According to some recent 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 monopoly on secure social bonding with humans.
“Like dogs, cats display social flexibility in regard to their attachments with humans,” said animal scientist Kristyn Vitale of Oregon State University in September 2019.
“The majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment.”
Vitale and her team conducted a test of attachment, on 79 kittens and 38 adult cats. The study has shown that cats aren’t as aloof as their public image would make them appear; in fact, those fuzzy little felines can be downright sociable and affectionate, so long as you aren’t a jerk to them. And they often prefer to interact with humans over food or toys.
It also suggests that cats have the ability and the necessary traits to form deep social bonds with humans. It’s just that they may express themselves in their own special way.