Cats are often perceived as aloof and uninterested in human touch. A study by Claudia Edwards and colleagues in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that behavior in cats toward their owners is similar to the behavior of young children toward their mothers.
Consistent with Attachment Theory first developed in the 1950s, Edwards’ study found that when cats were in the company of their owners, they tended to be more relaxed and engaged in normal cat behaviors—exploring, wandering, and playing. But when the cats were in the company of a stranger, they spent more time waiting by the door and vocalizing less.
The study suggests that our cultural perceptions of cats may be flawed. Of course, cat lovers already know this!