Study: Cats do not feel dependent on owners, no separation anxiety

WASHINGTON — If you’re a cat owner, you may be able to predict the results of this study.

A report published in the journal PLOS One says cats don’t form attachments to their owners, and don’t depend on them that much.

Unlike dogs, who don’t make any effort to hide how much they miss their owners, cats are pretty unconcerned with whether you stay or go.

Researchers recorded the behavior of 20 cats when put in an unfamiliar environment — once with their owner and once with a stranger.

The researchers discovered that the cats were pretty indifferent either way.

Researcher Daniel Mills, a professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at the University of Lincoln, told the Telegraph that the lack of separation anxiety shows cats are not dependent on their owners.

“Although our cats were more vocal when the owner rather than the stranger left them with the other individual,” Mills says, “we didn’t see any additional evidence to suggest that the bond between a cat and its owner is one of secure attachment.”

Time reports that animal experts don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Just because your cat isn’t dependent on you doesn’t mean it doesn’t like you. Think about it this way: If they’re sticking around, they’re happy.

Plus, the sample size of the study was 20 cats. Your cat might be completely different.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up