As somebody who lives with two cats, I'll be the first to tell you that they can be absolute jerks.
Simply put, these adorable little shits are under the impression that they run the show -- and they're not wrong.
At times it seems like cat owners are actually slaves who only exist to serve their furry overlords' needs, whether they want food, treats, toys, attention, or exactly five seconds of petting (no more and no less). Fail to please them and get ready to have the ever-loving crap scratched out of you or your expensive furniture.
They really don't make it hard to believe that they couldn't care less about you, but according to the surprising results of a new study published in the Behavioural Processes journal, they might actually like humans way more than we think.
Researchers from Oregon State University and Monmouth University gathered a total of 50 adult cats and placed them in a room without food or social interaction for two and a half hours. Half of them were pets, while the other half came from shelters.
After two and a half hours, they were given access to food, a feathered toy, a scent, or socializing with humans. Can you guess what their top choice was?
The logical pick would be food, but you'll be surprised to learn that Hell has basically frozen over: these cats actually preferred interacting with humans!
Nineteen of them spent most of their time socializing with people, 14 chose the food, four picked the toy, and one preferred the scent. The rest of the cats weren't included in the results because of “nervous behavior," but they probably just decided they had better things to do than participate.
“The finding that most cats in both pet and shelter populations prefer social interactions with humans, followed by food, may indicate that these stimuli may be a useful starting point when considering potential reinforcers...or enrichment items for cats,” the authors said. In other words, we may have found a better way to reward them for being nicer!
(via IFL Science)
Sure, your cat will probably still act like a jerk a lot of the time, but at least you know that they don't really mean it, right? Be sure to share this with all the cat servants -- ahem, owners -- you know!