Chinese companion animal caretakers' attachment influences their attribution of emotions to their animals

Bingtao Su*, Pim Martens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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It is well-documented that in developed countries, companion animal caretakers often show strong attachments to their animals. However, very little research has incorporated caretakers' attachment to companion animals in developing countries such as China. This research analyzed the correlation between the attachment level of Chinese dog and cat caretakers and their attribution of emotions to their animals. The results indicated a trend that respondents frequently attributed primary emotions to companion animals rather than secondary emotions. Respondents who had frequent and multiple interactions with their companion animals scored higher on the Pet Bonding Scale (PBS). The degree of attachment significantly influenced caretakers' (particularly female caretakers') attribution of responsive emotions to companion animals. This study is one of the first to investigate the role of attachment in emotion attribution in an under-researched population and can therefore act as a baseline for follow-up research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-150
Number of pages20
JournalSociety and Animals
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Cats
  • Companion animals
  • Dogs
  • Emotions
  • Pet Bonding Scale
  • emotions
  • cats
  • dogs
  • companion animals

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