Cats have got a reputation of being uncaring pets that are dumber than dogs. In some cases this reputation is well-earned; however, for most cats they do care and they want you around. It’s taken animal researchers some time to figure a simple approach to testing if cats care, but they did it. They simply took a test used to see if infants and pet dogs care about their human companions and just ran the same test with cats. The conclusion is that yes, cats do are about you.
The key finding was that the cats fell into these subsets of attachment at roughly the same rates as dogs and infants. Around two-thirds clearly displayed a secure attachment to their owners, while most insecure cats were clingy and remained stressed. Subsequent experiments showed that these results stayed largely the same for the same group of cats six weeks later, as well as for a new group of older cats past the age of one.
Because of the similarities between cats, dogs, and human babies in their attachment styles, the authors said, it’s likely that the same intrinsic attributes and traits that make dogs and babies go puppy-eyed for their caregivers aren’t wholly unique to them. Cats bond to us, too, just in their own, not always apparent way.