The latest research has shown that felines are far more footloose than canines. No wonder dogs are clingy while cats are cool and aloof in their everyday behavior.
They stand on their own feet. In fact, these purring creatures not only have nine lives but don’t give a damn about the lives of others. Domesticated felines never take their owners into consideration as sources of safety and protection. Rather they do what they like with a cold and calculated rationality that is the opposite of the behavior that dogs exhibit.
The study that was conducted showed that cats were likely to give the cold shoulder to their guardians and dogs were more likely to grovel. No wonder a dog is man’s best friend. Cats will probably be the last bunch of animals to be civilized. They have class and poise.
In fact they seem to have a mind of their own. Dogs are very down to earth and tend to be slaves of their owners. But cats maintain a cool distance from their patrons. Although cats are social animals, the adult version of the kitten is much more likely to stay pretty much to itself instead of mingling with its master (or mistress).
The research, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, was led by Professor Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, along with Alice Potter – who studied as a postgraduate at Lincoln and now works with the Companion Animals Science Group at the RSPCA.
Domestic cats are a far cry from their Big Cat cousins which inhabit the savannas of Africa. They have replaced dogs as favorite pets, especially in case of women. Taylor Swift’s cat, named Olivia Benson, is a prime example. Wherever you see Taylor, you will see the cat cuddled up in her lap.
But nevertheless the cat remains much more independent-minded than its fellow canines. The attachment to its owner is a temporary phenomenon that may undergo extinction anytime. Dogs on the other hand show instant anxiety when their guardians vanish from sight. In case of cats there is more of a sense of frustration instead of any signs of anxiety.
Professor Mills said: “The domestic cat has recently passed the dog as the most popular companion animal in Europe, with many seeing a cat as an ideal pet for owners who work long hours. Previous research has suggested that some cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way that dogs do, but the results of our study show that they are in fact much more independent than canine companions. It seems that what we interpret as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration.”
The experiment had owners place their pet cats in contact with a stranger or on their own. The ensuing drama was recorded. The reactions were not so dramatic to begin with. The vocal signs shown by the cat were just a sign of irritation and the feline never missed its owner in any way.
“Although our cats were more vocal when the owner rather than the stranger left them with the other individual, we didn’t see any additional evidence to suggest that the bond between a cat and its owner is one of secure attachment. This vocalisation might simply be a sign of frustration or learned response, since no other signs of attachment were reliably seen. In strange situations, attached individuals seek to stay close to their carer, show signs of distress when they are separated and demonstrate pleasure when their attachment figure returns, but these trends weren’t apparent during our research,” said Professor Mills.
“For pet dogs, their owners often represent a specific safe haven; however it is clear that domestic cats are much more autonomous when it comes to coping with unusual situations. Our findings don’t disagree with the notion that cats develop social preferences or close relationships, but they do show that these relationships do not appear to be typically based on a need for safety and security. As far as we could tell, the cats of owners who considered them to be highly attached did not differ from the others in this regard.”
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The results of the study proves that cats have an individualistic approach to life. Pet dogs did show signs of missing their owners though proving once and for all that dogs will die for the sake of their owners. Thus while felines tend to interact on a regular basis with their owners, they never become so used to them that they could not function without them.