Expert answer to the question 'Do cats love their owners?'

Generally, it is said that 'cats are not very interested in humans', but recent research shows that

cats recognize their names and that cats have a strong attachment to their owners. It has become clear. However, in 2021, it became clear that cats would not avoid 'people who are unfriendly to their owners,' and the question 'Do cats love their owners?' Is only deepening. Three experts answer the question, 'Do cats love their owners?'

Does my cat love me? Science explains

◆ Quantification of love
'Love is a very complex concept that is difficult for humans to quantify,' said Christine Bitale, who studies cats at Unity University. 'Love is a difficult term to define, especially the love of animals that can't verbalize what they feel,' said veterinarian Valerie Tines. He talks about the difficulty of measuring the degree of affection.

'We know that some types of animals have similar emotions to us,' said Catherine Pankratz , a veterinarian and ethologist. Claims to have similar feelings.

◆ How cats express love
Mr. Tines and Mr. Pankratz cite the following five types of 'friendly behavior' that cats take when fostering bonds with their owners.

・ Poke or rub the owner with your head
・ Rub the face and cheeks against the owner
・ Sleep in close contact with the owner
・ Walk alongside the owner. Tangle the tail with the owner when walking
・ Give the owner a hairdresser

'If a cat shows'friendly behavior', it can be interpreted as loving its owner,' Pankratz said, a sign of love from the cat to its owner. It explains.

◆ Conditional love
According to Mr. Tines, dogs continue to show affection for their owners even if they are punished by their owners, but cats do not show affection when they are punished by their owners. 'Cats are very sensitive to punishment from their owners, so punishment and harsh treatment are likely to damage the bond between cats and their owners,' said Tines.

Similarly, Pankratz said, 'If the relationship of trust between the cat and the owner is weakened, the affection can be lost,' and argues that the affection of the cat is based on the relationship of trust with the owner.

◆ Do cats notice the love of their owners?

In 2016, a study was conducted to confirm the cat's 'ability to understand human emotions' by showing cats 'happy facial expressions', 'angry facial expressions', 'positive conversations', and 'negative conversations'. .. As a result of this study, the research team concludes that 'cats can read human emotions and are particularly sensitive to changes in their owners' emotions.'

'Several studies have shown that cats are sensitive to their owners' emotions and not to strangers' emotions, which makes them somehow bond with their owners,' said Tines. I think there is. '

◆ Differences between cats and dogs
Dogs look more emotional than cats. 'While dogs live in the same social group as humans, cats belong to a flexible social structure,' Pankratz said. The difference in emotional expression between dogs and cats is that dogs. It claims that it is caused by the difference in the social structure of cats.


A 2019 study by Bitale reported that 65% of cats have a strong attachment to their owners. This 65% percentage is close to the percentage reported in similar studies conducted on human parents and dogs, so Bitale said cats are as strong as their owners as dogs and human babies. He claims to be attached.

It turns out that cats have a strong attachment to humans like dogs-GIGAZINE

'There are fewer studies on cat cognition and behavior than studies on dogs, so it's difficult to conclude a debate about cat emotions,' said Tines. I have high hopes for progress.

in Creature, Posted by log1o_hf