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Why cats love people who hate them

Cats love people they hate because reluctance to pet and tease them gives the cat the control and independence it needs, a study has found.

In contrast, self-confessed “cat people,” who claim to be knowledgeable and have lived with them for several years, tend to hold the animal back and touch areas they don’t like.

Cats, unlike dogs, can be prickly characters, often coming across as distant, distant, and sometimes even downright rude.

But new research by animal behaviorists at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham has found that the blame may fall on the person, not the animal.

While most dogs shower affection on any person, cats are harder to please and have a few more rules and stipulations before they warm to a person.

Where not to pet a cat

For example, cats have “red spots” where they hate being touched, including the base of the tail and the belly. Attempts to pet these regions will immediately straighten their backs.

However, they also have “green areas” such as the “glandular” regions at the base of the ears and under the chin.

The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that self-proclaimed “cat people” were more likely to touch the red areas, making the animal uncomfortable and increasing hostility.

And even people who lived with cats for several years did not give the cats enough independence by depriving the pets of their freedom.

Approximately 120 people with varying degrees of exposure to cats were recruited for a study conducted at the Battersea Cats and Dogs Home cattery. One person was left in a room and three cats were let in one after the other for five minutes each to play.

The person was told to wait for the cat to come to them, but was then left to their own devices when it came to teasing, entertaining, or cuddling the cat.

The researchers recorded the interactions and rated how comfortable the cat felt, how the person behaved, and what behavior the cats liked best.

Participants who had lived with cats tended to be overbearing

They also asked participants questions to learn how much experience they had with cats, if they had ever lived with them, and how knowledgeable they felt about the pets.

They found that 80 percent of all human-cat interactions fell into seven categories based on how humans and animals acted and reacted. The top category or “best practice” was “passive but responsive to contact, minimal touch”.

Other categories included a person petting the “green areas” that the cat likes; a tendency to hold or restrain the cat; and touching only the “red areas”.

Participants who had lived with cats tended to be overbearing, while the most experienced owners were also more likely to pet cats in “yellow spots,” such as.

The team also found that older people tried to grab and hold the cats more than younger people, while extroverts tended to initiate contact with the cat, which pets typically don’t enjoy as they like being in control , when and how the interaction will begin.

“Our results suggest that certain traits that we assume would make someone good with cats – how knowledgeable they are, their experience with cat ownership, and their age – are not always reliable indicators of a cat’s suitability Individuals should be considered for adoption of certain cats, particularly those with specific handling or behavioral needs,” said lead researcher Dr. Lauren Finka, a cat behaviorist at Nottingham Trent University, told The Telegraph.

dr Finka went on to say that animal shelters should avoid discriminating against potential adopters with no prior cat-owning experience because “they can make fantastic cat guardians.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/06/why-cats-love-people-who-hate/ Why cats love people who hate them

Linh

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