HomeCat BehavioraffectionConfused Study Concludes That Cats Don’t Need Their Owners


Confused Study Concludes That Cats Don’t Need Their Owners — 6 Comments

  1. One more quick comment about this. It, and the mind-set behind it frustrates me to no end. I’ve studied cats for 20 years; 15 of those 24/7. Not a minute goes by when I’m not asking myself “What’s going on in their mind right now?” and “Wow, that’s maybe the millionth time I’ve seen that and it never gets old.”. What does get old is reading half-baked conclusions as in this study. As I alluded to in my earlier post, there’s something wrong with the main question, and though I could go on about all that I see that’s questionable about it, all one really has to do is turn it around – “Why don’t we need cats?” because that seems to be where they’re headed… as in “Reasons a cat/human relationship might not be satisfying.” But as everyone here already knows, their conclusions are off also. Lame question, lame observations leading to lame conclusions. Scientists by way of their methods are both objective and objectionable. Most are not empathetic at all, which I think is a crucial sensibility for a curious analyst to have. It’s a mistake to compare anything to the dog in the first place because they are unique in the animal kingdom. No other animal is like a dog and that’s fine with me. Dogs, as far as that goes, do need us FOR EVERYTHING. They are helpless on their own and form clumsy groups (they are not true pack animals. See: Alexandra Semyonova), whereas cats can coexist fine as long as there’s enough food and water – the same goes for all other beings. I’m so bothered by the incessant premiss that there’s something wrong with cats. Whatever behaviors cats have or not shouldn’t be judged by what we prefer, but what they prefer (as Michael stated) and we all should aspire to read and understand them more with an open mind. Before I got to know cats, I thought I was a sensitive, empathetic animal lover – but I’m embarrassed as to how little I really comprehended and appreciated compared to now.

  2. My old girl Samirah pined after her original owner to the point that she refused to interact with prospective adopters. She waited for her human to come get her, so she languished in that shelter for a year. She was abused in that house, but she didn’t leave. After over a decade of abuse, she didn’t want to leave. When her owner went to the nursing home the rescue group had to use a capture stick to get her out from underneath the bed and drag her out of the house. Would she have survived on her own? Let’s see now, at the time she was old, overweight and with a large fatty tumor underneath her chin. Her human family lived in a rough area of town where stray cats were used as target practice. I’d say her chances for survival were slim to none.

    The money for that totally flawed study could have been used for something more constructive. I wonder about their motives in publishing that BS in the first place.

  3. While not fair of me, I didn’t read the article. I know how they go and I trust Michael’s take on it. I would like to see how they did the study, because the consensus has been that cats are difficult subjects, and every study I’ve seen was flawed by how it was conducted. The premiss and assumptions made are subjective and psychological, but the main question is questionable. Let me ask, why is it important for us to know OR for cats’ welfare whether they “need” us or not? What is it about us that we need to be needed? And why must they be compared and contrasted to dogs all the time as if they are a baseline for animal behavior? Okay, we know dogs, but we’re getting to know other animals exist too… like cats, and many other mammals that are fascinating in their own right.

    • I like your comment, Albert. You make some good points. Scientists are keen to publish studies to enhance their career. They choose cats because they are popular. Then then come up with a poor study that does nothing to further cat welfare or human knowledge.

  4. For anyone to say that abandoned and feral cats” get along just fine” seems extremely unaware, and dismissive of the plight of cats without the safety and care in a loving home.

    Cats are known to be more independent than dogs, and can probably survive better because of their hunting skills.

    Dogs do need us more, and seem more capable of displaying affection than many cats. Could those two aspects be related?

    My cat isn’t very affectionate, and I have to pick her up for cuddling, or bribe her with a treat. But once in my lap, she will relax and receive my affection and brushing. This may be because she was not socialized at an early age, since she was born of s stray, and lived without a home for over a year,
    fending for herself. I think she’d rather be free to roam, but I can’t bring myself to allow that. It would make me too nervous. I take her out twice a day with a halter and leash, and let her roam close by, while I watch her. She usually just curls up in a chair close to me.

    The shelter said she was “not adoptable”, but I took a chance to give her the experience of a loving home.

    She has given me a reason for living when there were times I didn’t want to go on.

  5. A study sets out to find or prove something. If it’s hypothesis is so narrow and the researchers lack curiosity to discover anything interesting along the way, they’re going to end up with what they’re looking for – nothing useful.

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