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Felinexpress.com Home > Cat Behavior > The Human - Animal Bond

The Human - Animal Bond

According to the recent 2011-2012 APPA National Pet Owner’s Survey, 62% of all American households own at least one pet. Of that percentage, 38.9% admit to owning one or more cat(s). For some Americans, cats easily take the place of a family member; after a hard day at work who meets you at the door first, your child, or your cat? Generally, it’s your cat. Single parents, latch-key kids and intact families all admit that owning a cat creates a spot of comfort in their day. Offering stability, consistency and some measure of protection cats are found in great numbers in apartments, houses, high-rises even recreational vehicles.

Although cats are not dogs, there is ample news coverage talking about cats saving their humans from; house fires, gas leaks, health issues even snakes in the house. One enterprising gold-and-white cat in Ohio by the name of “Tommy” mysteriously dialed 911 when his owner fell out of his wheelchair and couldn’t get up.

One only has to look at the most popular videos on YouTube to see this love-affair between cats and their humans continuing to evolve into the digital age. 90% of cat owners polled admit; they talk to their cat(s) on a daily basis. 75% say they allow their cat into their bedroom at night to sleep with them even though others might object to the nightly sleepovers.

Cats are used in therapy sessions for abused children; they visit nursing homes, prowl around halfway houses offering comfort and companionship. Owning a cat lowers blood pressure and provides a measure of love that some people lack. Although the popular theory around cats center on them being aloof and unfriendly, the opposite is actually true. Cats are capable of bonding with their human when treated right.

“There is no degree of separation in Dexter’s eyes between him and me” Lei Anderson explains. “We are attached at the hip.”

Dexter has shared Lei’s life for over 14 years now. She admits that when she first got him from a local rescue group, she spoiled him terribly. “He goes crazy when I leave him even if just for a few minutes.” Then she related one story which illustrated the fact.

Going downstairs of her apartment complex to the floor below to do laundry, Lei heard a cat squalling. “I had never heard a cat make such an awful noise,” she confessed to me. “I thought someone was trying to hurt a cat.” She quickly walked the length of the lower floor, looking for the cat in distress. She was unable to find one, yet the noise continued.

At the end of the stairwell, Lei realized the noise was coming from above so she hurried up the stairs. The meowing got louder and more frantic. “All that was on my mind was saving this cat from harm.” She explained. Then, as she passed her apartment where she had left the door open but the screen door closed, she realized the noisemaker was Dexter! “He was beside himself with joy when I opened the door and stepped into the house. I guess he thought I had left him forever!”

Some cat owners are anthropomorphic; meaning they like to dress their cats up in doll clothes. They attribute human emotions to their cats; treat them like babies even take them for a walk in covered strollers. Does this mean they love their cat less? No, it simply means that the cat is treated as a valued family member. The cat has become an important part of the owner’s support system. An increasing number of adults prefer to live alone and remain childless. These types of homes almost always contain one or two cats. As more families move into towns and cities it is likely that in 2013 and beyond, the cat will become the more popular pet of the future.

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  2. Balinese
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  12. Bengal
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