We take a look at the main differences between people’s relationship with cats and dogs.
It is a commonly assumed that dogs are more affectionate and loyal than cats who in contrast are considered more calculative and selfish. However, this assumption stems from people applying their experience of dogs to cats. This assumption does not consider the reality that they different animals with contrasting histories.
These differences are evident by the way cats have evolved in the wild when compared to dogs. The extent of these differences is shown by their contrasting social structures and hunting strategies from one another.
Dogs lived and hunted communally in tight knight packs and the presence of strong hierarchies in them. Cats in contrast relied on loose colonies that where formed out of necessity i.e food availability in an area. They predominately would hunt alone and not share their food with other cats unlike dogs.
The evolutionary experiences of dogs mean that they are effectively hardwired to be social animals. This is because while dogs do clearly display affection and joy it can often misconstrued as only this.
As it will also represent canine submissiveness to the person they view as leader of their pack. Cats by contrast relied on themselves to provide security and food and so will often be more attached to a territory than a person as it would provide this.
In addition, these differences also derive from the fact dogs have been domesticated as pets for much longer than cats have. As is demonstrated by the fact there is believed to be over 10,000 years difference in the length of time cats and dogs have been domesticated. The longer length that dogs have been domesticated which is believed to be between 12,000 and 16,000 years ago. This meant dogs possess genes that meet human needs as have bread for exactly this.
Cats in contrast have only been domesticated since 2,000 BC and the status of cats has waxed and waned over the centuries it only very recently they have become popular as pets. The example of Pope Gregory declaration in 1233 that the Devil took the form of a Black Cat and the misconception that cat’s caused the Black Death are testament to this. This resulted in many cats being slaughtered and being viewed as pariahs.
This early process of domestication and evolutionary development means that dogs have a much better understanding of human body language. Moreover, the anthrozoologist John Bradshaw has shown how cats are affectionate and that it is simply distinct from dogs because of their differences with them.
A further sign of affection that cats show to their owners is when they rub against them or lay down and purr as they also do this with cats they know well. Bradshaw studies highlight how cats can express affection just like dogs and that their differences are simply a symptom of their different evolutionary and historical experiences.
Personality differences between dog and cat people
The debate between cats and dogs is one that polarises opinion strongly with cats generally more disliked than dogs. As a survey found that fifteen percent of adults questioned said they disliked cats a lot while the number who said they disliked dogs was only two percent.
Dog people are more extraverted
Studies by Stanley Coren have shown that dog people are generally 15 percent more extroverted than cat people. Additionally, dog people are 13 percent more likely to be agreeable. In contrast, are more likely to be introverted and therefore also possess traits attributed to it.
As is demonstrated by studies that have found cat owners are less likely to have dominating traits such as being forceful assertive and persistent. Additionally, they are also less likely to possess such traits and are more likely to be timid, shy and unaggressive.
These claims are further supported by the fact cat owners are one third more likely to live alone than dog owners. Being married and living with children also increases the likelihood of dog ownership. A single woman is the most likely demographic to own a cat.
Cat people are more artistic and creative
Cat people are 11 percent more likely to have a better appreciation for art, new ideas, and tend to be more imaginative than dog people. This means they are also more likely to hold unconventional beliefs. This contrasts with dog people who are 11 percent more conscientious than cat people. What this means is that dog people have a tendency for self-discipline and aim for achievement. Similarly, they also tend to have more conventional, traditional interests and beliefs.
Cat people tend to be more neurotic
Studies have found that cat people are 12 percent more neurotic than dog people. The reason for this however is not clear. However, speculations have attributed this to neurotic people being more prone to stress and seeing cats as having a calming influence. It has also been attributed to the fact neurotic people feel a natural affinity to cats because they see them as more sensitive animals.
Contrastingly, studies by at the Mahattanville College, New York found dog owners less neurotic and happier than cat owners. This could be attributed to the tendency for neurotic people to be negative emotionally.
Cat people generally more trusting
Cat people are generally fairly trusting. This means that they are more likely to posses’ traits such as being obliging, modest, and straightforward.
Cat people tend to have higher IQ’s
People with cats are more likely to have university degrees than those with dogs; studies have found that homes with degree holders are 1.36 times to have a cat than other households. However, this can be better attributed to the fact that educated people tend to work longer hours and therefore will naturally choose a pet that suits their lifestyle.
(Article source: Jordan Creed / Save a Fluff)