Cats are not your friend
Where there is absolutely no denial that the bond between a dog and its owner is unbreakable, there has long been a debate about cats and cat owners. Your typical cat lover will be quick to tell you that “you don’t understand”, however those people in your life will be quickly on the back foot following the release of a study in September by a team from the University of Lincoln.
The study was published in the journal PLOS One and documents their study on feline behaviour. Using the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test, which is most commonly used to assess the bond between children and dogs, they modified the parameters and measured the attachment between 20 cats and their owners. The characteristics focused on were how much the cat sought contact, the level of passive behaviour and signs of distress when the owner was absent.
“Separation anxiety” is the term that has been most commonly used to describe the behaviour of cats that are left alone for periods of time, somewhat proving that cats are attached to their owners. The study found that the behaviour actually had very little to do with the separation and was more out of frustration, proving that although cats prefer their owners to other people, they really don’t need them to feel safe.
When compared, studies have shown that dogs see their owners as a “specific safe haven” and attach to them as a focus of safety and security. The difference in the two animals is big and led us to ask the question “Does society love dogs more than cats?” Through research in blogs and opinion forums online we discovered that there is a level of loyalty with a dog that cannot be matched with cats. A good example is that if your house was to be burgled, the cat would be out of the house quicker than your TV, but your dog would stand by your side to protect you.
Recently the SSPCA announced that it has already taken in over 2000 unwanted cats and kittens this year, with more than 300 in their rescue centres at any one time. Superintendent Sharon Comrie is quoted as saying “Part of the problem is some people treating cats like disposable items that can be thrown out on to the streets and left to fend for themselves.” So maybe the problem doesn’t lie with the cat, perhaps the problem lies with us? Although dogs also need to be rehomed, the number each year is significantly lower. Maybe we can be the change we want to see in the world and give more cats a chance to be loyal?
Everyone at Petsense Direct is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of all animals big and small. We are also big supporters of local rehoming centres including the SSPCA. If you would like to give a cat a second chance in life get in touch with the SSPCA today, or contact us direct for a list of local rehoming centres.