FunNature & AnimalHave cats become more affectionate after the pandemic?

Have cats become more affectionate after the pandemic?

For many, their pets have become a faithful companion during the pandemic. Now, as we slowly return to normal, research has been published examining whether the mental health of owners has affected the well-being of pets.

The study, led by researchers from the universities of York and Lincoln in the United Kingdom, has investigated changes in the well-being and behavior of companion animals. The research analyzed the association between these changes and variations in the daily life, behavior and mental health of their owners.

More loving

An unexpected finding was that a large number of cat owners reported that their pet was much more affectionate during confinement compared to owners of other pets.

Likewise, the participants also showed more positive changes in cats (compared to dogs).

Professor Daniel Mills, an animal behavior specialist at the University of Lincoln, explained that during confinement, the changes experienced by our pets included having their owners around for longer due to teleworking or alterations in daily routine.

Changes in the welfare of pets

During confinement, the team of researchers conducted a survey to study mental health, human-animal links, and changes in the animals’ well-being and behavior.

In the survey, 67.3% of pet owners showed changes in the behavior of their animals during the first phase of confinement.

“Our findings indicate that poor mental health can increase the attention given to the companion animal, and empathic engagement can increase the notification of any changes, both positive and negative, in the well-being and behavior of the animals,” he added. researcher Emily Shoesmith, from the University of York.

On the other hand, between 10% and 15% of all owners reported that their animal appeared to be more energetic and playful, while another 30% indicated that their pet was more relaxed.

“The mental health status of the owner has a clear effect on the well-being and behavior of companion animals, and it is clearly something we must take into account when we seek to do the best for the animals we care for,” argued the researcher.

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