Derek Beres writes Are cats jerks? Or are YOU the jerk?:
To claim that cats aren’t social is simply a way to claim your ignorance about this particular animal.
Which is the topic of a new study, conducted by researchers at Oregon State University and published in the journal Behavioral Processes. In the first experiment, a total of 46 cats were studied, 23 at a shelter and the other half in their own homes. A stranger sat in the middle of the room, ignoring the cat for two minutes before spending the next two showering them with attention. The second study followed the same protocol, though with their guardians, not strangers.
Regardless of whether it was guardian or stranger, cats are more social when humans pay attention to them. As lead author of the study, Kristyn R. Vitale, says:
“In both groups, we found [cats] spent significantly more time with people who were paying attention to them than people who were ignoring them.”