There is a general curiosity about how do animals see us, since the only way they have to communicate with us is through their behaviour. The love story between people and cats is old and cats are now one of the most common pet around the world, besides dogs. We are sure that your love for your cat is unconditional, but you have probably wondered what your cat thinks about you.
How Cats See Humans?
Dr. John Bradshaw, the author of “Cat Sense” is a cat behaviour specialist at the University of Bristol. Dr. Bradshaw has been studying cats in order to understand how these animals see people beyond the physiological part, which means, what do they think they are seeing when they see people.
Some specialists argue that cats see their owners like if they were bigger cats. According to several investigations, in which Bradshaw’s is included, dogs understand that we are creatures different from them, which does not seem to happen with cats. So, dogs differentiate people from dogs and act accordingly to that idea. Scientists argue that cats behave the same way among other cats and when they are socializing with humans.
According to Bradshaw’s research, it is likely that cats see their owners as they were their parents substitute, a bigger and superior cat. If you think about it, you will remember that cats use to knead on their mothers when they are kittens in order to obtain nourishment and many cats still do this when they are already adults, frequently when they are on their owner’s lap.
Furthermore, some other studies seem to conclude that cats think they can manipulate people, especially their owners, the same way they seem to do with their parents.
According to Dr. Bradshaw, we cannot be sure about the way cats perceive people, but the specialist argues that they behave towards us the same way they usually did towards their mothers. But it is not possible to know for sure what triggers this behaviour nowadays.
An investigation made in 2007 by researchers from Mexico concluded that cats’ behaviour changes when they are alone and when they are with people, especially with their owners. Scientists believe that cats see people as creatures that they might manipulate.
On the other hand, another investigation, from Tokyo, suggests that cats are aware of when their owner is speaking and when is other people speaking. In other words, cats are able to recognize human voices. You cat recognizes you even if he is not seeing you.
So, in spite of there is still a lot of things to find out, we may conclude that cats see us as if we were a mother or father from another specie or, at least, a bigger cat which they can manipulate.
Although cats see us like their parents, the least we can do is treat them as a family member, by protecting them, providing them health care and a happy life.