Why cuddle a cat
Turns out that cuddling a cat and speaking to them softly in an animal shelter is not only a great way to spend an afternoon. There is now scientific evidence that shows that this kind of behaviour that can maintain good health in cats, a discovery that may sound adorable but has important implications for cats.
The study, which was published this month in Preventative Veterinary Medicine, separates 96 shelter cats into two groups. One group received positive interactions with the same person for 10 minutes at a time, four times a day, for 10 days. These interactions could include cuddles, brushing and playing. These interactions were said to “seduce” the cats. The other group of cats were treated by a researcher who would stay in front of their cages with eyes turned away for that same lapse of time.
All 96 cats were found to be healthy and satisfied (as opposed to anxious or frustrated) at the beginning of the study. By the end of it, the cats that were “seduced” maintained their satisfaction and were less likely to develop an upper respiratory disease.