Often dubbed the “love hormone”, oxytocin is more than just responsible for pair bonding and feelings of trust. It is quite well-known by mothers who have induced labor (ever heard of Pitocin?) and is responsible for milk ejection during breastfeeding as well as maternal behaviors.
These findings seem to show that women of childbearing age may “mother” their cats and think of them like offspring. But, what I want to know is whether the pet cats had similar changes in oxytocin when interacting with their owners. Or are they secretly trying to take over the world…one pet owner at a time? Lucky for us, Cat World Domination Day was June 24th and seems to have passed without incident. Or did it???
Magon N, Kalra S. The orgasmic history of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 15(Suppl 3): S156-S161, 2011.
Johnson EA, Portillo A, Bennett NE, Gray PB. Exploring women’s oxytocin responses to interactions with their pet cats. PeerJ. 9:e12393, 2021.