(FOX) - It appears that cats really are fond of people.
Researchers at Oregon State University and New Jersey's Monmouth University borrowed 50 cats from private homes and from an animal shelter, then took away their access to food, toys, smells and human interaction for a few hours.
Next the researchers re-introduced each item they took away so they could figure out what things cats like best.
Half of the felines favored human interaction over anything else.
Nearly 40 percent chose food as their most favorite thing.
Study authors note they did not see a difference in reactions between shelter cats and adopted cats. But they note their preferences could have been swayed by their breeds or individual experiences with people and food.
Findings appear in the journal Behavioral Processes.