Strange Science: Aloof Cats

Orange and white piebald cat showing her belly and looking at the cameraMany people, both those who own cats and those who do not, have a belief that cats are anti-social or aloof. Scientists have found, however, that cats are only as aloof toward you as you are toward them.

When humans interact with cats, the cats tend to then continue to interact with those humans. Meanwhile, if humans ignore the cats, the cats will go about their business without interaction. Of course, cats won’t always interact with humans who want to interact with them. Scientists attribute this to cats wanting to have the choice–they want to be able to walk away if they aren’t in an interactive mood. But they also want to be able to interact with humans sometimes–hence why you get cats who must always be involved with whatever you’re doing, or who paw or meow at you if you’re not paying them sufficient attention.

We at Mad Scientist Journal have seen this extensively with our feline interns, most of which are perfectly happy to do their own thing 90% of the time. But that 10% of the time when they want attention, they will demand it vocally and physically. (And then there are the youngest interns, who are still figuring out what they want, making them much less predictable.)

You can read more about cat behavior here!

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