It is a strongly held belief that cats do not bond with humans as strong as their canine counterparts, who are frequently opposed to them. An idea that could be questioned, according to a US study published late September in the journal Current Biology, and spotted by The world.
For example, three researchers at the University of Oregon in the United States have tried to highlight this ability for cats to attach themselves to humans. A feature that may have been ignored because “dog cognition has received more scientific attention in recent decades,” they write.
A less stressed cat in the presence of his master
“Despite fewer studies, research suggests that we could underestimate the socio-cognitive abilities of cats,” say the researchers.
To assert this, they are based on an experiment conducted on 70 cats and their master, who are separated for two minutes. At the time of reunion, 64% of cats would be less stressed in the presence of their master than in his absence.
A genuine and innate attachment?
However, scientists remain cautious about the conclusions of the study published in Current Biology.
Pascal Corlan, veterinarian met by BFMTV, does not think that the attachment between men and cats is an innate characteristic.
“The generations of cats, by prolonged contacts, multiplied, almost permanent vis-à-vis the man, decreased their threshold of vigilance with regard to this potentially predatory species for them,” he explains. .
At the time of publication of the scientific article, the Guardian also noted reservations within the scientific community.
So, according to Dr. Lauren Finka, of the University of Notthingham Trent, “unlike children and potentially dogs, it is less likely that cats have an innate need to link strong bonds with their masters, especially at older ages. The signs of this phenomenon are more likely to be rooted in factors such as personality, early socialization, or how we deal with them. “
Veterinarian Daniel Mills, of the University of Lincoln, also quoted by the British daily, believes that “cats tie emotional ties with their owners”, but it is not certain that these links are those of a “psychological attachment in the normal sense of the psychological term”. The psyche of cats has not revealed all its secrets.