Monday 18 December 2023

Burmese cats are attention-seeking according to study

An extensive study which referred to earlier studies said this about attention-seeking cat breeds:

"Burmese, Ragdoll and Maine Coon were ranked the most attention-seeking breeds [19], but only Burmese was replicated in our sociability toward humans factor. However, Siamese was ranked the second in the sociability factor, which joins results between studies."

The name of the study and the scientists are listed below.

What they are saying is that the Burmese cat breed has been claimed to be attention-seeking in comparison to other breeds in an earlier study and they came to a similar conclusion in their study. They called it the ' sociability factor'.

This must mean that Burmese cats are more likely to want to be interacting with and close to their human caregiver. I see this as a good character trait although 'attention-seeking' implies a negative character trait.

Readers have to be cautious when interpreting cat studies for a number of reasons. But they are useful guidelines.

The problem with the description 'attention-seeking' is that it cuts both ways. A neglected cat because of poor cat caregiving might be described as attention-seeking but the issue would not be with the cat but the person. You see the problem with the attention-seeking description.

That said these studies would have compared different breeds and found that the Burmese was more prone to seek attention under normal conditions I hope. Although often they send questionnaires to cat owners. This can lead to subjective answers which are less than reliable.

The attention-seeking trait would suit many people and not suit others. For me, the best cat-to-human relationships are close ones. Where there is a nice bond. Under that kind of relationship you might get an attention-seeking cat for the opposite reason stated above: the cat expects to be with their owner because that is how it normally is.

In each case it is down to the human to dictate affairs. The cat responds instinctively. Humans control the relationship and often dictate whether a cat is attention-seeking or standoffish.

P.S. Siamese cats also feature high on sociability and Burmese cats have Siamese genes in them as they are pointed cats. Siamese cats are said to be loyal.

Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cats says that the Burmese cat "loves to be around people and demands love". Well there you are. She backs up the study.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Study: Mikkola, S.; Salonen, M.; Hakanen, E.; Sulkama, S.; Lohi, H. Reliability and Validity of Seven Feline Behavior and Personality Traits. Animals 2021, 11, 1991.

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