All about cats

Do cats know what it means when you kiss them

Do they know that you're going to have sex with them? — or at least, with the person who is going to have sex with them.

Yes, both cats and dogs know that when you kiss them, you're kissing them goodbye. And yes, that does include you and your partner, too. But in the case of cats, no one has ever asked them what they think about it.

That is, until now.

In a recent study, researchers asked more than 200 participants from around the world to rank what happens next in a variety of scenarios. They were asked to rank how much they thought the next action was likely to be sexual when the action in question involved kissing, petting a person, or something else that involved touching the animal.

"We were hoping to know whether animals experience sexual arousal when humans or other animals touch them," study author Dr. Elodie Briefer-Gilliss, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, told the Huffington Post. "The question is important because it could influence the way animals are treated."

The study, which was published in the journal Animal Cognition, found that participants thought that the next action would be sexual when the action was a kiss, but not when it involved petting. That's an important finding, because it shows that what people think about as sexual may not be so sexual after all.

"Our research shows that, in general, people are not only wrong, but ill informed about what happens to animals when they are touched," Briefer-Gilliss said.

The researchers wanted to test this, because in their previous work, they had found that people were more likely to consider an action sexual when the action was performed by a human rather than an animal. They also found that people were more likely to consider an action sexual when the action was performed by a male person rather than a female person.

So, in the new study, participants were asked to rank how sexual a number of actions were. They were asked to rank the actions from least sexual to most sexual, and they were asked to rank the actions from least sexual to most sexual when they were performed by a male person, and from least sexual to most sexual when they were performed by a female person.

Participants thought that the next action would be sexual when the action was a kiss, but not when it involved petting. (Photo: Pixabay)

Researchers also asked participants about their own behaviors in the scenarios. In one scenario, for example, one participant was asked to rank the actions from least sexual to most sexual when they were performed by a male person and from least sexual to most sexual when they were performed by a female person.

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