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Research Claims Your Cat Thinks You’re Just Another (Big!) Cat

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Cat. (credit: Martin Foerster/AFP/GettyImages)

Cat. (credit: Martin Foerster/AFP/GettyImages)

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By Chelsea Karnash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As an overly-exuberant animal lover, I’m somewhat ashamed to confess that I am not a cat person.

Sure, cats are as cute as the next fuzzy mammal and kittens are all-out adorable, but felines enjoy hunting and killing things, and they don’t seem to care much for humans either. Unlike the “I’ll-love-you-and-be-your-best-friend-forever-no-matter-what!” enthusiasm you get from a dog, cats always seem to be giving me the side eye, and in turn, I usually feel the need to give it right back.

So the revelations from a new book on cats don’t really surprise me, although they are interesting. According to Dr. John Bradshaw, who’s studied felines for over 30 years and wrote the tome Cat Sense, cats were never bred for companionship. In fact, they tend to think of humans as big, lazy, overgrown fellow cats, which might explain some of that cool, disinterested behavior towards us.

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An article from CBS Connecticut about Bradshaw’s books explains further, stating that “cats treat humans as though they were the mama cat…when a cat rubs against you with its tail straight in the air, it is checking to make sure you are not hostile” and that “if a cat “kneads” you, that’s how it used to get milk from its mother.”

In other words, what seems like feline affection might actually be perfunctory.

Bradshaw also tells CNET that “cats now face possibly more hostility than at any time during the last two centuries,” alleging that breeders who try to domesticate them are doing more damage than good to the natural predators.

Leaving cats be sounds fine to me. After reading some of Bradshaw’s research, I remain unconvinced that the glowering creature hiding under the couch isn’t going to claw my face off the first chance it gets. And to any pet owner who claims their cat is “just like a dog,” I have just one thing to say: No, he isn’t, and you obviously don’t have a dog.

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