Thursday, February 18, 2010

Can Cats Love?

If your cat could talk, he'd tell you he loves you, right?
Maybe. It depends on whether you believe that cats are "solitary" creatures that only connect with people to get food in their bellies and a roof over their heads or you believe that felines are very capable of feeling and expressing emotions -- including love.

A peek at the data shows some support for the pro-love side. Here's what a few studies revealed about cats' ability to bond with humans:

Cats share our brain chemistry. When stroked by their owners, cats in one study produced more oxytocin, a hormone known to trigger feelings of trust, warmth, and togetherness in humans and other mammals.
Cats are like kids. When with their owners, cats behave in much the same way as toddlers do with their moms: They feel confident exploring their surroundings. However, cats tend to be more guarded when in the company of strangers.
Cats miss us when we're gone. Contrary to popular belief, studies suggest that cats -- like
dogs -- can suffer from separation anxiety. Learn how to recognize symptoms of this in your cat.

The Proof Is in the Purring
What are some telltale signs that your kitty is craving affection and wanting to offer some in return? He greets you at the door when you come home, snuggles up and purrs on your lap, or offers body rubs and "head butts" (especially when you're blue). If that's not love, what is?

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