Have you ever wondered why cats seem to refuse to snuggle things that smell like you? Sometimes, it’s hard not to take these types of issues personally. After all, it sometimes seems like your cat is almost trying to tell you that he’s not so crazy about you. He never wants to snuggle, he won’t let you get within ten feet of him, and most offensive, he refuses to even go near anything that even smells remotely like you. You leave your robe on the bed and the cat that’s always jumping up on it suddenly won’t go within five paces of it. Is your cat really trying to tell you something or is it just part of normal cat behavior?
Cats Are Just Different
A lot of cat owners have spent years trying to figure out what is going on with their cats. There’s no doubt about it, cats can be difficult to figure out sometimes. There are those moments where they want to be as close to you as possible and then, without warning, they seem almost as if they would prefer scratching your eyeballs out as to be in the same room with you. However, that’s not what is involved here when cats refuse to cuddle with anything that smells like their owners. In reality, it’s a completely different situation that involves the stress response of cats as opposed to holding a personal grudge of some sort. This is information that has been backed up by numerous studies. In fact, researchers made it a point to utilize cats and owners that seemed to have developed a genuine bond with one another, all in an attempt to make the results of the study as accurate as possible. What they found out was actually quite astonishing. It seems that cats do indeed develop a strong bond with the person who takes care of them, at least in most cases. They may not show it like a dog would be capable of showing it, but that doesn’t mean that the bond is nonexistent. It simply means that cats behave in a different way, typically refraining from showing their feelings like some other animals do.
Why Won’t They Cuddle?
Why do cats refuse to snuggle with things that smell like their owners? Researchers have finally figured out that it comes down to the way cats process stress. The biggest finding that occurred throughout all of their research was that cats don’t process stress responses the same way that human beings or even canines do. When you bond with a child or a dog and then you have to be away for a time (whether that’s a few hours or a few days), it typically brings the individual you’re leaving behind some comfort if you leave something that belongs to you with them. For example, you might leave a t-shirt for your toddler to snuggle. By the same token, your dog might find comfort in finding virtually any article of clothing that hasn’t yet been washed and snuggling up to it and your absence. For them, that sense of smell makes them feel closer to you. Cats, on the other hand, are a different story. It isn’t that the smell is unimportant to cats. In fact, that isn’t the case at all. However, the smell of your articles of clothing does not bring comfort to your cat in any way. As it turns out, quite the opposite is true.
Cats Can Miss You, Too
If you think that your cat doesn’t miss you when you go out, think again. As previously discussed, he may not show it the same way that a small child or a dog would, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t miss your presence. One of the most interesting things that researchers found out through this study was that cats who were given an article of clothing belonging to their owner actually had a harder time dealing with that person’s absence than the cats who had absolutely nothing that smelled like their owner at all. For some cats, the reaction to having something that smelled like their owner was so severe that they actually cried out because the very presence of that article of clothing made them feel so much stress. Researchers concluded that it was because the cats found comfort in that person’s presence. However, having something that smelled like the person did not bring about the same results. For a cat, it appears that it isn’t comforting to smell something that smells like their owner. If they can’t actually have their owner present with them, they seem to do better if they’re left completely on their own.
In fact, it seems like having that reminder of the person in question only serves to make them more confused than anything else. Researchers have tried to figure out exactly why this occurs. One of the things that makes cats’ reactions in this study especially interesting is the fact that in general, cats have a tendency to place a high level of importance on smell. It’s a big part of how they navigate their world. As a result, researchers were expecting them to react positively to smelling something that belonged to their owner when the person was not actually present in the room. What they discovered genuinely surprised them. In almost every case, the cats seemed to be more upset by the fact that they could smell the person, but not find the individual in question. For some, it appeared to cause a moderate level of stress, but for others, the stress was so significant that the cats essentially shut down, crying out for the individual until that person returned. If nothing else, the study provides an interesting view into the psyche of cats. Hopefully, it will eventually help people understand them more completely.