Animal IQ

Research Found That Cats Aren't Total Jerks After All

It's not hard to jump aboard the "cats are total jerks" train. Just look at their independence, their take-no-crap attitude, that smug look behind their whiskers, and the complete lack of respect required for casually walking across your keyboard while you're working. But a new study found that your cat doesn't hate you. Mittens actually likes you — a lot.

Meow Means "I Love You"

Research from Oregon State University published in March 2017 in Behavioural Processes shared some good news for cat people: Basically, your cat likes you. For the study, 50 cats were taken from home and shelter environments. For a few hours, the cats were deprived of four different stimuli at once: food, human contact, scent, and toys. When the stimuli were made available to them again, most cats chose human interaction over any other option. Yes, cats would rather be with you than have a snack.

So Misunderstood

How did we not know that cats like us? The authors of the study wrote that we consider cats to be unsociable and, you know, huge jerks, because there's a "lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for." So there you have it: scientific evidence that cats are nice (or at least nicer than we give them credit for). While they may go off and do their own thing sometimes, all they really want is to chill with you.

36 Facts About Cats

Key Facts In This Video

  1. In 1894, Thomas Edison made a video of two cats "fighting" in a tiny boxing ring. 01:24

  2. About 1 in 200 cats are allergic to humans. 06:01

  3. Cats appear to be more likely to survive falls from five stories or more than from just a few stories. 07:45

Written by Joanie Faletto April 5, 2017

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