People are always surprised by how happy I am to meet them, as if there is something unusual about a cat who enjoys visiting with humans. It’s really not weird. The truth is that we cats really do like you silly human critters… and there’s even scientific proof!
The author of this post on Vice found a recent scientific study that looked at how cats (both shelter cats and cats with homes) responded to different stimuli. And you know what cats preferred above all? Social interaction with humans! Even more than food. That means that we kitties find human interaction as essential to our wellbeing as eating — and sometimes even more so.
I will tell you a secret: although my human always rewards me with treats when we practice my tricks, the whole reason I enjoy these sessions so much is because it’s quality time with her! That’s also why I like traveling with her — it’s our one-on-one time. When we’re home, she gets so wrapped up with work and house things that sometimes I feel a little neglected. But when we travel, she works hard to make sure I’m comfortable and we hang out together a lot. What cat wouldn’t enjoy that?
I think humans get the wrong idea about us kitties because they don’t understand our language very well. We don’t need to be up in your business like dogs tend to do. We aren’t needy and we are comfortable enough in our own skin to enjoy our own company. But we do like humans, and we show it all the time. Here are five clues you might look out for.
- We like to be in the same room as you. We don’t have to be in your lap or pestering you for pets or to play. (Although sometimes we do that too.) But just because we don’t seem to be paying attention to you, it doesn’t mean we aren’t enjoying being around you. It’s like two people reading books in the same room — a quiet camaraderie.
- We hate when you travel. At least that goes for most humans — when mine pulls out the suitcase, it usually means I’m going along too! But most kitties are sad when their humans are getting ready to go away for a few days or a couple of weeks. We may express this by trying to get in the suitcase, or giving looks to make you feel guilty. Or some cats could be like Binga and act out by running around the house and acting like a freak. It all boils down to the same thing: your cats don’t like it when you go away.
- We are happy when you come home. Some cats will even greet you at the door when you return from a workday. The way our house is laid out, we can’t really do that — there’s a hallway between the garage and the door, which makes comings and goings less than eventful. But when I hear my human’s boyfriend’s car pull into the garage, my human sees my ears perk up because I know he’s home! We cats miss having our humans around the house.
- We enjoy being close to you. It’s a bummer that my human never watches TV because that’s a cat’s favorite time to hang out with her human. My human’s boyfriend is more of the TV person in the family. One time my human came home to find her boyfriend on the couch, with Binga next to him and me on the arm of the couch. It was awesome! We really do enjoy human company.
- We love doing things with you. I think a lot of those battery-operated cat toys miss the mark because a good portion of the satisfaction we cats get out of playing is interacting with our humans. It’s real quality time for us. I’m always disappointed when my human ends a play session before I’m ready. Every so often, I’ll hunt down and drag a wand toy to her so she will play with me. Humans just need to realize that we cats may have different expectations from them when it comes to activities. Even if your cat just watches you throw catnip toys and does not chase them, he still considers it quality time because you are doing something together.
What other ways do you kitties show you like your humans?