A dog may be man's best friend but a cat is woman's!

Washington, Feb 25 (ANI): While dogs are considered ever-friendly ready to follow you all over the place, cats are thought of as haughty creatures - but that may not be true - according to a new study, which claims cats attach to humans, and particularly women, as social partners.

Researchers at Konrad Lorenz Research Station and the University of Vienna have found that this attachment, especially with women, is not just for the sake of food.

"Food is often used as a token of affection, and the ways that cats and humans relate to food are similar in nature to the interactions seen between the human caregiver and the pre-verbal infant," Discovery News quoted Jon Day, a researcher at Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, as saying.

A study of interactions between 41 cats and their owners over lengthy four-part periods revealed that cats and their owners strongly influenced each other, such that they were each often controlling the other's behaviours.

Extroverted women and young active cats enjoyed the best bond with cats in these relationships only having to use subtle cues, such as a single upright tail move, to signal desire for friendly contact.

"In response, the cats approach female owners more frequently, and initiate contact more frequently (such as jumping on laps) than they do with male owners," said co-author Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna, adding that, "female owners have more intense relationships with their cats than do male owners."

Dennis Turner, a University of Zurich-Irchel animal behaviorist, told Discovery News the he's "very impressed with this study on human-cat interactions, in that it has taken our earlier findings a step higher, using more modern analytical techniques to get at the interplay between cat and human personalities."

The study will appear in the journal Behavioural Processes. (ANI)

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