Owners Can Greatly Influence Cat’s Behavior

Owners have the power to greatly influence cat’s behavior from lifestyle to habits and cats, in turn, can greatly influence their owner’s behavior as well.

A Study conducted by the University of Messina’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine for the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that owners greatly influence their cats, the reverse is true as well.

Cats can influence that habits and lifestyle of their owners. Jane Brunt, DVM, and the executive director of the CATalyst Council, said that humans often adjust our schedules to fit theirs, such as getting up earlier and responding to their needs.

Giuseppe Piccione and part of the team at the University of Messina, pointed out that cats’ food intake is associated with that of their owners which may explain why human and cat obesity rates seem to mirror one another.  Also,cats may even match their elimination patterns with those of their owners.  If you have the litterbox in the bathroom, did you ever have the cat use the litterbox at the same time while you were “indisposed?”

As a part of the study, researchers observed two groups of cats. Each group received excellent care, in terms of food, medical attention and grooming. The owners of all the cats worked during the day and returned home in the evenings.

The first group of cats lived in smaller homes and stayed closer to their owners. The second group lived more of an indoor/outdoor lifestyle on larger property and were also kept outside at night.  As owners serve as roles models, it is important to make sure that they find time for proper play/prey techniques.

Over time, the cats in the first group mirrored the lives of their owners. Their eating, activity and sleeping patterns were very similar. The cats left out at night became more nocturnal, matching the behaviors of semi-dependent farm cats with more feral ways.