For generations, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether cats really like humans or just use them for food and shelter. Cat lovers and cat owners often claim their cat really does love them, while some people doubt that, given that cats have been known to eat their deceased owners - something dogs, for example, would rarely do. This debate has been lasting for as long as anyone can remember, and seemingly there was no end in sight.

But once again science came to our aid!

Research from Oregon State University

Recently, Scientists from Oregon State University published a paper entitled "Social interaction, food, scent or toys?

A formal assessment of domestic pet and shelter cat (Felis silvestris catus) preferences". Although there was individual variability between Cats, which sometimes comes from a cat's breed or its individual history, there were some definitive conclusions drawn.

In the research, it was concluded that cats do indeed like humans. More than you would think!

The experiment

Cats have this reputation of being unsociable and untrainable. To get to the centre of this preconception, scientists tested 50 cats from homes as well as 50 cats from a shelter. The goal was to have both cats who were used to living with a human, and cats who weren't used to human companionship. In the study, the scientists deprived the cats of food, toys, and people for a few hours and then gave them people, food, scent and toys at the same time.

Guess which one the cat preferred?

Food or people?

In the end, the scientists came to the conclusion that most cats in both categories preferred human interaction over every one of the other stimuli - including food!

The research concluded that although cat sociality isn't the same as the sociality of a dog or a person, it does exist.

Cats are more individualistic, but when given the choice between socializing and other forms of satisfaction, they clearly chose socializing.

Many cat owners will claim that they already knew this, and it is no wonder. Living with a cat lets you get to know it, and if you think about it, cats are a bit like teenagers. They look and sometimes act like they don't like you, but it's not a coincidence that they are in the same room as you 90% of the time!