According to scientists, cats actually are not the assh*les we thought they were.
Oregon State University published a new study in Behavioural Processes on Friday that refutes the wide belief that felines are snobs who don’t like hanging out with humans. In fact, as the research found, they like us more than they like food!
Kristyn Vitale, the lead researcher, was frustrated at how cats were perceived as difficult to train or socialise because there’s a “lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for.”
So to test this, the team gathered 55 cats – 23 from shelters and 22 from homes – and isolated them from food, toys, scent, and human contact for two and a half hours. After that, they then let the cats choose between the four categories, with 38 picking people over everything else.
“While it has been suggested that cat sociality exists on a continuum, perhaps skewed toward independency, we have found that 50% of cats tested preferred interaction with the social stimulus even though they had a direct choice between social interaction with a human and their other most preferred stimuli from the three other stimulus categories,” the paper read.
Unsurprisingly, food came in second place, with 14 felines going for the chicken, tuna, or treats. In third and fourth place were toys and scent, respectively.
So I guess that proves it: Not all cats are jerks, just some of them.