Cats Aren't Actually Total Dicks, According to New Study

Cat people have long bristled at the charge -- often lobbed by dog people -- that cats are jerks who don't even like being around humans. That, unlike dogs, they're selfish, independent creatures with absolutely zero interest in human contact, and only stick around for the free food. 

However, a recently published research study is providing some sweet, sweet, vindication for the feline-favoring masses by suggesting cats not only enjoy being around people, but even prefer it over eating food. 

The research, which was conducted by Oregon State University and published in the journal Behavioural Processes, found that cats do indeed enjoy the company of humans by subjecting 50 domesticated felines -- from both shelters and peoples' homes -- to a series of experiments that involved temporarily depriving them of food, human contact, scent, and toys. They were then introduced to stimuli in each of these categories and observed to determine which they flocked to first. As it turns out, half of the animals followed sought out the social human interaction before any of the others, including food.

It's unclear whether the other 50% of cats who didn't seek out a person first are in fact total jerks who would prefer humans leave them the hell alone, but if that's the case, perhaps a spritz of Kitten Fur would have helped?

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist who will never not prefer the company of dogs over cats.