Cats love people who hate them because the reluctance to pet and fuss gives the feline the control and independence it needs, according to a study.
In contrast, self-proclaimed “cat people” who claim to be knowledgeable and have lived with them for several years are more likely to hold the animal back and touch areas they don’t like.
Cats, unlike dogs, can be prickly characters who often seem aloof, aloof, and sometimes even downright rude.
But new research from animal behavior scientists at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham has found that the blame may lie with the person, not the animal.
While most dogs will shower any person with affection, cats are harder to please and have a few extra rules and stipulations before warming up to a person.
Where not to pet a cat
For example, cats have “red spots” where they hate to be touched, including the base of their tails and their stomachs. Attempts to caress these regions will straighten out instantly.
However, they also have “green areas”, such as the “gland-rich” regions at the base of the ears and under the chin.
The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that self-proclaimed ‘cat people’ are more likely to touch red areas, which makes the animal feel uncomfortable and increases animosity.
And it has also been found that people who have lived with cats for several years do not give cats enough independence, with their hands-on approach robbing the animals of their freedom.
Some 120 people exposed to various cats were recruited for a study which took place at the Battersea Cats and Dogs Home cattery. One person was left in a room and three cats, one after another, were allowed to play for five minutes each.
The person was told to wait for the cat to come to them, but was then left on their own when it came to fussing, engaging, or cuddling the cat.
The researchers recorded the interactions and assessed how comfortable the cat was, how the person behaved, and what behavior the cats liked the most.
Participants who had lived with cats were inclined to be bossy
They also asked participants questions to reveal their experience with cats, whether they’ve ever lived with them, and how highly they rated their knowledge of pets.
They found that 80% of all human-cat interactions fell into seven categories, based on how the human and animal acted and reacted. The top category, or “best practice”, was “passive but responsive to contact, minimal touch”.
Other categories included someone who stroked “green spaces”, which the cat loves; a tendency to hold or restrain the cat; and affecting exclusively “red zones”.
Participants who had lived with cats were inclined to be bossy while more experienced owners were also more likely to pet cats in the “yellow areas”, such as the tail, legs and along the back, which are areas less preferred than the face, for example.
The team also found that older people tried to catch and hold cats more than younger people, while extroverts tended to initiate contact with the cat, which pets tend not to appreciate. because they like to control when and how the interaction. will begin.
“Our results suggest that certain characteristics that we might assume would make a person good at interacting with cats – their knowledge of their acquaintances, their experiences as a cat owner and their advanced age – should not always be considered as characteristics. reliable indicators of a person’s suitability for adopting certain cats, particularly those with specific handling or behavioral needs,” lead researcher Dr Lauren Finka, a feline behavior expert, told The Telegraph. at Nottingham Trent University.
Dr Finka went on to say that shelters should avoid discriminating against potential adopters with no previous experience as a cat owner because “they can make fantastic cat sitters”.
Why Cats Like People Who Hate Them