Fact: Dogs change their behavior from other dogs when they come in contact with humans, but sudden cat behavior does not seem to make the same conclusions.
A lot of research has been done on dogs, not so much in cats. “After observing dogs and their interactions with people, it is very clear that dogs perceive us as being different than them,” John Bradshaw states, a cat-behavior expert at the University of Bristol. Talking with National Geographic, he explains that the way a dog plays with a human is completely different from with another dog. Cats seem to act or behave separately. How they interact with other cats is exactly the same as how they interact with humans. Bradshaw states that they “seem to have not adapted their social behavior much.”
John spent 20 years studying the olfactory system, which is also known as “smell,” but as it pertains to invertebrates. In the 1980s, he started studying or focusing on dogs. He would later wonder what cats’ idea of the world was compared to ours. He explains that cats recognize us as bigger, but behaviorally, they haven’t socially adjusted.
Without more research, we won’t really fully understand how cats perceive humans, only that they know we are bigger and behaviorally do not distinguish us. But what seems to be one of the biggest surprises is that cats are much more anxious and carry much more stress than their human owners usually realize. As there hasn’t been much research into this area, cat personality change after moving, like the wetness of a cat’s nose be anxious or stress behavior manifesting? Hopefully, someone knows what it means.
All animals, including humans, exhibit similar animalistic anxiolytic tendencies. The time animals spend walking the corners or keeping eyes on a moving target (especially one that can be a natural predator) is a measure of anxiety-related behavior, for example dogs can become stressed by various things such as car rides or even fireworks. However, some animals like spending more time in the dark verses the light because they have better vision and reduce visibility and stress. The more time an animal spends in these positions can help an owner understand just how stressed their animals are. Boredom can yield various behaviors as well including cat keeps meowing for no reason and cat spraying when irritated.
Most of the sudden change in cat behavior exhibit towards the dominant force is one of their mothers. And more so, they are much smarter than they are given credit for. They understand what works for individual people and understand what the most opportune time to receive a treat. But the fact of the matter is, no strong evidence seems to tell us that cats view us as completely separate animals.
The idea is that Bradshaw seems to believe that cats aren’t terribly domesticated animals. They do not seem to think of us, humans, as any different from them, and react accordingly. It’s just that cats haven’t been bred to have a functional role in domestic life so they haven’t gone through evolutionary changes like dogs have over the time. They do not see us very different from themselves as we wonder aimlessly around our homes looking for things and hunting, and bringing home food. Cats and dogs are just distinctly different and there simply isn’t as much sudden change in cat behavior.
What Do Cats Think About Us? You May Be Surprised. (2014, January 29). Adventure. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/article/140127-cats-pets-animals-nation-dogs-people-science#:~:text=John%20Bradshaw%20is%20a%20cat-behavior%20expert%20at%20the
What’s Mittens Thinking? Make “Sense” Of Your Cat’s Behavior. (n.d.). NPR.org. Retrieved January 29, 2022, from https://www.npr.org/2013/09/05/219254626/whats-mittens-thinking-make-sense-of-your-cats-behavior
Scientist: Cats think you are just a big, stupid cat. (n.d.). CNET. Retrieved July 16, 2023, from https://www.cnet.com/culture/scientist-cats-think-you-are-just-a-big-stupid-cat/