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Study explains why cats are so independent


Friday September 4th 2015

Cats need humans less than dogs, a new study has revealed. This would explain the centuries-old belief that dogs make far more loyal pets than their feline counterparts.

Cats are less reliant on their owners and more independent, the University of Lincoln's School of Life Sciences has found. They do not view humans as a means of security as dogs might, so do not experience separation stress if an owner leaves the family home.

Noises cats make when their owners leave the house will usually be related to frustration or boredom rather than out of anxiety, the study shows. Its leader, the school's veterinary behavioural medicine professor Daniel Mills, has found that grown-up cats are generally self-reliant when it comes to feeling protected.

Professor Mills arrived at this conclusion by examining the bonds between 20 cat owners and their pets. The research placed cats in settings they were unaccustomed to across three scenarios - in the company of a stranger, their owner and alone

Scientists analysed any distress signs brought about by an owner's absence, passive behaviour rates and what levels of contact the cats required. The Plos One journal has published the study's results.

Copyright Press Association 2015