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Why We Love Cats

The True Love to our Little Kitties

Cat lovers across the world have no problems explaining why they love their feline friends so much. Good Housekeeping Magazine, in fact, keeps an often-updated list of such reasons on its website. Here are a few samples of reasons the list gives for loving cats: “Their love affair with open boxes … and rubber bands. Their vigilant surveillance of the front walk. Rhythmic purrs. Full body stretches. They curl up on your chest and put a paw to your cheek.” And the list goes on… Every cat lover could probably ad pages and pages, as well.

Cats are one of the most popular companion animals in historyBut all that said, scientists and philosophers have for years sought a more thorough explanation for why we love cats. They want to know, for example, why it is that, generally speaking, mankind does not love squirrels, or raccoons, deer or any number of other cute, cuddly animals with the same passion that we cherish cats.

And the answer, it seems, lies in the fact that cats are lucky enough to have natural behavior and gestures that humans interpret warmly.

Some scientists refer to this phenomenon with the potentially cynical and cold-hearted term “social parasite.” In other words, they say, cats have learned over the centuries that, by resorting to behavior that humans find pleasurable, the humans will take care of them. In short, cats have learned to mooch off humans by being so darn cute.

Other animals haven’t developed this ability to schmooze, so frankly, humans do not tend to love them as much as they do cats.

This idea of cats as a “social parasite” may seem controversial, or even offensive, at first glance. People like to think that all the cute, cuddly and lovable things that cats do are from genuine, human-like love, and this idea flies in the face of that.

But even scholars who have developed this idea of a social parasite say the theory, actually, is irrelevant to their own love of cats. Whether genuinely felt (in human terms) or not, the things that cats do are, well, just lovable, the experts say. Loving cats is just something that God made possible, on philosopher theorizes. It doesn’t make complete sense because, well, God works in mysterious ways.

On the other hand, many will vehemently argue that their feline friend genuinely cares for them. They say their cats can show feelings that range from compassion, to affection and even jealousy! One person states in their online blog that their cat becomes jealous of their new significant other, and makes it a point to always be physically in between them whenever they are at home. Additionally, many pet parents can attest to the level of excitement their cat shows when they come home from a long trip - many felines (even if a friend or family member feeds and spends time with the cat) will run to theirCats have become a part of our homes by adapting to our behavioral responses owners meowing excitedly and rubbing the length of their bodies against their legs for a good amount of time before settling down. If one feels sadness or depression, their cat may seek them out and try to comfort them by jumping in their lap and purring or cuddling - as if to say 'everything will be ok'. On the other hand, if a new individual comes in that the cat may not know, and does not like right off, the cat may be reserved or even growl or hiss at the 'intruder', as if to protect their home and their owners. If a cat truly only cared about being sheltered and fed, then why do they show such strong traits that can pass as emotions, towards their humans?

So most cat experts take with a grain of salt this idea that a cat may be a “social parasite.” The common logic tends to be this: if a cat is pleasurable to have around, and if the cat seems to enjoy (or at least tolerate - as many cats seem to) human company, then the relationship must be a good thing in the eyes of God. That’s a good enough reason for most people to explain just why it is that we love cats.

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