Does the cat become attached to the owners? Or is territory more important to her?
A very common idea of cats that "live on their own" and have absolutely no sympathy for the owners. And it is impossible to deny that many cats love people with whom they live under the same roof. But is the cat attached to the owner?
First of all, it is worth deciding what affection is and how it differs from love.
Love is an emotional connection with another creature, and cats experience emotions, which means they can experience love for people. But attachment to the owner is not only an emotional connection. This is also the perception of the owner as a security base.
Security base - this is someone (or something) with whom the animal seeks to maintain contact, to whom (what) he runs when he feels insecure or afraid, and is very upset at separation. The presence of a safety base gives the animal confidence and encourages him to explore new objects or surroundings.
And if for dogs the security base is undoubtedly the owner (and only then can we talk about the formation of attachment), for the cat, the security base is the territory that Murlyka considers his own.
Unlike love, attachment is something that can be measured. For this, psychologists created a test. It was originally used for children, but later began to be used by animal researchers.
The animal in the company of the owner is in an unfamiliar room with toys. Then a stranger enters the same room. The owner then leaves, then returns (like a stranger). And the researchers observe how the animal behaves in the presence and absence of the owner and / or stranger, as well as how it perceives the stranger’s attempts to make contact.
And when the test was carried out with cats, no signs of affection for the owner were found. The cat could play both with the owner and with a stranger, the presence / absence of the owner did not depend on how confidently the cat is studying the new situation.
Moreover, sometimes cats paid more attention to the stranger than the owner. This is probably due to the communication features of cats: it is important for them to exchange a smell when they get acquainted with a new “object”. And therefore, for example, cats often began to rub against an outsider.
The only thing - some cats meowed a little more at the door when the owner came out. But, apparently, this is due to the fact that the presence of the owner adds an element of a “familiar environment” to an unfamiliar environment. However, as the cat settled in the room, this behavior disappeared.
So the cat can love the owner, but nevertheless becomes attached to the territory.
In the photo: cat and man. Photo: pxhere.com
By the way, for this reason, cats do not suffer from separation anxiety, that is, they do not suffer suffering when the owner leaves the house. Normally, the cat perceives the owner’s absences quite calmly.
If you notice that your cat is nervous when you are about to leave, this can be a serious signal of her trouble.
Probably only the owner can ensure the safety of the pet in this territory, and in his absence, for example, a dog can attack a cat or offend one of the family members. In any case, you need to find out what is the cause of discomfort for the cat, and eliminate it.