For years, cats have been perceived as a bit cold and anti-social. But, actually, they’re pretty loveable and really quite nice.
That’s according to a new study which discovered that - contrary to popular belief - domestic cats prefer human interaction (basically cuddles, having a fuss and playing with people) over food.
Yes, that’s right fellow cat mums (and dads), they actually love us.
The study, published in the journal Behavioural Processes, said that while it is commonly believed that cats are not especially sociable or trainable, new cat cognition research is providing evidence of their “complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities”.
For the new study, adult cats from two populations (pet and shelter) were presented with three stimuli within each of the following four categories: human social interaction, food, a toy, and scent.
The proportion of time that the cats then interacted with each stimulus was recorded.
The single most-preferred stimulus from each of the four categories w then presented in a final session to determine each cat’s most-preferred stimulus overall.
Different cats had different preferences, however social interaction with humans came up as a clear favourite for the majority of them, followed by food.
And, interestingly, this was true for cats in both the pet and shelter population.
Now go home, hug your cat and bask in the knowledge that it loves you more than those stinky cat biscuits.