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What Kind of Bond Do You Have with Your Cat?

A woman hugging a gray Scottish Fold cat.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Cats have always been stereotyped as aloof and distant. Of course, anyone who’s ever had one or been around them much knows that every cat reacts to every human differently. Thanks to new research, we now have a better idea of the types of bonds that cats form with their peeps.

A new study at the University of Lincoln looked at over 4,000 cat owners and their feline friends to gauge the different types of attachment formed between animal and human.

Participants took a survey on both their behavior and that of their cats, which ultimately narrowed down the different types. These types of attachment were then analyzed through the cat’s behavior and the way in which their owners interacted with them.

According to the study, these are the five types of cat/owner relationships:

  • Open relationship: In this relationship, the cat is comfortable with its owner, but can also connect with other people. Your cat also likely doesn’t feel the need to be with you at all times or have long cuddle sessions.
  • Remote association: These cats are, well, remote. They know that their owner feeds them, but the owners likely have little to no emotional connection to the cat, so the animal tends to stay away.
  • Casual relationship: These types of relationships often form with cats who are both indoor/outdoor. They like their space and will wander, but they’re also friendly and comfortable in the home and around their owner.
  • Codependence: Those who have this type of relationship with their kitty are likely well aware of it. If you feel like your cat is your child, he or she probably follows you everywhere, always wants to be near you, and often licks you.
  • Friendship: According to the study, this is the most common relationship for those with larger households or in multi-cat homes. The cat sees the owner as a part of its social group as well as a safe place to go. However, the cat isn’t clingy and can have its own space at times.

If you’re curious about which type of bond you and your kitty share, the University of Lincoln actually set up a handy little quiz that you can take to find out.

Now that you know what kind of relationship you have with your furry roommate, it’s time to find out exactly what he’s trying to tell you when he meows.

[Via Martha Stewart]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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