets, they’ll be kind to you.

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