What Does Your Cat Really Think of You?
Across the globe, cats are one of the most common and beloved domestic animals. In fact, it is estimated that there are three cats for every dog on the planet. More than 80 million cats are kept as pets in the United States alone (National Geographic). People have kept cats in their homes for centuries, as their low-key temperaments and independence makes them ideal, low-maintenance pets. Despite being small and demure, cats are quite intelligent. Have you ever wondered what your four-legged roommate thinks of you?
Cat-behavior expert John Bradshaw, of the University of Bristol, claims that cats view us as larger versions of themselves. In his words, “cats behave toward us in a way that's indistinguishable from [how] they would act toward other cats.” They do, however, think we are clumsy, considering the balance and grace of the average cat in comparison.
It is, of course, impossible to determine exactly what a cat is thinking. Experiments have shown, however, that cats are cunning and can recognize patterns. For example, they can become attended to the behaviors and daily routines of certain household members, and determine whether they will be given treats or attention by those more prone to those actions. The fact that cats can be trained supports the idea that they are intelligent – and that they elect to ignore commands, often asserting their own independence.
It’s generally believed that cats view humans as allies of sorts since there is a mutual bond of trust and knowledge that one will not hurt the other. Feeding and petting your cat indicates to him that you aren’t a threat and that you’re actually on his side. Of the overall way cats view humans, Bradshaw asserts, “A simple summary would be, for me, that cats see us as adult cats, but ones which are different in behavior.” Assuming this is true, cats come to the understanding that their human owners will shelter and provide for them, and therefore can be bonded with and trusted. When a cat is introduced to a person, dog, or other species during the first year of its life, it is much more likely to view that other party as an ally or source of affection.
Your cat communicates with you all the time, from meowing to get your attention to kneading to curling up on your lap. It’s not hard to recognize the emotional bond you have with your pet and the fact that he or she sees you as a friend or “parent,” of sorts. With the advancement of technology, it may one day be possible to actually find out what your cat thinks about you – and just how silly you look tripping all over them.