Offbeat Why women form a closer bond with cats than men: They smile and talk to their pets more because they are the more empathetic of the sexes

10:16  08 august  2018
10:16  08 august  2018 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Why women form a closer bond with cats than men : They smile and talk to their pets more because they are the more empathetic of the sexes . Women believe their pet cats themselves to be more empathetic .

Why women form a closer bond with cats than men : They smile and talk to their pets more because they are the more empathetic of the sexes .

a cat with its mouth open: Women form closer relationships with their pet cats than men. That's according to a study into felines and their owners, which found that women form stronger bonds with their pets because they are more empathetic than men (stock image) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Women form closer relationships with their pet cats than men. That's according to a study into felines and their owners, which found that women form stronger bonds with their pets because they are more empathetic than men (stock image) Women form closer relationships with their pet cats than men.

That's according to a study into felines and their owners, which found that women form stronger bonds with pets because they are the more empathetic of the sexes.

Women believe their animals to be more empathetic and are more likely to smile at their cat, talk to their cat and explain the world to them, scientists found.

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The study, from the Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, said women are more likely than men to initiate almost all types of interaction with their cats.

Led by Dr Péter Pongrácz, in the university's Department of Ethology, the authors state: 'Women were found in general to have more intense connections with their pets.

'Their interactions involve more repeating, complex behavioural patterns and women are also more empathic with their pets.'

Researchers gave 157 cat owners detailed questionnaires on their pets, finding women were more likely than men to initiate interactions with cats.

This included talking to their cat and explaining that certain foods or items were forbidden, or that the cat would not like them.

It also meant smiling at and greeting their pet or other cats.

a woman standing in a room: Women believe their animals themselves to be more empathetic and are more likely to smile at their cat, talk to their cat and explain the world to them, scientists found (stock image) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Women believe their animals themselves to be more empathetic and are more likely to smile at their cat, talk to their cat and explain the world to them, scientists found (stock image)

Women were more likely than men to see their cat as empathetic, believing the animal wanted their attention and responded to their emotions.

When it comes to emotional 'matching', where owners believe cats recognise if they are happy or smiling, and try to cheer them up, this is reported most by women with older felines, researchers said. 

The authors state that 'people who need extra social support will express stronger attachment and emotional bonds towards their cats'.

The study was set up to see if cats are viewed as the 'perfect companion' in the same way as dogs, with the cat-human relationship studied less, according to researchers, because of popular beliefs that cats are 'selfish' and 'unfaithful'.

Emotional matching between cats and owners were judged using questions on whether people believed their cats tried to cheer them up, picked up their emotions, recognised if they were angry or reacted to their smiles.

Owners and pets were also emotionally matched if people said cats started to play when they laughed or looked at objects when they pointed to them.

Older cats with female owners recorded the highest scores for this, while young cats with men matched the least.

The study concludes 'In the case of older cats, there could be more opportunity for learning the subtle signs of emotional matching to each other, and it is also possible that female owners feel stronger emotional bonds with their cat.'

Researchers also discovered cat owners differ from dog owners in more often making cat noises at them. 

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