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Cats Bond Securely to Their Humans Maybe Even More Than Dogs

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ChristopherBlackwell Post number 25893 Posted: 23rd September 2019     Subject: Cats Bond Securely to Their Humans Maybe Even More Than Dogs
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Cats Bond Securely to Their Humans Maybe Even More Than Dogs Do

MICHELLE STARR
23 SEP 2019

Many think of dogs as loyal, love-filled companions, and cats as cute beasts that tolerate us - but we might have to rethink that a little. According to new research, cats can get just as bonded to their human friends as dogs do.

This may not come as a huge surprise to those who live with cat companions, but it suggests two important things. Firstly, it looks like we've underestimated the depth of the bond cats can form with their people. Additionally, it shows that dogs don't have a monopolyhave a monopoly on secure social bonding with Homo sapiens.

"Like dogs, cats display social flexibility in regard to their attachments with humans," said animal scientist Kristyn Vitale of Oregon State University. "The majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment."

In their behavioural experiment, the research team observed how cats respond to their owners in a strange environment. Previous research on rhesus monkeys (the controversial wire mother experiments reported in 1958) and dogs (a much more ethically sound experiment reported last year) had shown that both species form secure and insecure attachments.
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Vitale and her team conducted a test of these two attachment types on 79 kittens and 38 adult cats.

First, the kitten or cat and their human caregiver were placed together in a room, with the human sitting in a marked circle. If the cat entered the circle, the human could interact with it. After two minutes, the human left, leaving the cat alone. After another two minutes, the human returned to the room, to sit in the circle again.

The entire test was filmed, and the scientists analysed the video to classify the cats' attachment type.

The adult cats only participated in the test once, but the kittens were tested twice - once initially, and once again two months later, after 39 of the kittens had been through a six-week training and socialisation course. The other 31 acted as a control group.

Of the kittens, 9 ended up being unclassifiable, but of the remaining group, 64.3 percent were categorised as securely attached and 35.7 percent as insecurely attached - with the training having no bearing on attachment style. Once an attachment style has been established, it seems, that's probably how it is going to stay.

The adult cats showed similar rates: 65.8 percent demonstrating secure attachment versus 34.2 percent being insecure.

Interestingly, those rates - 64.3 percent and 65.8 percent - are pretty close to the 65 percent secure attachment rate seen in human infants...
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https://www.sciencealer ... gYL8ryDCP50I

Wisdom is what is left after you have done all the dumb stuff
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