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Feature October 2019 Issue

It’s You They Want

Pop quiz: What do cats prefer most? 1. Food. 2. Interacting with you. 3. Batting around a toy. 4. Sniffing desired scents.

The answer is number 2: you, despite the old maxim about cats being aloof.

Researchers at Oregon State University made the finding when they observed how both house cats and shelter cats responded to different stimuli. Not all of the cats reacted exactly the same, but a much larger proportion were more interested in socializing with people than in swatting a toy, eating, or sniffing an interesting scent.

The rule of thumb for getting a cat to interact with you always remains the same. Let the cat be the one to initiate the together time, and also to decide on the length and intensity of the interaction. Cats don’t like people to take the lead.

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