Cats have a reputation of being aloof and anti-social. As the quip goes, to cats we’re staff—at their beck and call to give them whatever they want when they want it. And usually, it seems, when they’re being cute and sweet, it’s because they want food. Take our Lily—she becomes furry slippers and leg warmers when I walk into the kitchen for any reason around her feeding time. She rubs all over my ankles and rolls around on my feet. I don’t know if this is in appreciation for feeding her (she’s saying, “I love you, Mommy, I love you!”) or if it’s a warning (“Feed me NOW or bite your ankles and chew your toes off.”)
If your cat seems to like food more than she likes you, you might be surprised about a recent study done by researchers from Oregon State. It’s been reported at many cat sites and even in Newsweek and the Huffington Post.
Researchers set out to determine whether cats genuinely like us—enjoy human interaction—or if they’re using us, as the jokes go. They used 50 cats in this study—some of them household pets and some from shelters. They deprived the cats of human company, food, and toys for a couple of hours and when they presented these to the cats again, 50% of them seemed more interested in human interaction than in food. 37% chose food first. Their conclusion is that cats like us better than food. Would you agree?