Cats: Women's best friend?

"Gothic Kitty" (CBS/WFOR)
I only have eyes for you

In my house, this does not exactly qualify as news. But a new study puts a scientific imprimatur on what we - and probably millions of other pet owners - have always suspected: cats can be manipulative little creatures and they evince a special fondness for women.

The research, which will appear in the journal Behavioural Processes, makes the case that the intensity of the relationship between felines and humans can approach that which exists in human-only bonds.

And don't assume that it's all part of a grand scheme to make sure there's going to be food on the table - or wherever the fur ball of the house prefers to sup. The research, carried out under the direction of Kurt Kotrschal of the Konrad Lorenz Research Station and the University of Vienna found a strong reciprocal bond exists between cats and their owners in a complex relationship where each side influences the other. What was truly fascinating was the finding of a particular affection cats have for women. Indeed, Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna told Discovery News that cats initiate contact with female owners more frequently than with male owners and that "female owners tend to have more intense relationships with their cats than do male owners."