British scientists told how to stroke cats

It turned out that avid cat lovers can unknowingly torture animals when they try to stroke them. This is evidenced by a new study , the results of which were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Scientists from the universities of British Nottingham conducted an experiment on the basis of a local shelter. 120 volunteers were asked to spend five minutes in the company of three cats and communicate with them in the way they used to do it usually. Participants also filled out a questionnaire in which they talked about their experience with animals.

At the same time, the participants answered additional questions, which allowed scientists to note the dominant character trait of each volunteer: openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, or neuroticism.

An analysis of the results showed that people who have cats at home (or once had) tend to ignore the desires of animals. They more often touched parts of the animal’s body, which they usually do not allow to be stroked without much trust. In particular, the tail, paws and sensitive areas of the back.

As a result of observations, it turned out that people with conscientiousness turned out to be the prevailing trait have the best contact with cats. Also, those who had experience working with animals showed themselves well. They allowed the cats to control the situation and showed great empathy: they tried to touch only those places that were pleasant to the animal.

The neurotics and the elderly showed themselves worse: they sought to control the cats. Extroverts, on the other hand, were more likely to be the first to make contact with animals and touch parts of the body that caused discomfort in cats.

The experiment shows that a great experience of life with cats does not always mean that a person will be able to care for a wayward pet.

Dr. Lauren Finca

study organizer

Scientists also gave universal advice: if you want to gain the trust of a pet, it is best to let him make contact first and not squeeze him too hard. Pay attention to the cat’s body language and behavior. It is safest to touch the chin, ears and cheeks. Touching them is pleasant to most cats (although there are exceptions). But at first it is better not to touch the tail, paws and back.

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