Why are cats so cute?

Did you ever look at your cat and just say - why are you so cute? Well there is actually some science behind why kitties are so cute! Let's dive into the reasons behind cat cuteness!

Cats cuteness has a lot to do with what is known as the "baby schema", which says that humans are conditioned to think of baby-like characteristics as cute. This cuteness then motivates us to take care of the cute thing. Rover.com lists some characteristics of cats that are similar to human babies, like large, forward facing eyes, soft rounded bodies and big heads compared to their bodies.

And, it's not just that cats look cute, they also sound cute! Catster.com notes that cats have a special chirping sound that they use to ask us for things. It's called a "solicitation purr", and they describe it as a cross between a purr and a meow. This special cat chirp is very close to the sound of a baby crying, so a cat chirping also fits in with the "baby schema" theory of cuteness. 

Greatpetcare.com also adds some other cute characteristics that kitties share with babies, like a fondness for naps, curiosity, playfulness and affection. They note that cats will rub up against you as a sign of affection, and that a 2016 study found that cats who do that in a shelter are more likely to be adopted, so signs of affection add to the kitty cuteness factor! Of course, cuteness is subjective, but to me, that puts kitties in the top spot for cute, cute, cute!  

All that cuteness effects our brains! Rover.com says 2 things happen in our brain when we see something cute. The first is that the part of our brain that makes decisions fires up and tells us to take care of that cute kitty! The second part is that the pleasure center of your brain releases dopamine, which makes us feel good. So all that cat cuteness actually makes us happier! All that kitty cuteness can actually make us healthier too! When we talked about cat purrs a few weeks ago, we found that the frequency of a cat purring is conducive to healing soft bones and tissue. Catster.com says that cat owners are 40% less likely to have illnesses like high blood pressure and heart attacks than non-cat owners! So cat cuteness not only makes you happier, it can make you healthier too! 

So, why are cats so cute? Put together the physical characteristics, the sound of a cat chirp and the playfulness and it's no mystery what makes a cute cat cute! Science aside, I think my cats are the cutest because, well, they're my cats! They are the cuddly, silly, fuzzy cuties that share my life! 

Photo for this why are kitties so cute article by The Lucky Neko on Unsplash

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