TWIFT | Lifestyle | Cats attachment as an imitation of human behavior

Cats attachment as an imitation of human behavior

Research shows that most cats have a strong bond with their owners. 

Sounds freaky, but despite having the reputation of grumpy, cats may show a deep connection with their humans.

In this world exists such crap as “attachment theory” with 4 styles: one secure and three insecure (ambivalent, avoidant or disorganized). Secure one involves comfort with the presence of the caretaker. Ambivalent guys are usually quite obsessive. Avoidant style shows a lack of fucking interest. Disorganized style is something insane: a mix of being keen for attention and denial of it.    

An interesting fact is that all those styles are reflected in cats’ behavior. Surprise for skeptics, who don’t like fluffy cuties: more than 60 percent of domestic pets showed up the secure style of attachment. Ambivalent cats were about 30 percent, and all others were avoidant. All these styles have already been studied on the example of human children and different animals (e.g. dogs and primates).

The results suggest that felines were previously dissed behind their backs for week social relationships in vain. Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist from Oregon, says, that cats may demonstrate the attachment to their owners.

Oregon State University previously provided the psychology experiment, based on the relations between children and parents. This time they put kittens and their owners in an almost empty room with several toys. People had to ignore their felines for several minutes, sitting speechless without any eye contact. The shun lasted for the moment until their pets crossed the border of the circle, painted in the middle. If a kitten enters the circle, it gets interaction with its owner until he leaves the room for several minutes, before turning back again… Sounds freaky…   

Nerdy scientists got on the camera interactions of almost 80 kittens with their humans. Pets with a secure style welcomed their owners, sometimes even with physical contact, then they went on exploring space or playing with a toy. Insecure-ambivalent cats were sitting with their owners, requiring special concern. And hidden introverts, in other words, cats with insecure-avoidant style, were running away or avoiding any contacts (hiding small knives in their pockets).  

However, researchers don’t claim that insecure cats hate their owners and aren’t totally attached to them. In their words, cats shouldn’t be “bound” to their human all the time.

Udell and her students provided one more experiment, this time with adult cats. They got almost the same results, showing that 25 out of 38 cats demonstrated a secure style of relationships with people. The bottom line of this test: the secure style may be treated as a biological trait, evolving to survive in human society. Hm, those fluffy bastards are sly…

So what do those tests seek to? Psychologists do not have some consensus, but they agree that it shows how separate individuals correlate with each other. Most of those experiments were done with people and it can’t foresee the result for their future relations. Maya Opendak, a neuroscientist from New York, said, that the test with cats couldn’t predict future outcomes of relations, but it might evaluate the level of attachment.

Human tests revealed a direct connection between parenting style and kids’ type of attachment. To get some results with kittens, 39 of them were involved in a group of socialization and 31 weren’t.

During those classes kittens interacted with other cats and unfamiliar people, training some commands performing. Soon though, after repeating the original experiment (that one with painted circle and owners), only some pets changed their attachment style. To put it in a nutshell, the connection between cat and its human is crucially blatant.

All right, you may ask: “Dafaq is that experiment for?” The aim is noble: identifying the synergy between cats and humans to stimulate the adoption of the felines. Studies are focused on understanding how the domestic environment may improve the secure style of attachment.   

To cut a long story short, most of the fuzzy gits are ready to build close relationships with people!

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