If a dog is a man's best friend, then a cat just might be a woman's. A new study shows that the relationship between a cat and its owner is more intense than previously known, actually mirroring a human-only bond—particularly when the owner is female. Cats attach to humans, especially women, as social partners. Why? For food, yes, but also affection, Discovery News reports. Since women are more likely to interact with their feline companions, cats in return are more likely to approach female owners.
In many households, cats—and their interactions with their owners—are actually like "pre-verbal infants," says one co-author of the study: "Both cat and human infant are, at least in part, in control of when and what they are fed." Similarly, cats have a degree of control over when they are handled: Some cats have only to give their owners minor cues, like the move of a tail, that they want contact. Cats even return favors: If you interact with your cat when he or she wants you to, the cat seems to remember that later and will in turn put up with your desires. (Read more cats stories.)