Your Cat Couldn’t Care Less About You Says New Research

Your cat doesn’t care about you. Surprised?

A new research study has confirmed it.

Cats don’t need their owners to feel safe and secure like dogs do. In fact, the results of a new study by animal behavior specialists at the University of Lincoln in the U.K. suggest that cats largely prefer to take care of themselves rather than depend on their owners.

The literal and figurative polar opposites of cats, dogs, perceive their owners as something of a home “base,” – that is something that they go back to for safety, security and nourishment. Cats, however, tolerate their owners more than anything else.

Whereas some research has shown that cats are actually more social than originally thought, this new study says that adult cats appear to be more autonomous and not necessarily dependent on others, even within social relationships with other cats.

Daniel Mills, a professor at the Lincoln School of Life Sciences, elaborated on the cat research.

“Previous research has suggested that some cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way that dogs do, but the results of our study show that they are in fact much more independent than canine companions. It seems that what we interpret as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration.”

So how did the researchers conduct their study? Reportedly, the researchers adapted something called the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test, or SST.

Developed by Mary Ainsworth in 197o’s to observe attachment relationships between children and caregivers. The results of the test categorized the children into one of three groups: secure, insecure (ambivalent and avoidance), and disorganized.

The children, or in this case, the cats, were introduced to a number of situations and their reactions were carefully observed. For example, in the first instance, a caregiver and child (owner and cat) are introduced to an experiment room. Later, the two are separated. Later, they are reunited. Later, they are separated for a longer length of time and then reunited. Later, a stranger enters and converses with the child (cat). And so it goes.

Based on the reactions of the child – or in this case, the cat – a categorization is made based on the reactions detected.

In the results of the tests conducted at the Lincoln School of Life Sciences in the U.K., dogs would be categorized into the insecure category, and cats would be labeled as secure.

What do you think? Is your cat actually indifferent towards you?

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images