Myth busted: Cats are selfish and don’t like being petted

Image Credits: Pixabay

Cats are mysterious and often misunderstood creatures. It isn’t uncommon to hear of cat owners claiming that their cat does not like being pet, or that their cat does not really care for human affection. While it might seem that cats are less friendly and often selfish when compared to dogs, this might not always be true. The same hold true when it comes to petting. If you are wondering if cats like being petted, the answer is, they do; only if you do it right. Here we bust the age old myths that cats are selfish and not affectionate creatures.

The science says it all

While a dog will run to the door to greet you when you get home, cats don’t often do the same and come off as indifferent. However a study conducted by researchers at the Oregon State University claim that cats’ indifference is all an act! The research study in fact, concluded that cats, prefer humans to other cats, catnip and even food. The study was conducted to check if the common notion that cats were averse to affection was in fact true. The researchers studied 55 cats – 22 cats from shelters and 23 cats from people’s homes. The cats were kept in solitary confinement for about two and a half hours. The cats were then shown their favorite food, toy, scent, as well as a type of human interaction like baby talk all together. Most of the cats chose to move towards the human indicating that they prefer human interaction and affection over food and toys. Food was the second most preferred option among the cats.

This study shows that the theory that cats have not been domesticated long enough to show affection towards humans is false. Some cats do prefer human affection to solitude. However, some cats might prefer being on their own. But these exceptions are true for every species.

Learning how to pet your cat

While it is believed that cats do not like being pet, there are a number of cats who welcome and long for human affection. Holding your cat and petting it can in fact build a stinger relationship between you and your furry friend. The trick is to pet your cat as per his or her terms. Do not force yourself onto your cat. If you try to forcefully pet your cat when they are not expecting it, they will grow to dislike being pet. Wait for appropriate signals from your cat. Say for example your cat rolls on his or her back and exposes their tummy. This means that they trust you completely and are okay with you petting them. Give them a belly rub to show you are on the same page. When your cat starts to move away, let them go. Do not drag them back so that you can pet them. Cats have a mysterious personality, but if we understand them and let them make the first move when it comes to being pet, we can create a lasting and fruitful bond with these beautiful creatures.

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