New study reveals cats prefer human interaction to food

A RECENT study conducted by Oregon State University has found that a cat’s favourite activity is playing with humans.

A study of 50 cats showed that out of four different categories, cats chose human interaction over anything else. The other categories included food, scent and toys.

To perform the study, researchers left the cats without any food, toys or human interaction for a number of hours.

The cats in the study were presented with each kind of stimulation and recorded how much time the cat spent indulging in each one when re-introduced to it.

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After another new study conducted by Japanese scientists, it has been proven that cats and dogs are equally intelligent.

It was found that although all the cats had different preferences, 50 per cent of cats preferred human interaction although they were offered other stimuli.

Pet Behaviour Therapist from The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, Ellena Hinson, said: “An animal being ‘loving’ relates to its dependency on people for their resources, therefore those less dependent could be regarded as less ‘loving’.”

Food was the second most popular type of stimuli with 37 per cent of the cats having a preference for food over human interaction, scent and toys.

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When asked, Ellena Hinson disagreed saying: “Food is a primary resource and if humans have to provide that resource – for example food – then cats may well interact with humans more for it”.

This argument from Hinson states that cats interact with humans for food, and do not interact with them instead of eating.

We carried out a poll on Twitter asking what would humans prefer; cats, food or toys?

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This poll received 31 responses and concluded that 71 per cent of people prefer food, 19 per cent said cats and 10 per cent said toys.

In a new study conducted by Japanese scientists, it was proven that cats and dogs are equally intelligent as each other.

The test showed that cats were able to recollect specific non-immediate events and they were also able to respond to facial expressions and gestures, much like dogs do.

Although cats and dogs are said to be more similar, Hinson added: “I doubt that dogs would choose human interaction over food, unless they needed their human to provide food for them that they couldn’t get themselves.”

by Stephanie Wan (@Sinyingwan1), Katie Goodall (@KatieLGoodall) & Sophie Long (@SophieeLong_)