Beijing time on December 30, the news, cats are our only successful domesticated non-herd animals. To the disappointment of the cat slaves, however, it is much more difficult for us to connect with cats than to dogs. Are we missing any important details? Physiologically, dogs can’t seem to hide their inner emotions. Dogs move, sniff, or wagging their tails when they feel satisfied, nervous, or purely happy. In a famous picture, several dogs are playing poker around, but in fact, dogs are not good at playing poker anyway, because we can easily know their next step.
Cats also have complex body language that expresses emotions through shaky tails, raised hair, and changes in the orientation of ears and beards. A snoring sound is usually (but not always) a sign of friendliness or satisfaction. All of this is a reliable basis for determining whether a cat is in friendly mode or not to disturb.
Cats, which have been with us after thousands of years of domestication, still don’t seem to have a good public relations image than the more established connection between dogs and humans. Many people see cat mavericks as an added bonus, while others see cats as too cold or selfish. Cat critics claim that food bowls only really show love when they are empty.
Of course, cat owners will say it’s, and their relationship with the cat is as strong as that of a dog and a dog owner. But why has cats always had a cold, unfriendly image in the public mind? Are they really like this?
At the very least, the unique image of cats has not affected their popularity. There are an estimated 10 million domestic cats in the UK alone. A 2012 study showed that about 25 percent of households had at least one cat.
One clue to the image of cats may be how they were initially domesticated. This is a much more gradual process than dog domestication, and cats play a largely dominant role. About 10,000 years ago, the earliest domestic cats appeared in Neolithic villages in the Middle East. Instead of relying on early human hosts for food, they were encouraged to look for food to ensure that crops and food storage were protected from rats and other pests. From the beginning, we were more distant from them than dogs. Dogs can help us hunt and rely on humans to share the spoils.
At this point, your cat in your house may be curled up on the couch, or staring at you from a vantage point on the shelf. Like its ancestors, it had many instincts, including hunting, patrolling the territory, and protecting it from other cats; Our domestication of cats is really just part of their way out of the wild.
“Most of the time, it’s just a human misunderstanding of the species,” said Karen Hiestand, a veterinarian and director of the International Cat Care Charity. In a way, it evolved (with us). As for cats, they have only recently emerged. They come from a unique ancestor, not a group of species. “
African wildcats (Felis lybica) are the ancestors of domestic cats who tend to live a lonely life, usually when mating. “Cats are the only domesticated non-herds. Every other animal we domesticated has a social connection to its kind,” Says Hestedt.
Cats are so different among the animals we live with that it’s no wonder we may have misunderstood the signals they send. “Because cats are very opinionated and can take care of themselves, they are becoming more and more popular, ” says Hestedt. ” Humans want cats to be like humans, or like dogs, and they don’t. “
Research on cat’s emotional and social abilities has lagged behind that of dogs, but in recent years, some progress has been made in this area. Although most studies are still in their early stages, the results have shown that cats have a fairly complex range of human-friendly nature.
“It’s highly variable, genetically driven, and this part of human-friendly may come from their experiencein in the first six to eight weeks,” Hestedsaid said. If they have positive experiences in the early stages of life, they may like humans and want to play with us. “
Even cat domestication itself has a range of variations. Lost wild cats often avoid humans and behave more like their wild ancestors. In fishing villages in the Mediterranean and Japan, “community cats” thrive and are friendly enough to cater to the locals who feed them. In Istanbul, these semi-stray cats, fed and cared for by locals, have become part of the city’s identity, and even recently produced a related documentary.
There are cats that we live with, but even they have different levels of closeness to people; some cats maintain relative distances, while others are actively with others. So what should we pay attention to if we want to build a strong relationship with the cat at home?
Like dogs, cats communicate most of the way through body language, not through sound. Kristyn Vitale, who studies cat behavior, said: “I think it’s hard to interpret cat body language compared to dogs. “It’s not necessarily the cat’s fault.
Dogs are more likely to win our love than cats because they have an important characteristic. Dogs have learned to mimic babies’ expressions, which can stimulate their owners’ desire to take care of them, a study by the University of Portsmouth in the UK has found. Specifically, dogs appear to have developed muscles that lift their inner brow, a trait that did not appear in their wolf ancestors. “Dog’s Eye” is not just a term used, but a form of evolution that strengthens the connection between dog and man.
This may be bad news for cats. They lack this muscle, so the eyes look cold and unfriendly. The two cats staring at each other are often preludes to a fight. But it’s another thing to blink slowly, and it’s a way of expressing love – your cat may blink at you on the other side of the room. Even when a cat turns its head to one side, it’s not necessarily contempt, it’s a sign of relaxation.
Vita’s study at Oregon State University caught the attention of the people. In this study, the cat and the dog were left in a room by the owner, and after a while, the owner suddenly returned. “One interesting thing is that most cats feel safe when they’re with their owners, and when they come back, they greet them and then go back to the room to explore, rarely coming back.” Dogs behave very similarly,” Vitale said. “The researchers call this phenomenon “safe attachment”, in which the return of the owner calms the pet, suggesting a strong emotional connection.
“Human expectations of animals are biased to influence their behavior, ” Says Vitale. In trying to force cats to behave more like dogs (i.e. give us more attention), we are actually forcing them away from natural behavior.
‘We’ve long confused the nature of cats with dogs, and that’s part of the problem, ‘ says Mr Hested. Even multi-year-old experts are not immune. “I went to a meeting in 2007 and I felt like a complete idiot,” she says. This is a completely new study, but if you humbly realize that your understanding of them is wrong, you will begin to learn something interesting. “
In the case of the cat’s owner, for example, this was once considered an act of marking territory, just as feral cats often shoved trees or other landmarks in their territory. But when cats do this in humans, it usually symbolizes a sense of belonging – the cat carries its smell to your skin, and also to its fur. This is the behavior of feral cats and other conditive conditors, a way to create a “common smell” that distinguishes between friends and enemies.
One thing is crucial, says Mr Hested, – relaxed cats are more willing to make friends. “They want their water, food, sleeping place and cat sand basins to be just right. When these are in place, they can begin to explore social connections with other animals. “
So don’t be disappointed the next time you go home and find the cat owner quietly looking at you on the couch, or lazily yawning into the hallway. It’s in your own way, quietly letting you know that it’s nice to see you. (Any day)