Cats have a reputation for being opportunistic animals who are only willing to stay with their humans because they feed them. But is this really the case? When you come home from a hard day’s work and your cat is pestering you for food, you tell yourself yes. But in reality, our feline friends are not only interested in our ability to sustain their needs.
Cats prefer their owner’s company to food
It is now scientifically proven that cats prefer interactions with humans to food. And all cat owners (or almost) will be able to confirm this. Indeed, apart from some felines who deign to come home only to eat, most domestic cats have forged a strong bond with their owners .
It’s very simple, cats find many qualities in humans that are just as essential to their survival and well-being as being fed:
- Affection: Despite popular beliefs that cats are distant animals, they actually like to be cuddled. And for those who don’t appreciate contact, they still enjoy spending time with their human.
- Protection: cats also find in their owners a sense of security that allows them to feel at ease. Indeed, apart from having a shelter that protects them from predators and the elements, the presence of their owner also helps to reassure them. However, we know how stressed the felines are (which is of course related to their hypervigilance: at the slightest noise or suspicious movement, they must be ready to take off).
- A living environment: in addition to the indisputable attachment they have to their masters, cats appreciate that the latter bring them a certain routine of life. And for good reason, our feline friends like to live in a regulated way ( waking up at the same time every day , having fixed meal times…).
Food obsession, a common problem
Even if you have the impression that your cat only lives for its food that you give them every day, rest assured that this is not the case. On the other hand, certain health or behavioural problems can explain such an obsession with food.
Thus, diseases such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism or even worms can explain that your cat is never full. As are nutritional deficiencies. In fact, if there is the slightest doubt, it is better to have a health check-up at the veterinarian.
Likewise, stress, boredom or even depression can cause your cat to think only of food. But, as with us humans, eating tends to ease anxiety – at least for a short time. To avoid this, be sure to eliminate any stressor at mealtime and especially play with your cat several times a day!