I’ll cut to the chase as I have mentioned this study before but Michelle Starr of MSN has nicely picked out some key elements of a study into emotional bonding between cats/dogs and humans. These are interspecies friendships.
The study at Oregon State University lead by Kristyn Vitale found that cats form secure attachment to their human guardians and caretakers at a rate similar to dogs and human infants.
Secure attachment: 65.8 percent. Insecure attachment: 34.2 percent
Secure attachment: 64.3 percent. Insecure attachment: 35.7 percent.
Secure attachment: 65 percent. Insecure 35 percent.
Secure attachment: 61 percent. Insecure attachment: 39 percent (data from a different study published in 2018 as I understand it). Two other studies found the rates to be: 58% secure, 42% insecure.
The majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment
Comment: Clearly the study must have factored in the degree of cat socialisation and the attitude of the humans in the tests i.e. emotional bonding is a two way process.
To cat guardians who are switched on i.e. knowledgeable and observant, the findings are nothing novel. We know it already but it is nice to have what we know confirmed in a scientific way.
Click this to see the full text of the study. I have not read it in its entirety. I have taken Michelle Starr’s summary as accurate. Note: sometimes external links fail over time. If that has happened I am sorry.
SOME MORE ON CAT STUDIES:
East and west coast USA are the most secular and therefore wealthier resulting in better domestic cat welfare