What is it about cats and women? Why are there “cat ladies” but not “hamster ladies”? Why do so many women seem to gravitate towards cats? The crazy-cat-lady stereotype aside (by the way, every segment of the population has its extremes, cat-loving women shouldn’t have to take a bad rap for a few odd birds) I know many more women than men who have a special bond with their cats. So, what’s the rub?
A new study supports the idea that a special relationship exists between women and cats. To be published in the journal Behavioural Processes, the study explains how researchers observed the interactions between 41 cats and their human families; the scientists noted all behaviors of both cats and humans, and also assessed their personalities as well as their influence over one another. While many people might consider cats to be aloof, self-serving prima donnas, the study concludes otherwise; beyond food-seeking behavior of the cats, they found that cats forge true attachment to their owners.
Here’s a summary of what they found.
The researchers witnessed a mutual social interaction in which both cats and people signaled to each other when they wanted to give or receive affection.
Cats keep track of how their needs are being met. They were more likely to respond to owners’ needs, if their owners had previously responded to theirs.