Cats like people more than you think, new study says

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Cats like people more than you think, new study says

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Patrons play with kittens at Australia's pop up cafe.

Dog lovers have long argued that cats lack the loyalty and love that canine companions are loved for. 

But a new study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University and New Jersey's Monmouth University suggests cats might be more loyal than we think, dispelling the common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable.

In fact, the research shows that cats don't just enjoy human company — they actually pick it over food.

After borrowing 50 cats from either an animal shelter or from private homes, the researchers got rid of any access to one of four types of stimuli: food, toys, human interaction or smells.

A few hours later, the stimuli were reintroduced in order to deduce what the felines would choose.

The study, which was published in the “Behavioural Processes” science journal Friday, found that half of them — both pet and shelter cats — favored human interaction over anything else. Thirty-seven percent went for the food.

"Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem solving abilities," the authors of the study wrote. "Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable."

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