Oregon State University researchers find emotional linkage of cats to their caregivers

Many people believe that cats do not have any emotional attachment with their caregivers. But a study has proved that the cats have a secure attachment with their caregivers. Secure attachment means that they feel secure, safe, and comfortable when they are with their caregivers. The study has been published in the Current Biology journal.

The authors of the study wrote, “Despite fewer studies, research suggests we may be underestimating cats’ sociocognitive abilities.” The study has been published by the researchers at Oregon State University. The results of the study are based on the experimental analysis in which owners and their kittens were involved. They took part in a simple exercise for finding the socio-cognitive abilities of the cats.

The behavior of 70 kittens was monitored in the study. The caregiver of each kitten was asked to spend two minutes with his/her kitten and then leave the room. The caregivers were asked to come back again in the room for a two-minute reunion. The results revealed the nature of the cats and their attachment with the caregivers. 64% of the kittens were more relieved when they reunited with their caregivers than their separation with them.

The researchers wrote that the response of kittens was proof of their secure attachment with the caregivers. The remaining 36% of the animals showed insecure attachment as they remained stressed upon reunion. The animals were found conflicted about what to do in the study published in Current Biology. The split between the secure and insecure attachment of the cats was similar to the split found in the studies conducted on children and dogs, according to the researchers.

Professor Daniel Mills, an expert of veterinary behavioral medicine from the University of Lincoln, said, “The research has flaws as the experiment was not repeated by the team with strangers.” Dr. Lauren Finka from Nottingham Trent University said that the cats had the ability to make a bond with the specific humans who take care of them for a large proportion of the time.

Managing editor of the Chicago Morning Star

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