A whole lot of monitoring–watching groups of cats to see how they interact together and deducing their societal structure. [I see] cats in colonies which are free-ranging, and in animal shelters where quite a few will be put together–you get intriguing dynamics [when new cats have been introduced]. Why did you realize that cats do not “get us” how dogs do? [It has] become very apparent that dogs perceive us as being different than themselves:
When they see a human, they alter their behaviour. How a dog plays with a person is very different from [how it plays] with a puppy.We have yet to find anything about cat behaviour that suggests they have another box that they put us in when they are interacting with us. They obviously know we are bigger than them, but they do not appear to have accommodated their social behaviour much.
Putting up their tails in the air, rubbing around our thighs, and sitting and grooming us are precisely what cats do to one another. I’ve read posts where you have stated cats think of us as big, dumb cats. No. They do think we are clumsy: Few cats trip over individuals, but we trip over cats.But I don’t believe they think of us as being dumb and stupid, because cats do not rub on another cat that is inferior to them.
More research has to be done. [It is] not a region that’s received adequate attention. [Cats are] not wild creatures, therefore ecologists [might think], ‘Well they are not really animals in any way.’ How stressed a great deal of pet cats could be with their owners realizing it, and how much it affects the quality of the mental lives and their own health.