Popularly, it is believed that cats are completely independent animals and that they don’t feel the same unconditional love that we have for them. This fact, without a doubt, generates a lot of discomfort for cat owners, as they are sure that their cats love them and they demonstrate it with the slightest gesture.
But is it true? If you are wondering if cats love their owners, then you have come to the right place because in this article, we want to explain how cats treat their owners and are the rumors about them true or false.
Do cats have feelings?
The statement that cats experience love has several nuances to keep in mind, because although we do not doubt the immense affection our pets profess for us, we must know how to distinguish our way of perceiving the world. of the way our pets perceive it. What we know very clearly is that cats create very strong attachments.
But what is attachment? This concept was first defined by psychologist John Bowlby, and it is understood as an emotional bond of great intensity and lasting (but variable over time), which develops through the reciprocal interaction between two individuals. and in which assures safety, comfort and sustenance.
On an emotional level, attachment arises when the individual perceives that he has a protective figure, which will be there unconditionally, like a mother to her child, be it a human, canine or feline relationship, among many others. cash. For this reason, it is not uncommon for your cat to take refuge in you when he is sad, scared, or ultimately asks for you.
Behavior of cats with their owners
Recently, a study was carried out at the University of Oregon to see if this phenomenon is true or if, on the contrary, it is only an “idealization” of those who love their cats very much. Now, affirmatively, it has been shown that domestic cat’s bond with their owners and are similar to those that an infant creates with its parents.
It is not strange that this bond between cats and owners is created, because if we look at it coldly, attachment is actually a survival mechanism that we have different species to hold onto emotionally which is good for our survival. That is, if a cat didn’t care about her cubs and they weren’t in danger if their mother went missing (and, therefore, they didn’t call her), they could hardly live without the food, the protection and the learning it gives them unconditionally.
However, while in nature there is a process of detachment, in which when the kittens are ready at the maturation level, the mother begins to pull away from them and forces them to become independent, when you adopt a cat, this does not happen, because the owner becomes that protective figure without which he could not survive, which is why, in part, cats are missed by their owners. In these circumstances, as your cat has associated you like a good thing, every time he sees you, you generate a great feeling of confidence and tranquility. Contrary and as verified in the experiment, if you disappear on his side and leave him in a totally unfamiliar space, he will feel terribly insecure and stressed, because he will have lost his secure base.
In addition, behind this behavior, there is a hormone, which is responsible for both cats and humans to feel affection. We are talking neither more nor less about oxytocin, a substance secreted by the pituitary gland responsible for creating and maintaining relationships of friendship and attachment.
This “love hormone” is responsible for many mammals for making us feel good when we are in company and interact with others of our own or different species. In this way, it is a key part of affiliation with others, as it stimulates and reinforces social behaviors, such as mutual grooming, play, etc.
How do I know if my cat loves me?
You surely adore your cat, but you may have wondered more than once if this love is reciprocal, because cats do not express their affection the same way we do, and they all have their own character, this which can make understanding difficult. Now, there is no doubt that if you are the one providing food and security for your cat, it must like you very much. Let’s see what are the main signs that your cat loves you:
- He purrs when you approach and stroke him.
- He stretches and shows you his stomach, which is his most vulnerable area.
- He rubs against you, touches you with his head, walks between your legs …
- He gives you the prey he is hunting as a gift.
- He wants to play with you.
- He sleeps near (or above) you.
- He’s looking at you.
- He licks you and takes a few bites.
- He lifts his tail to see you.
- He allows you to be next to him.
- He follows you everywhere.