(ARA) - Are cats man's new best friend? Perhaps.
Cat parents share a powerful bond with their furry friends in a relationship only they understand. For most cat parents, cats are confidants, friends and even considered part of the family. This deep connection fosters a strong sense of understanding. So much so, that one-third of cat parents revealed they communicate better with their cat than their significant other, according to a survey conducted by Kelton Research for Meow Mix Tender Centers.
"Cats are members of the family and we rely on them for companionship," says Sue Resnicoff, director of Cat Food Marketing at Del Monte Foods. "There is a bond formed between cat parents and their cats that extends well beyond 'meows' to an intuitive relationship that includes a deeper understanding."
Cat parents are so confident in their connection, they know their furry friends will be there for them. In fact, 31 percent of cat owners would rather speak with their cat after a long day than their best friend, children or parents. Felines are also great at listening, providing fun entertainment and just "being" there. Many cat parents even report their cat can sense their change of mood - faster than their spouse.
This communication isn't just from the cat parent. For cats, the communication comes through tail twitching, blinking, purring, hissing and of course vocal "meows." Many cat parents say they get a great deal of information from the tiniest gestures or sounds that felines make, revealing their mood, or even a specific request.
For example, eight out of 10 survey respondents say a cat meowing indicates hunger, and four out of 10 report wagging of the tail shows happiness. Pet owners overwhelmingly say their cats are also happy when purring, and are angry or scared when they hiss.
In addition to knowing how a cat is feeling, cat parents also report their feline friends respond to words. Seventeen percent of the respondents report their cats understand five words, while nearly a fifth say their cats know 11 words or more.
Cat parents cultivate relationships with their cats, both at the end of a long day at work and also on those lazy weekend afternoons with plenty of snuggles and playtime. The strong relationship between cat parents and their cats reveals the tender center cat parents have for their cats.