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Biologist Dr. John Bradshaw thinks that cats are loving towards their owners because they think that they're just larger versions of themselves.
Bradshaw revealed his findings in his book Cat Sense after 30 years of studying domesticated cats. He also wrote In Defence of Dogs, making predictions what cats will be like 50 years from now.
One way that you can see this is the way that cats greet their owners, according to the Daily Mail. They greet their keepers as they would other cats. By kneading you, a cat treats you as it would its mother.
According to the Tech Times, cats treat you like the Mama cat in many situations as well. A greeting accompanied with an upright tail is a greeting full of affection.
Bradshaw attributes this to the fact that cats, though domesticated, are still wild animals. For example, cats bring home dead animals home as gifts for their owners, though they usually remember that there is canned food inside.
"The transformation of the cat from resident exterminator to companion cohabiter is both recent and rapid, and-especially from the cat's perspective-evidently incomplete," writes Bradshaw.