Are Cats Really Aloof?
24 May, 2017
cats aloof

Cats are fantastic pets and a great addition to any family.  They are intelligent, elegant, calming companions that don’t require daily walks and even clean themselves!  But, some people feel as if cats, are frustratingly independent, cool and aloof.  So what’s the rub? Are cats really aloof?

Cats are popular in homes because they are independent and caring (not aloof!)

There is a reason cats are popular pets and a part of so many families therefore they can’t be too aloof (even though some, admittedly, are). They are able to satisfy our need for a human-animal bond (like dogs) providing us with social and emotional support. And the fact that cats can and do hunt and prey naturally (and don’t attack us daily), means that their ability to bond with us is even stronger!

Cats can form great bonds with family members but can be aloof to strangers

Cats have not been studied as much as dogs when it comes to social behavior and interactions.  Truth is, it can be difficult to corral cats to cooperate.  But, the studies that have taken place show that cats can and do form affectionate bonds with their owners.  New people and strangers can sometimes be threatening to cats.

The sociability of cats is also influenced by the owners’ age, gender and availability

The quality of human-to-cat interactions can also be influenced by the owners’ gender, age and how much time they have available. Cats appear to have the best relationships with owners who are adult women.  The way women behave with cats can be telling.  Most men are more likely to interact with cats while seated whereas woman tend to interact with cats at their level, normally on the floor.

Female adults also give the cats a chance to respond when to them before interacting

Adults usually call out to a cat before interacting, allowing the cat to decide whether or not to respond. Children, especially boys, tend to approach cats directly, which may not be tolerated well by individual cats.  When the cats initiate interactions (i.e. when they are good and ready!) the longer the interaction will take place.

A cat’s sociability can be linked towards their early developmental stages as kittens

There is inevitably a nature- nurture experience that can influence a cat’s social nature.  Kittens who have positive experiences with several different people in their early developmental stage (before six or seven weeks of age) are more likely to respond well to handling and become satisfying “good” pets than kittens which are first handled after the end of this period.

Kittens with friendly cat fathers tend to be more social

Kittens with friendly fathers that had been socialized were shown to be friendlier than those whose fathers had not been socialized. They were also friendlier than kittens that had been socialized to people, but had unfriendly fathers. Breed types may also influence how friendly cats are to people. Owners of Siamese and Persians report higher levels of affection than owners of non-pedigree cats.

So, are domestic cats really aloof? There is no easy answer to this. Some are, some aren’t. But, cats do have the capacity to be very affectionate towards their owners and form significant bonds. We all have those cats.  And, of course, some cats will be aloof but they will usually come around.  On their own terms!

If you like this article, you will be interested in:  Cats like Affection More Than Food!

Source:  The Conversation

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