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How does a cat choose its owner? Based on love rather than interests

Ferenczi Deborah

2023. November 12 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Many people believe that cats are quite antisocial by nature. However, this is just a stereotype, because cats have different personality traits, just like humans. Thus, it cannot be denied that all individuals are clearly antisocial. It cannot be said that kitties are incapable of sticking to their owners.

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Studies on animal behavior define cats as solitary predators in a very significant percentage of cases. They believe that cats are such independent creatures that they can only tolerate the presence of their own kind. However, veterinarian Maria Grazia Calore has put the situation of cats in a new perspective. In her opinion it is time to dispel stereotypical beliefs and lay new foundations for the science of cat behavior. Here is how does a cat choose its owner!

The basics of cat behaviour

Like dogs, in the long process of domestication, cats also slowly became able to live with humans. Recent studies on the behavior of these animals, which have looked at “domestic cats” and urban cat colonies, seem to have discovered an important change in our understanding of felines. Because during the studies, they came to the conclusion that the cat is not a social animal, but one that forms relationships. The reason for this is that cats establish emotional relationships both with their own species and with other species, including humans. In addition, cats do not tend to suffer from loneliness, so if the home environment, like the natural environment, is full of stimuli, the cat will feel perfectly fine alone. Cats can survive perfectly even without humans. However, for them, living together with humans is very practical, of course, if the conditions are favorable.

Why did the cat stick to man?

A cat can only survive in areas with other cats if it has enough resources, such as food, solitude and space for toilet. It is important to know that over the centuries the lure of food has attracted cats to humans, while humans have used them to repel mice, vermin and snakes. In addition to mutual cooperation, the cat also seeks out the human to establish a friendship based on equal exchange. So we can consider this as a kind of initial compromise, that while the cat gets food, it keeps away the pests around the house. That way, both parties benefit.

What factors influence the choice of the cat?

However, the fact that how a cat chooses its owner is already feeding from a completely different source. Because the choice to get a master, i. e. sticking to a specific person in this case is also based on a kind of love and affection rather than interests. The research came to the conclusion that whether a cat chooses a human or a cat as its “mate” is determined by exactly the same factors:

  • the behaviour
  • the posture
  • and the smells.

For example, a higher tone of voice, screams or fast movements directed at the cat can be interpreted as a threat to it. However, on the contrary, a calm tone of voice, relaxed movements and half-closed eyes have the opposite effect and earn the animal’s trust and friendship. From now on, cats can also sense the mood of people through sight and smell. If we upset them, they will try to escape, or if they are forced into an uncomfortable situation, they can show aggression. However, if we are sad, they will probably snuggle with us or try to distract us with funny tricks. Just like a good friend would.

How does a cat choose its owner?

Clearing all doubts, the cat chooses its favorite even within the family. The reason for this can be found in the fact that everyone behaves differently. The cat also treats each family member according to its own behavior, and does not hide its preferences. So it is very likely that it will choose as its favorite by these:

  • the most kind;
  • dedicated;
  • who gives it the food;
  • and the one who cares the most about it.

Can your cat leave you if it feels like it is no longer being looked after?

Interestingly, it may also happen that if another animal enters the household, the cat, offended by the fact that it is no longer the center of attention, starts looking for another home. (Of course, if it lives outside and has the opportunity.) This action always stems from jealousy. Like human friendships, cat-human friendships are based on conditions: if these are not met, the bond can weaken and break. In order to avoid this situation, we accept that our cat is not our subordinate, but our friend.

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