Study Says Cats Aren't Necessarily Antisocial, They're Actually Pretty Nice

Posted by Paige Cerulli
Young man with his russian blue cat at the home

Cats have earned themselves a reputation of being standoffish, cold, and even antisocial. But new research reveals that that isn't the case. 

Chances are you've heard that cats are antisocial, especially when compared to dogs. They've certainly earned themselves the reputation of being highly particular and independent, but antisocial? It turns out that the common belief may be a myth.

A new study from Oregon State University yields surprising results: Cats appear to enjoy socializing with humans even more than they like to eat.

Woman at home holding her lovely birman cat, room interior on background, pets and lifestyle concept

During the study, researchers worked with 50 cats which came from both animal shelters and home environments. Researchers deprived the cats of food, human interaction, scents, and toys for a few hours.

Then, researchers introduced stimuli from each of these categories to see which options the domestic cats would choose over others. Surprisingly, most of the cats chose human contact and human socialization, even when presented with other temptations such as food and cat toys.

The study's authors wrote the following commentary:

"While it has been suggested that cat sociality exists on a continuum, perhaps skewed toward independency, we have found that 50% of cats tested preferred interaction with the social stimulus even though they had a direct choice between social interaction with a human and their other most preferred stimuli from the three other stimulus categories."

So, think your cat doesn't appreciate your presence and only shows you affection because you're the one who feeds him? Think again. It turns out that cats may appreciate human interaction and physical affection much more than we ever imagined. That doesn't mean that cats are any less independent or particular, but isn't it nice to know that you're appreciated, even a little bit?

But maybe cat owners and cat lovers already knew this...

Do you have a cat? Does it love you more than food (most the time)? Tell us in the comments below. 

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Study Says Cats Aren't Necessarily Antisocial, They're Actually Pretty Nice