Some weeks back, I read this article titled “Your cat hates you” about a study called “Cats Hate Owners.” This study mimics one first performed on humans and then on dogs to determine the level of attachment between a mother and child and then a dog and human.
When left alone or with a stranger, does the child get excited to see mom when she returns? Does she go to mom to seek comfort?
When left alone or with a stranger, does the dog get excited to see her human when she returns? Does she go to her human to seek comfort?
When conducted on cats, they found the opposite was true. Cats do not go to their people to relieve their anxiety.
Well, this just in.
Honestly, I don’t know why they even wasted money on this study. Unlike dogs, cats are not pack or herd animals. They do not find comfort in contact with their pack. They find comfort in escape or hiding. (The cat in the video did explore the stranger in the room. My cat would never, ever have done even that.)
Meet Puttytat. She appeared on our doorstep as a kitten and decided we looked dumb enough to turn into her servants. She is not an ordinary housecat. She is all about the law of the jungle: eat or be eaten. She runs when the doorbell rings. She hides from even the quietest guest. She hunts and fights and is a serious cat. She also snuggles on my lap every night. She waits for me to sit and then immediately holds me down. She likes to be scratched, and she head boops me. She gives me slow blinks, which is how cats show affection. She finds comfort in hanging out with her humans, but she does not seek me out when she feels anxious. Not ever. [Aside: just now the mail woman honked from the driveway and Puttytat ran out her catdoor and onto the porch into the freezing cold. That’s a high fear-level.]
If the same study had been conducted on my cat, she would have jackaled around the room trying to find an exit, and then upon finding none, she would have squished herself into a corner and mewed stressfully until she got out. She would not come to me to relieve her anxiety. But does that mean she hates me?
That means cats are not the same as dogs (or baby humans for that matter). Cats are cats. They behave differently.