It’s the age-old myth that dogs have owners and cats have staff but are felines really worthy of the bad rap they get? Science doesn’t seem to think so.
Research fresh out of Oregon State University found cats are not anti-social jerks, as many dog lovers would argue, they’re merely misunderstood.
In fact the study concluded cats are actually very nice and prefer hanging with humans more than food, yes food.
This won’t be ground-breaking news to any dedicated cat parent but it is something to forward to your dog-loving pals while wearing a smug look on your face.
To get down to the science-y part of how they worked this out, the researchers took a mix of 50 pet and shelter cats, then deprived them of anything fun for a few hours. They then presented the cats with three things which would get their senses going from one of the following categories: human social interaction, food, toy, and scent. How long each cat spent with each thing was then recorded – human interaction coming out the overall winner.
"Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem-solving abilities," the authors wrote in the paper published in Behavioural Processes. "Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for."
However further study is needed to work out if a cat’s life experience and breed can affect their preference for certain fun things.
Either way, us cat lovers will happily accept a high-five for this win thanks very much.