A study has revealed how cats felt about Australians spending more time with them during last year's lockdown.
Some animals would have been delighted at all the attention, walks and food they received during the various stay-at-home orders. But not cats.
While researchers at James Cook University didn't personally interview the felines for their personal opinions, they did speak to their owners. Half of the 400 people who participated in the study said they felt the cats were 'put out' by the work from home situation.
Psychology lecturer Doctor Jessica Oliva said about the results: "We got some responses that the cats were put out with their owners being home all the time and invading their space.
"About 50 per cent of cat owners reported that their cats were behaving in ways that were interpreted as being 'put out' by their owners all the time.
"Whereas almost 100 per cent of dog owners reported that their dogs were just loving the fact that they were home all the time."
Totally unsurprising there. Dogs actually enjoyed the extra bonding time so much that vets issued warnings to owners that they would likely experience separation anxiety and be problem pets when their human returned to the office.
Dr Oliva continued: "A dog was an excuse to go outside and exercise and provided that routine, and also that doing so afforded an opportunity to socialise with other people doing the same thing. We don't see it in cat owners."
The James Cook University study also highlighted how pet ownership changed a person's mood during lockdown.
People with dogs reported having a smaller sense of loneliness thanks to their four-legged friend.
Sadly for cat owners, the reverse happened. Even if you gave Mittens all the adoration and affection in the world, it wasn't enough to convince them all this extra time at home was worth it.
"Our pets usually live in luxurious conditions, they have a warm bed, they have toys for entertainment, jackets for winter. But they do lack certain freedoms that we lost during the lockdown - freedom to come and go as they please, freedom to socialise, exercise is restricted to one hour a day," Dr Oliva said.
Thankfully, this will soon be a thing of the past as Australia edges closer to giving the pandemic the boot.
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