Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

New Study Shows Cats Do Love People

New Study Shows Cats Do Love People

Cats love people more than food, study finds

[DIGEST: New York Times, Washington Post, Time]

Think cats love you only for your ability to make food magically appear in their bowls? Well, prepare to feel a little bit guilty.


A new study out of Oregon State University found that, when given a choice, most cats prefer human company to food, toys or interesting smells.

The study, published in Behavioural Processes, found that in a sample of pet and shelter cats, half of them preferred interacting with humans. 37 percent preferred food, 11 percent liked toys, and one cat preferred the smells of catnip and gerbils.

“Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities,” read the study. “Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable.”  

While this study may surprise dog people, cat lovers know what’s up. Kristyn Vitale Shreve, a co-author of the study and cat socializer, said that “[i]t’s not surprising to me to see cats being social. I’ve never seen cats being unsocial.” (Yes, cat socializer. She leads a class that teaches people to train their kittens to sit, stand and perform tricks.)

Dennis Turner, a cat researcher who is the director of the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology in Switzerland, said that these study’s findings are “important” and “gratifying” in that they bolster his previous research. In a study he performed with his colleague twenty years ago, they found that merely feeding a cat was insufficient for a true human-cat bond to develop. Turner said that “it takes more than that, talking with or stroking the animal to maintain that preference and establish a relationship.”

While there are many cognitive studies on dogs, this is one of few studies that has been successfully performed with cats. Cats are generally perceived as harder to train, and, because they are territorial, studies often have to be performed outside the sterile setting of the lab.

Because cat cognitive studies are new, this study is especially important for the larger point that “not all cats are the same, despite the fact that people who don’t like cats say they’re all the same, they’re aloof, and so on,” said John Bradshaw, a British biologist who founded the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol.

This research may also spur additional studies into cats. “I expect many more studies of the cat’s cognitive abilities in the near future,” said Turner. “And I expect that they will be as high as dogs, wolves and primates, given the fact that the cat is a predator, which in the wild was forced to make decisions about where and what to hunt on a daily basis.”

Now before cat lovers gloat, it should be noted that 11 of the cats tested were unable to complete the study. Five didn’t finish “due to nervous behavior.” And six others—well, they didn’t like any of the choices. But that’s not aloof. That’s just playing hard to get.

More from News

Matthew Perry in '90210'; Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry in '90210'
Fox

Poignant '90210' Scene Featuring Matthew Perry, Shannen Doherty And Luke Perry Resurfaces

A clip of Matthew Perry, Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry alongside Jason Priestley in an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 has resurfaced following Doherty's death on Saturday, and it's hitting fans hard.

The poignant scene from the series' first season was recently shared on Threads and quickly made its way across other platforms.

Keep ReadingShow less
Terrell Davis
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

United Airlines Apologizes After NFL Hall Of Famer Is Handcuffed In Front Of His Family On Flight

United Airlines issued an apology after NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis was handcuffed in front of his family and other passengers for tapping a flight attendant on the arm during a flight.

The former Denver Broncos running back (1995-2002) took to Instagram earlier this week to address the "traumatizing events" that transpired while he was traveling with his wife and three children.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Matt Gaetz being confronted by an RNC delegate
@KaladinFree/X

RNC Attendee Confronts 'A**hole' Gaetz For Going After McCarthy In Hilariously Brutal Takedown

Far-right Florida Representative Matt Gaetz was brilliantly shut down by a delegate attending the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee after Gaetz was seen taunting former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Gaetz, who led the charge to oust McCarthy from the speakership in October 2023, noticed him being interviewed by CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the convention and went over to rag on his political nemesis.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Brenna Bird
C-SPAN

Iowa AG Dragged For Ironically Boasting At RNC That Republicans Put Criminals 'In Jail'

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird was criticized after telling the audience at the Republican National Convention that the GOP is known to "put criminals where they belong: in jail"—only to then encourage everyone to vote for convicted felon former President Donald Trump.

In May, Trump became the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes. The jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to illegally influence the 2016 election. His sentencing was set for July 11 but has now been delayed in the wake of a Supreme Court decision granting him sweeping immunity protections.

Keep ReadingShow less
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Vivek Ramaswamy
Steven Ferdman/GC Images; Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu via Getty Images

AOC Gives Vivek Ramaswamy Brutal Tip On How To Be 'Cool' After His RNC Challenge To Gen Z

Biotech entrepreneur and former GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was given a lesson by New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about "being cool" after he made an appeal to Generation Z during the Republican National Convention, telling them they can be "rebels" if they call themselves "conservative" on college campuses.

Speaking from the podium at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ramaswamy issued the following remarks designed to court the youth:

Keep ReadingShow less