I can hear her like it was yesterday. “You love those cats more than you love people.”
It was Mom speaking, and at point, she might have been right. I’ve confessed here before that I love cats, devote my pro bono efforts to them, and clearly recognize the differences between “cat” and “dog” people.
For those who contemplate the intangible, irresistible attraction between some women and felines, science has answers.
Cats adore, manipulate women
That’s the headline (above) from writer Jennifer Vargas’ Discovery News piece of last year, reporting on a study in the journal Behavioural Processes. The report showed that “dynamics underlying cat-human relationships are nearly identical to human-only bonds, with cats sometimes even becoming a furry ‘child’ in nurturing homes.”
Discovery summed findings up this way:
- Relationships between cats and their owners mirror human bonds, especially when the owner is a woman.
- Cats hold some control over when they are fed and handled, functioning very similar to human children in some households.
- While the age, sex and personality of owners affect these relationships, the sex of the cat doesn’t seem to matter.
As a female cat owner, my observations and experiences support all of that. How about you?
Latest, greatest cat news
On Aug. 21, Vargas wrote that “new studies suggest that cats are actually beneficial to human health, and may even reduce our risk for cancer and other diseases.” The conclusion is from Biology Letters, which says there’s evidence to counter the tabloid-suggested link between cats and human brain cancer.
It seems dog and cat owners have a reduced risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with risk decreasing the longer owners had their pet.
This positive input stands strong against research that asserts a relationship between the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and brain cancer—the parasite can live in cats. Plus, we already recognize the wellness benefits of having pets like cats.
Speaking of: I’m being paged to serve “fishie” to those fabulous felines. Happy weekend!