Science suggests even though your cat appears apathetic, he actually likes you more than you think!
In fact, a new study proves cats prefer people to both food and toys – although food is a close second.
Let us go inside the cat brain.
Understanding the Study of Cat Behavior
Pet cats are often conditioned to engage with humans.
While some cats are fussy, others love company!
In fact, many cats enjoy sleeping near and playing with their human parents.
Studies show cats have complex socio-cognitive and problem-solving abilities.
In Social interaction, food, scent, or toys? A formal assessment of domestic pet and shelter cat (Felis silvestris catus) preferences, the study’s authors disproved the common belief cats are not sociable or trainable.
The study, published in Behavioural Processes, suggests cats seem uninterested in humans because humans are unsure of what stimuli cats prefer.
Through their research, the study authors presented pet cats and shelter cats with four categories of stimuli: human social interaction, food, toy, and scent.
According to the study on cat behavior, social interaction with humans scored highest, with food coming in second.
The authors noted the variability in cat preferences but emphasized human interaction and food were the preferred stimuli for both cat populations.
Applying the Study Results
Because human social interaction is the preferred stimuli, pet parents should apply this information to their cats.
An example of this cat behavior is if you want to engage with your cat, your presence is most important.
Simply being in the same room as your cat, particularly if they have a bed or “space” they “own” in the room.
If your cat will allow you, pet their head and back. You will know immediately if this is pleasing.
In contrast, some pet parents may try to engage their cat with a toy first or a treat.
However, as the study shows, cats prefer human interaction.
These results do not mean your cat only responds to human interaction.
In fact, many cats respond to treats and toys.
The results suggest cats enjoy treats and toys partially because they are a means to human interaction.