We’ve lived side-by-side with domestic cats for thousands of years, yet they maintain an aura of mystery and a reputation for aloofness and even outright disdain for humans. But are cats really so enigmatic – or are we only just beginning to understand them?
In this episode, Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, speaks to two experts who are working to help us to understand cats. They discuss research on cat cognition and intelligence, chat about what we can do how to make our cats’ lives happier, and even share some tips on how to train them. Our guests are Dr Kristyn Vitale, assistant professor of animal health and behaviour at Unity College, and Dr Zazie Todd, author of the Companion Animal Psychology blog and recent book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy.
Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Artwork by Tim Grimshaw.
Relevant research and writing from our guests includes:
Companion Animal Psychology: a blog written by Zazie Todd
Several articles by Kristyn Vitale and colleagues:
Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans The quality of being sociable: The influence of human attentional state, population, and human familiarity on domestic cat sociability What’s inside your cat’s head? A review of cat (Felis silvestris catus) cognition research past, present and future
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