WBecause of their seemingly stubborn nature, cats are often accused of being moody or even stubborn. They need their space and don’t want to be petted everywhere and anytime. It would actually be fair to say: Cats know what they like – and what they don’t like. But do self-proclaimed cat lovers also know what four-legged friends love?
This question is British researchers Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham In cooperation with the London Animal Shelter Battersea dogs and cats residence Follow up. In one experiment, they determined how cat lovers deal with animals. “Every cat has certain preferences about how they want to be treated,” explains animal researcher Lauren Finca in a press release. “However, there are also some general principles to follow to make sure every cat is as comfortable as possible.”
The scientists published their results in the journal.Scientific ReportsBut before we tell you more, we want to ask you something:
Share 120 cat lovers
For the study, 120 volunteers spent five minutes alone with three cats they did not know at a London shelter. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 75 years, and the vast majority (90 percent) of them were women. The researchers gave instructions that people should let cats approach them rather than follow them. Otherwise, candidates were allowed to handle animals as they normally would.
In advance, participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their personal characteristics and previous experience with cats. A few self-proclaimed “knowledgeable” cat experts have emerged. In fact, the researchers also noticed a difference in cat handling between them and the other participants—but it was somewhat surprising:
Cat experts tend to pet animals in places where cats are reluctant to touch them
Participants who presented themselves as “cat experts” tended to pet London cats on the leg, abdomen, back and tip of the tail. However, animals often find such touches unpleasant, according to the study. They prefer scratching on the ear, chin and cheeks.
In addition, some long-term cat owners and owners of many domestic cats have given the animals less freedom to experiment than they actually need. Other cat owners for a long time fared better: they only called cats if this was started by the animals and only four-legged friends touched pleasant parts of the body.
According to Finca and her colleagues, the people involved behaved differently when dealing with cats, depending on their age and personality. For example, older people held cats more often and for longer. The researchers found something similar in the participants who described neurotic tendencies in the survey. On the other hand, extroverts often tried to get close to animals, caressing their legs, stomachs, and tails.
Scientists note a positive attitude in people with an agreeable and calmer character. They rarely touch the sensitive parts of the cat’s body. People who reported working or working with cats for a living seemed to have a better understanding of the animals’ needs.
How can people be more responsive to cats?
The results of the experiment suggest, according to Finka, that “certain characteristics that make a person seem suitable to deal with cats – such as how much knowledge they think they have, how much experience they have as a cat owner and how old they are – should not always be considered reliable indicators of a person’s suitability for adoption. certain cats.”
The aim of the study is not to damage the reputation of cat lovers. “We can use this information to develop purposeful educational measures,” the scientist said. For example, an important principle when dealing with cats is to remain passive at first. This gives the cat time to get used to you. When she is ready, she will approach and communicate.
The shelter contains a helpful video Battersea Dogs and Cats House Already collected. This is intended to show you how best to handle pets for cat lovers. Those interested can be encouraged to get a cat of their own.
Of course, each cat has its own preferences and personal characteristics:
“Aha! Ten Minutes of Everyday Knowledge” is WELT’s Knowledge Podcast. Every Tuesday and Thursday we answer daily science questions. Subscribe to podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Amazon Music and more, or directly via RSS feed.