New Studies Find That Cats Bond With Owners Similarly To How Children Bond With Parents

It turns out that cats can now *officially* compete with dogs for the title “man’s best friend.” And this proposition is not solely from a biased cat lover. Recent studies show proofs of cats bonding with humans at the same level as children do with their parents. Aww, this goes to show that our feline friends do care about us hoomans too!

Recent studies reveal interesting facts about our beloved feline friends.




Cats continue to outnumber dogs as house pets in many parts of the world, including the US. However, there are still quite limited studies on cat behavior and their interaction with humans. This prompted study author and researcher Kristyn Vitale, from the Oregon State University, to conduct further research on said fields.

Attachment theory explains the tendency of a child to form an emotional and physical bond towards his primary caregiver. This bond plays an important role in a child’s personal development. Studies grounded in this theory usually involve reuniting children with their parents or caregivers after separating them for some time. Human infants, puppies, and baby monkeys were the subjects of previous tests. Results have shown that these subjects tend to form two kinds of bonds with their parents—secure and insecure.

Upon reunion with caregivers, securely bonded infants are able to quickly return to exploring their surroundings in a relaxed manner. On the other hand, insecurely bonded babies tend to either avoid their parents or cling to them excessively.

Contrary to popular belief that cats are independent, aloof, and indifferent…


Phillip Stewart




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Vitale and her colleagues decided to conduct the same test on cats. The test yielded pretty surprising results. Results determined that 65% of the kittens were securely attached to their owners. This shows that cats bond with humans in the same way as infants do with their parents. Vitale claims,

“We found that the attachment bond cats display toward their owners is very similar to the bond dogs share with their owners and even the bond human infants display toward their caretakers.”

…majority of them actually see their owners as caretakers or even as parents!






Just like monkeys, dogs, and children, cats can also form secure bonds with their hoomans.


Current Biology


Current Biology


Above all, the results show that these cats’ human attachments are stable and stay with them until adulthood. Furthermore, the researchers are also looking into applying this study in several animal shelters with the hopes of increasing adoption rates.

Well, this goes to show that cats are also worthy to be called man’s best friend.




Proud cat parents share their thoughts on the study’s findings.










Watch this video to know how more about these cat attachment experiments.