- Ooooh, CONTROVERSY –
- A new study by the University of Lincoln, England suggests that (unlike dogs) cats don’t need their owners to feel protected and rely on them mostly as a source of food.
- Lead author of the study Dr Daniel Mills says cats are more resource driven, which explains why they move to the homes of neighbours who feed them.
- It’s reported the results of the study were based on the ‘strange situation’ experiment where cats were left with their owner, a stranger or by themselves, where cats vocalised slightly more meows when their owners left the room, but nothing to suggest they were strongly attached to their owners.
- The strange situation experiment is often carried out on children to help scientists determine how attached children are to their mothers.
- In the case of people, scientists often show signs of distress when separated and pleasure when their attachment figure returns – but these signs were not visible in this study.
- It must be noted that researchers pointed out that cats can still form bonds with their owners, but that they don’t need them in the same way dogs do.
- Cat expert Celia Haddon says that cats aren’t pack animals and won’t depend on other cats or their owners, but the fact that they stick around suggests that they really want to be around their owners.
- Dr Mills’ research was published in the latest issue of the journal PLOS ONE.
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