身為貓主人,你也許會認為自己就像貓咪的媽媽 (儘管是人類版的),餵養牠、娛樂牠和清潔牠。但根據英國生物學家約翰布萊蕭博士 (其研究馴養動物行為已超過 30 年) 的新書《貓的情感》,貓的想法可能與你的想法相悖。其實,牠把你當作一隻比他自己更大但不具敵意的貓。

布萊蕭的書為貓咪在人類周圍時的行為反應給予了解釋。人們養貓的原因大多是因為牠們長得可愛。牠們並不像狗,願意玩遊戲和幫忙家事。這本書指出,85% 的貓是由兇猛的雄貓繁殖而來,因此貓科族群還保有野性。貓咪與飼主的互動多大是依照牠的直覺而非學習而來的行為。

此書更進一步指出,當你的貓咪揉捏你的身體或床面時,是要喝母奶的動作;當牠磨擦你的腿或手時,則是把你當成另一隻貓 (如布萊蕭所說,這是「貓咪向我們表達愛意最清楚的方式」);而當牠把死老鼠留在房子裡時,並不代表牠想「餵食」主人,而是想找個安全的地方好好享用牠的獵物。


As a cat owner, you would probably see yourself, though a human version, as its mother who feeds it, plays with it, and cleans it. However, according to Dr. John Bradshaw, an English biologist who has studied domesticated animal behavior for over 3 decades, in his new book Cat Sense, your cat shares quite a different sense of this pet-owner relationship. In fact, your cat sees you as a larger but non-hostile cat.

According to Bradshaw’s book, there are some interesting explanations for how cats behave when they are around humans. Since cats have always been bred for only one specific function—to look nice, they are thus less domesticated than the dogs breeds that are more willing to play around and help with family chores. Bradshaw’s book indicates that due to the fact that 85% of cats breed with feral tomcats, this species has, thus, remained relatively wild. The interactions between the cats and their owners are, in fact, driven more by pure instinct than by learned behavior.

As Bradshaw further explains, when your cat kneads your body or the surface of a bed, it’s a message that it wants milk; when your cat rubs against your leg or hand, it means that it is treating you as another cat (this is “the clearest way cats show their affection for us,” said Bradshaw); and when your cat leaves dead rats around the house, it does not mean that it is trying to “feed” you but it’s trying to find a safe place to enjoy its kill.

So, the next time you call your cat”baby” or chide it for being naughty, just remember this: your cat thinks that you are merely a pleasant roommate that just appears to be freakishly large.