Popularly, there is a belief that cats are completely independent animals and that they do not feel the same unconditional love that we do for them. This fact, without a doubt, causes considerable discomfort to cat owners, since they are sure that their cats love them and they show it with the slightest gesture.
But is this true? If you are wondering if cats love their owners, you are in the right place, since in this ScoobyDog article we want to explain how they love cats and how true the rumors around them are.
Do cats have feelings?
The statement that cats feel love has several nuances to take into account, because although we do not doubt the immense affection that our pets have for us, we must know how to distinguish our way of perceiving the world from how our pets perceive it. What we are very clear about is that cats create very strong attachments .
But what is attachment? This concept was defined for the first time by the psychologist John Bowlby, and is understood as an affective bond of great intensity and in a lasting way (but variable with the passage of time), which develops through the reciprocal interaction between two individuals and in which provides security, comfort and sustenance.
Emotionally speaking, attachment arises when the individual perceives that they have a protective figure , which will be there unconditionally, such as a mother with her child, whether it is a human, canine or feline relationship, among many other species. For this reason, it is not strange that your cat seeks refuge in you when it is sad, afraid or, ultimately, seeks emotional support from you.
Behavior of cats with their owners
Recently, a study was carried out at the University of Oregon to see if this phenomenon is true or if, on the contrary, it is just an “idealization” of those who love their kittens very much. Now, affirmatively, it was empirically demonstrated that domestic cats form bonds with their owners and are similar to those that an infant creates with its parents.
It is not strange that this link is created between cats and owners, because if we look at it coldly, attachment is actually a survival mechanism that different species have to emotionally cling to what promotes our survival. That is, if a cat did not care about her puppies and they did not feel insecure if their mother disappeared (and, therefore, they did not call her), they could hardly live without the food, protection and learning that it gives them unconditionally.
However, while in nature there is a process of detachment, in which when the puppies are ready at the maturational level, the mother begins to move away from them and forces them to become independent, when you adopt a cat this does not happen, because the owner he becomes that protective figure without which he could not survive, which is why, in part, cats miss their owners. In these circumstances, as your cat has associated you with something good, every time it sees you you generate a great sense of confidence and tranquility. On the contrary, and as was proven in the experiment, if you disappear from his side and leave him in a completely unknown space, he will feel terribly insecure and stressed, because he will have lost his secure base.
In addition, behind this behavior there is a hormone, which is responsible for both cats and humans feel affection. We’re talking nothing more and nothing less than the oxytocin , substance secreted by the pituitary gland responsible for creating and maintaining relations of friendship and attachment.
This “love hormone” is responsible in many mammals for making us feel good when we are in company and interact with others of our own or different species. In this way, it is a key piece for affiliation with others, as it stimulates and reinforces social behaviors , such as mutual grooming, play, etc.
How to know if my cat loves me?
Surely you adore your cat, but you may have wondered more than once if this love is reciprocal, because felines do not express their affection in the same way as we do, and they all have their own character, which can make it difficult to understand this. Now, there is no doubt that if you are the one who provides food and security for your kitten, it must love you a lot. Let’s see what are the main signs that show that your cat loves you :
- He purrs when you approach and pet him.
- He stretches and shows you his belly, which is his most vulnerable area.
- He brushes against you, hitting you with his head, walking between your legs …
- He gives you the game he hunts as a gift.
- He wants to play with you.
- Sleep close to (or on top of) you.
- He stares at you.
- He licks you and takes the odd bite.
- Raise your tail when you see you.
- He meows you to be for him.
- It follows you everywhere.
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