Study Finds Kittens Bond With Human Caregivers
Babies who form a strong bond with their caregivers get attached to them. Kittens are no less similar to babies, and they, too, form a kind of attachment with their caregivers.
Mary Ainsworth’s Breakthrough:
In 1960, Mary Ainsworth found out that all babies get attached to their caregivers. They also develop a sweet and strong bond with them. Mary wanted to go to the roots of this kind of behavior. So she divided kids into different categories. She used a technique and named it the “Strange Situation”. The experiment was to separate the infants from their mothers and putting them in an unfamiliar room, full of toys. Many babies cried over their parents’ absence. But as soon as their parents returned, they became happy. Those infants were called “Securely Attached”. Hence, they found their caregivers as a secure base.
However, other infants didn’t react in the same way and were the insecurely attached babies. They formed two types of groups- ambivalent and avoidant. Ambivalent babies were initially clingy and anxious. They exhibited severe distress upon separation and proving difficult to soothe afterward. Avoidant counterparts seemed indifferent to their parents, all but snubbing them when they returned.
Ainsworth died in the year 1999. But today, around 60 percent of the kids form good bonds with their parents.
Caregivers: Kittens’ Behaviour Same As Babies:
People never imagined that they can find the same kind of behavior in kittens as well. Many people have different types of negative thoughts about cats. Nevertheless, cats find themselves secure in the hands of their owners when they are with stress. Kristyn Vitale and her team used a part of the Strange Situation’s method to examine the behavior of cats with their caregivers. They found that, like babies, cats too formed a powerful bond and find themselves secure with them.
Vitale took 79 kittens into the experiment. Each one of them spent 2 minutes in a strange room with its caretaker. Then again, their caretakers left them alone for two minutes. The study also revealed that, like babies, 60 percent of kittens formed strong bonds with their caretakers. Moreover, some of the kittens become attention seekers. They always seek the attention and care of their owners and get glued to them. Researchers also categorized some kittens as disorganized. These were kittens who showed very unusual behavior. Vitale also found that more than 80 percent of the kittens developed similar kind of bonds with their caregivers.
If we compare the caregivers of babies and kittens, then the parents and cat owners have a lot in common. Some researchers also believe that the test was not proper. Also, it was too artificial, both in the case of babies and kittens. So. it was impossible to get a realistic picture of attachment of babies and kittens with their caregivers.
Caregivers play a significant role in the life of human babies and kittens. Studies proved that both babies and kittens developed a similar kind of strong bond with their caregivers. Furthermore, they feel they are more secure when they are with their caregivers.