Researchers asked around 4,000 cat owners about their relationship with their cats. The goal of the survey was to was to gather insight about their caregiving style, emotional basis of their relationship with their cats, the owner’s ability to provide social support to their cat, and how the cat perceived them as a source of security.
The results where interesting for sure. They learned that cat owners can be broken down into 5 categories. Where do you fall?
- Open relationship: The owner is “emotionally distant” from their cat, who’s aloof and rarely hangs out with them. “In this case, the bond from owner to cat is quite weak, and this is similar between cat and owner,” Mill said.
- Remote association: “Both cat and owner do their own thing, and the cat would probably be just as happy living as a farm cat.” Mills called this a weak bond on both sides.
- Casual relationship: “The owner doesn’t love their cat as part of the family, although the cat is pretty sociable with everyone, including strangers,” Mills said. Here, there’s an affectionate bond between owner and cat, but it’s not as intense as in the codependent relationship.
- Codependent: “The owner adores their cat, who wants to be around them as much as possible and may meow a lot when they leave the room. So here we would say the owner has a very strong emotional bond and so does the cat.”
- Friendship: “The owner loves and may talk to the cat, but the cat is also happy to be affectionate with others and is not clingy,” Mills said. In this case, the owner bond is quite intense, but the cat’s may not be.