Your pet just loves when you pet them... scratching behind the ears, on the neck of the small of their back... but why?
Thanks to the cutest study ever, we now know why kitties love being our pets!
Gentle stroking activates a type of neuron: the MRGPRB4+ neuron. Researchers have confirmed that this neuron is found in all mammals.Its activation is related to lower stress-responses.
The nerve endings of these neurons are widely spaced on skin which is why only gentle stroking activates these neurons.
Birds may also have these neurons creating evolutionary connections across many species thought to be unrelated. The reason why these neurons evolved is unclear, but enjoy petting your pet!