It turns out your cat actually does love you, a new study claims

Cats can sometimes come off like aloof jerks. Their love often seems conditional. But turns out they actually love you more than they let on. Your cat might shoot you a stone-cold stare every time you pet it, but it actually harbors warm feelings underneath. And it's not just because you feed it. A study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University found that cats form "secure attachments" to their owners, meaning cats feel a sense of security from their owners. It's not dissimilar from dogs and babies. The findings were published in Current Biology.

The researchers studied 108 cats (70 adult cats, 38 kittens) and their owners using a test developed in the 1970s to study bonding between parents and infants. "We took [attachment styles] from other previous studies and just thought, 'Do cats actually fit these different styles or not?'" lead study author Kristyn Vitale told NBC News.


The cat was placed in a room with its owner for two minutes, then the owner left for two minutes. The owner returned for two more minutes to determine the attachment the cat had for its owner. Of the 70 cats, 64.3% of cats showed signs of "secure attachment," which means that they trust that their owner will take care of their needs. They felt safe exploring their surroundings, as well. "The characteristics of a secure cat, for example, [are] greeting their owner and then going back to what they were doing," Vitale told NBC News. "That's how a secure human also behaves."

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The other cats showed "insecure attachment," which means they appeared to have anxiety or fear towards their owners. They either ignored their owners completely when they returned, or clung to them. Other signs included twitching their tails and licking their lips. By comparison, similar research found that 65% of children and 58% of dogs demonstrated secure attachment to their caregivers. There's a better chance that your cat feels more secure around you than your dog, even though your dog is all up in your business all the time.

Vitale says that it's important for owners to think about how much their cats rely on them for a sense of security. "When they're in a stressful situation, how they're behaving can actually have a direct impact on their cats' behavior. Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof," she said. "There's long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave in this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security."

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This wasn't the only time researchers were able to crack the thoughts behind your cat's icy gaze. In 2017, researchers at the Oregon State University found that cats prefer socializing with people to food. This is not a joke. Cats were given a choice of stimuli to see what they preferred. A majority of cats went for hanging out with humans first, then food.

All these years, we've been thinking about cats wrong. It's not that your cat doesn't love you. Your cat just has a very different way of showing you it loves you. It might not even look like love. Sometimes it looks like pee on your favorite sweater. But that's love. Really, it is.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."