Have You Also Experienced This? Why Cats Prefer Some Family Members Over Others

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.09 - 2023 11:41 AM CET

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Why Cats Prefer Some Family Members Over Others.

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Cats, known for their distinct personalities and preferences, often show a clear fondness for certain family members, leaving others puzzled. Contrary to popular belief, cats are not solely attracted to those who feed them.

Instead, they tend to appreciate individuals who respect and understand them better. Let's delve into this intriguing subject to comprehend the preferences of our feline friends.

Human-Cat Relationship: A Historical Perspective

According to French Le Monde, Cats, specifically the domesticated species, have a unique bond with humans that dates back to ancient Egypt around 3000 BCE. Initially valued for their rodent-hunting skills, the African wildcat, Felis sylvestris lybica, gradually became a companion to humans. This relationship is evident in ancient Egyptian art, where cats are frequently depicted alongside humans and were even mummified and buried with high-ranking individuals.

Over the centuries, cats primarily retained their role as hunters. They have journeyed through time with humans, who realized that feeding these felines ensured their proximity. However, cats were not commonly welcomed into homes until more recent times.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The Modern Human-Cat Bond

Today, cats are considered the favorite pet in the European country France, with nearly one in three households owning one. They surpass dogs in popularity, which are present in only one in five households. While most cats are mixed breeds, certain breeds like the Maine Coon, Birman, Ragdoll, Persian, Norwegian, and Bengal have captivated French cat enthusiasts. This fascination extends beyond France, with cats ranking as the top pet in several European countries, including Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Explaining the Feline Fascination

What drives this passionate interest in cats? Is it their soothing purrs, legendary calmness, tender yet often elusive cuddles, soft fur, deep eyes, or their amusing antics? The reasons might be hard to pinpoint, but cats are so endearing that perhaps no explanation is needed.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Practical Reasons for Cat Affection

From a practical standpoint, cats' cleanliness and self-grooming habits are significant advantages. They don't require regular baths, and their fur remains silky and clean. Cats also don't need to be taken outside for relief, as a litter box suffices. However, they still require care, good nutrition, stimulating activities, and regular brushing.

A Reciprocal Love Bond

The misconception that cats cannot form attachments to humans is false. Cats do not see us as mere servants. They appreciate human contact and seek it out, forming a dependent emotional bond with humans. This bond is reciprocal and filled with shared tenderness. We are not slaves to our cats; if anything, we willingly submit to their whims, and in a way, they become our emotional dependents too.

Despite the care we provide, it's sometimes perplexing to see our beloved feline prefer certain family members over others. This phenomenon, often hard for the neglected members to accept, can be explained.

Cats don't treat all humans the same. In a household, they may be drawn to some and distant from others. This unequal behavior varies with the cat's personality and shows that cats have preferences, not necessarily towards those who feed them.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Building the Bond

Cats often prefer those who offer quality time over those who merely fill their bowls. They form stronger attachments to people who provide patience, understanding, playtime, and respect their independence. Cats need space and tranquility and are put off by being forced into interactions. They form stronger bonds with those who understand and listen to them, making them feel safe and secure.

Signs of a Cat's Affection

If you're wondering whether your cat loves you, observe its behavior. Signs of affection include squinting or closing eyes while looking at you, lying on its back nearby, purring, head rubbing, tail erect when seeing you, kneading or sucking on fabric, licking, and bringing you "gifts." If your cat sleeps near you, it feels completely safe and trusts you, as cats are vulnerable during sleep.

In conclusion, cats develop strong and enduring bonds with humans, not based on utility but on mutual respect and understanding. Just like humans, they attach more to those who care for and respect them, rather than those who intimidate them. This bond is a testament to the deep and genuine affection cats have for humans.

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