It appears humans’ love and reverence for cats is one-sided. Professor Daniel Mills of the University of Lincoln in the U.K. is a “specialist in clinical animal behavior,” and he says that just because you want your cat to love you back doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
“Owners invest a lot emotionally in the cat relationship. Our research was really aimed at trying to look to see whether cats are making that emotion commitment.”
The study was an adaptation of a study by famed psychologist Mary Ainsworth that proved that children have an attachment relationship their parents.
Mills’ team found a dog’s behavior resembled a child’s. Both “see the individual as a source of comfort and joy, and also a source of safety.” But cats? Not so much. In a video example, you can watch the cat just completely ignore her owner to interact with a stranger.