In the cat world, there is a saying that goes: “You must keep the friend of the lotus close to you, and the enemy of the lotus … too”. Recently, a study showed that cats are more likely to receive food from people who treat their owners better than dogs.
The Dog Lovers Association will likely be happy that the study results show dogs are more loyal than cats, but the conclusion is not that simple. It cannot be said that cats are not loyal just from this conclusion. According to a study published in February 2021 in the Journal of Animal Behavior and Cognition, cats may be too socially ignorant to understand when someone hurts their owners.
Cats are very socially ignorant in understanding when someone has hurt their owner.
A team of researchers from Kyoto University (Japan) tested feline fidelity with techniques similar to a previous study with dogs. The experiment was carried out with 36 domestic cats (including 13 domestic cats and 23 domestic cats raised in cat cafes) and their owners.
The researchers divided into two groups: “caregivers” and “non-caregivers”. Cats will be monitored while the owner tries to open a box to take out an item. In the helpers group, a second person joins and helps the owner open the box, or in other words, the second person acts as the owner’s friend. In the other group, the second person refuses to help the owner open the box. To make a comparison, a third person will participate in the play in both groups and that person sits quietly and watches, with no action to help or refuse to help.
The cat may not realize whether the other person is helping their owner or not.
After each performance of the play, the 2nd and 3rd person will try to give the cat a piece of food, the researchers will record from which the cat will receive the most food. After four experiments, the conclusion was very clear: the cat didn’t care who the feeder was. Previously, in similar experiments with dogs, most people avoided people who refused to help their owners.
So can we say that dogs are loyal and cats are selfish?
Not really. “Arguably the cats in the above experiment do not understand the owner’s goal for behavior,” wrote the study author. No study has yet shown that cats can recognize intention or intention through human behavior. “But if they can understand the intentions or intentions of the owner, they may not be able to identify the negative behavior of those who are part of the group that is not helping.”
In other words, the cat may not realize whether the other person is helping their owner or not.
“We believe cats may not be as capable of social judgment as dogs, at least in this experiment, because unlike dogs, cats are not bred to live with humans,” the author wrote in the post. Research. (Dogs throughout history have been bred or “artificially screened” for more suitable traits.)
Cats do not seem to understand human social relationships like dogs do.
Ali Boyle, a research associate with the Intelligence Types project at Cambridge University who was not involved in the study, said it was on the basis of this study that it was concluded that selfish cats were “Natural spirits”. They are not “furry humans” but “a creature with their own way of thinking,” Boyle said.
Cats do not seem to understand human social relationships like dogs do. This is because dogs were domesticated earlier, Boyle said. In addition, the ancestors of dogs lived in groups, while cats were solitary predators. As a result, dogs are naturally born with social skills and continue to thrive through domestication.
In addition, this study is unlikely to demonstrate general results for domestic cats. “About two-thirds of the subjects in our study are cats in cat cafes, which makes us cautious about attributing research results to domestic cats in general,” the study report states. Although house cats and cats in cat cafes do not exhibit differences in behavior, they will differ in association with their owners. For cats who are kept in a cat café, they may spend more time communicating with strangers on a daily basis and have less personal interactions with the owner than domestic cats, the researchers said.