Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans

Our research on cat-human attachment bonds was recently published in Current Biology. We found that cats display distinct attachment styles toward their owners. These styles are the same styles that human infants and dogs display toward their caregivers. As seen in this video, secure cats use their owner as a source of security and comfort and are able to freely explore the room while the owner is present. Insecure cats do not use their owner as a secure base and instead either cling to their owner’s side or avoid the owner. Similar to findings with infants and dogs, the majority of kittens and cats (~65%) were securely attached to their caregiver. Half the kittens also participated in a 6-week training and socialization class, but cat attachment styles did not significantly change after the class. This indicates cat-human attachment may be relatively stable once established.

Vitale, K. R., Behnke, A. C., & Udell, M. A. R. (2019). Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans. Current Biology29(18), R864–R865.  DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.08.036

 

FULL TEXT AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THIS LINK

 

Participate in Survey Exploring Cross-Cultural Perception of the Cat-Human Bond!

I am a researcher studying the cat-human bond. Please feel free to participate and share the following survey offered in both English and Japanese. If you are an adult and either a United States or Japanese citizen you are eligible to participate. You do not need to own a cat to participate. See below for links to the English and Japanese versions of the survey!

Link to English Survey

 

Link to Japanese Survey

Cross-Cultural Comparison of Cat-Human Bond

2017 was an amazing year! Thank you to all the owners and cats who participated in our research and cat training and socialization classes! I am excited for what 2018 will bring! In less than a week I will be leaving to conduct cat behavior research at Kyoto University in Japan for 3 months!

Please follow maueyes on Instagram for plenty of photos and subscribe to maueyes on YouTube for cat videos.

Happy new year everyone!  明けましておめでとうございます!

Upcoming talk! Cat Behavior and Cognition- Using science to increase cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond

KristynHeadshotSpeaker: Kristyn Vitale 
When:
September 19, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM EDT (Midnight UTC)
Cost: $25.00
Where: Online Webinar, Register at: www.e-trainingfordogs.com

In this cat behavior and cognition webinar, Kristyn Vitale will discuss the current science behind cat behavior and ways to utilize this knowledge in applied settings to improve cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond. Even though domestic cats are one of the world’s most popular companion animals, coexisting with humans for thousands of years, many questions remain unanswered about cat behavior, cognition, and the human-cat bond. Although science has much more to learn about cats, several applied benefits exist from future research in this area. Currently, pet cats outnumber dogs by almost 10 million in the US alone and millions of cats live in shelters or are free-roaming outdoors. Over 3.4 million cats enter already crowded shelters each year and of those surrendered by owners, approximately 27% are surrendered due to behavioral issues or incompatibility between cat and owner.

The talk will cover a variety of topics including:

  • the importance of scent in cat behavior
  • how to run cat preference assessments
  • free-roaming cat social behavior
  • the human-cat relationship
  • cat socialization & training