An English biologist’s new book proposes that your cat doesn’t think you are its human owner, but merely a much bigger cat similar to its birth mother.
According to Time, Dr. John Bradshaw believes that if you feed, clean and entertain your cat, it views you as a “larger, non-hostile cat.”
Bradshaw, who has studied the behavior and psychology of domesticated animals for over 30 years, reveals several intriguing explanations as to why cats act the way they do around humans.
For example, since cats have never been bred to do anything but look nice, they are in turn much less domesticated than the dogs humans have trained to hunt and act as bodyguards to their owners.
Yet since 85% of cats breed with feral tomcats, most cats are fit to remain in the wild. This is why, as Bradshaw explains, a cat’s interactions with its owner are driven less by learned behavior than by instinct.
Ever notice the way a cat kneads the surface of a bed?
This is a behavior meant for a mother’s belly, a signal to keep the milk flowing. Rubbing up against a leg is another way of treating a human like a cat, which is also what Bradshaw calls “the clearest way cats show their affection for us.”
To find out why cats cannot mentally comprehend the idea of a human owner, pick up Bradshaw’s soon-to-be bestseller “Cat Sense.”
And remember: the next time your cat doesn’t seem to care about how you feel or what you’ve just said, it’s only because all you are to this creature is a really good roommate that happens to be six times its size. At least your cats don’t hate you, like this study suggests.