This week, I have things to say about two of my favorite species, cats and squirrels...
How can we know that cats love us?
A recent article in the Atlantic discussed the "love hormone" oxytocin, and how it is released when we interact with our pets (turns out other animals have it too, and their oxy levels may go up after interactions with US too).
Most studies have been on dogs, and one study showed that the effects of interacting with cats were less "loving" than interacting with dogs. Most research on human-pet attachment also finds reports of stronger attachment to dogs than cats. Why is this? Are our relationships with cats that different than those with dogs? Are the scales flawed? Is it our co-evolution with dogs that leads to this oxy release? There are still many unanswered questions.
Of course, other studies have suggested that cats aren't attached to humans (my feelings about that study can be found here)...and everyone just wants to know: DOES MY CAT REALLY LOVE ME????? So what gives? I talked about it with the Dodo this week (and so did John Bradshaw!).