Research Says Cats 'Love You Less' Than Dogs, But It's Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

Posted by Tori Holmes
Do cats love you less than dogs?

Have you heard about the new research study claiming that cats love you less than dogs? Before you jump to any conclusions, make sure you know all the facts.

In this study, researchers performed something called a "secure attachment" study with 20 cat and cat owner pairs. To test the cat's attachment, the felines were placed in a room with either their owner or a stranger, along with some toys.

During their time with either their owner or a stranger, the cats were exposed to a variety of different situations, such as the owner leaving and returning, the stranger leaving and returning, and so on. These interactions were then filmed to see how the cat's responded so the researchers could make inferences on the cat's attachment with their owners.

What researchers found was that the cats did vocalize more when their owners left than when the stranger did, but they didn't see any behavior that would indicate that the cat's attachment to their owners was secure.

While the researchers stand behind their findings, they did make it clear that "[they] do not wish to imply that cats do not form some form of affectionate social relationship or bond with their owners...only that the relationship with the primary caregiver is not typically characterized by a preference for that individual based on them providing safety and security for the cat."

woman hand petting a cat head, love to animals

Now these results may seem negative, but, in reality, they aren't. All these results mean is that cats do not see their owners are some sort of safety net and therefore display more independent behaviors.

Just because cats are independent, doesn't mean that they don't enjoy their relationships with their owners - they simply enjoy different things about them than their canine counterparts.

So to say that your cat "loves you less" than your dog would be incorrect. What you really should be saying is that cats love you differently than your dog, and that's perfectly okay.

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Research Says Cats 'Love You Less' Than Dogs, But It's Not Necessarily a Bad Thing