New study finds cats see their owners as parents
They're our babies after all.
Now this may come as a surprise to many cat owners, but apparently they do really see us as more than just their servants.
Indeed, while cats are known to have a bit of a cold reputation, a new study from Oregon State University has found that our furry friends really do see their owners as their care-givers or parents.
The research, which has been published in the journal Current Biology, studied the behaviour of kittens who spent two minutes with their caretaker. The caretaker would then leave the kitten on their own and then return for another two minutes.
The researchers then assessed the attachment styles of the kittens across four different categories - secure, ambivalent, avoidant and disorganised.
The same criteria has been used to see how human babies and puppies feel attachment to their caregivers.
In the end, it appeared that the kittens displayed attachment styles similar to human babies.
64% of the kittens in the study exhibited a "secure attachment style" to their owners. This meant that they became distraught when they left the room, and demonstrated a "reduced stress response" when they came back in.
30% of the kittens, however, had an "insecure attachment style", which meant that their stress levels were not impacted by their caregiver leaving and returning.
The study reads: "The current data support the hypothesis that cats show a similar capacity for the formation of secure and insecure attachments towards human caregivers previously demonstrated in children."
The authors added: "Cat attachment style appears to be relatively stable and is present in adulthood."
On top of that, their research suggests that kittens are slightly more attached to their human caregivers than dogs are.
So, next time you feel like your cat is using you for food, shelter and infinite chin scratches, remember that they love you deep down.