Cats Paired With Owners Through Attachment Styles

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Seems that liking one pet over the other can say a lot about your personality, but a recent study indicates cats are like dogs forming attachment styles. 

It’s a common misconception that cats are less affectionate than dogs. A new study has determined cats can be affectionate like dogs if paired with the proper person based on attachment style like babies and dogs.                                                                 

A study conducted at Oregon State University revealed data showing 64% of cats displaying a “secure” attachment style in which they showed no signs of distress when their caregiver left the room with a healthy mix of exploration and attachment upon returning. This group of cats in the study showed that they were more relaxed when their caregiver was away or with them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The other half of the study consisting of approximately 35% displayed insecure attachment to their caregivers leading to the cat being more stressed until their owners returned. When the caregiver returned, the cats would display a mixture of disorganized behavior, excessive contact, and/or avoidant behavior.                   

The group of animals for the study consisted of 70 kittens and 38 cats (ranging in ages) as researchers would observe the cat in a room with the caregiver for two minutes before removing the caregiver for the same amount of time. When the caregiver was removed the scientists would take notes on observations of the cat’s behavior and categorize them.                                       

This study shows that cats can develop attachment styles that have previously been tested with such as babies, primates, and dogs. The next time you ask someone whether they are a dog or cat person, you might want to think twice as it seems cats are more like dogs than we think.

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