In news that cat people have known all along, it appears that felines actually don’t hate people. On the contrary, based on a recent study that was done to clear up the misconceptions that cats are standoffish little buggers, scientists found that cats actually prefer people over food. OVER FOOD. That’s not even a matter of “like,” at this point. That’s love.
The study, which was conducted at Oregon State University and published in Behavioural Processes, was already conducted on dogs and tortoises, Vice reports, and the researchers set out test the theory of whether or not cats are really disinterested in, well, everything.
“Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities,” the authors wrote in the paper. “Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for.”
Researchers studied 50 cats, that were either removed from people’s homes or found in shelters, whose food, toys, and people were taken away from them for several hours. When they reintroduced elements to the cats’ lives, half the cats opted for human interaction over food (though, it should be noted 37% did choose food first).
The researchers acknowledged that the cats’ choices may have been influenced by their life history or even breed. And the behaviour of a few dozen cats doesn’t determine all cats, but for the most part, cats aren’t as antisocial as some would have you believe. In fact, their love of people is actually quite strong. Like humans, cats aren’t immediately open and accepting to everyone they meet. Just the ones who are allergic to them. They seem to love them the most.
WATCH: Here are some adorable cat videos, because really, who doesn’t love videos of cute cats…