Dogs and Cats: Facts and the Feud

Dogs: Man’s Best Friend

It’s no doubt that dogs are one of the most common pets. With about 73% of Americans owning household pets, around 44% of pet owners said they have dogs while only 29% of pet owners have cats. So why the big difference between the two animals?

Dogs: “A domesticated carnivorous mammal that typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, and a barking, howling, or whining voice. It is widely kept as a pet or for work or field sports.”

While that’s the classified definition for a dog, most people would define their dog as just another family member, their friend or yes, even their baby. Humans love dogs. That begs the question, why do people love their dogs so much? Not to worry, there’s some science behind this. When humans and dogs interact, they get the feel-good hormone called Oxytocin. It creates a chemical reaction which makes you feel happy and joyful. Not only can dogs create more happiness in your life, they can also relieve stress, lower your cholesterol, and boost your self esteem.

Still not convinced that dogs are one of the most lovable pets? Here’s some facts about these fluff balls that could change your mind.

  • A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than a human’s.
  • A dog named Duke is mayor in Cormorant, Minnesota. (People love dogs so much they made one mayor! Now that’s dedication.)
  • Labradors are the most popular breed in the United States. (So if you’re trying to figure out what breed of dog you want, labradors could be the dog for you.)
  • Dogs can be trained to detect changes in the human body such as seizures. They assist their owner if an onset seizure were to occur.
  • We all have probably seen or heard of the famous movie 101 Dalmatians. Did you know dalmatian puppies are actually born completely white? They develop their spots as they grow.
  • Dogs can hear 4 times the distance of a human. (That’s right, dogs have super hearing compared to humans.)

Last but not least, for you Star Wars fans, George Lucas modeled Ewoks after his family dog.

Adorable right?

Cats: A Fluffy Companion

Another much loved family pet are cats. Though not as hyper active or needy as dogs, cats have so many benefits of their own and have a very long history to them. If you’re looking for a pet that will keep you company but also doesn’t need constant attention, cats are the one for you.

Before we start talking about all the reasons you should love and want a cat, let’s get into the history behind the animal.

Cats are a very ancient and loved animal. Domesticated cats date back almost 12,000 years, all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Most cats are descended from the great Felis silvestris, which translates to “Cat of the Woods”. Most commonly, cats are known to have been worshipped in ancient Egypt. An ancient Egyptian goddess named Bastet was the goddess of love and is commonly depicted with the head of cat. Ancient Romans also had a similar aspect on cats as they were a symbol of liberty. Cats were valued for the protection they offered from rodents. Back in day, cats were taken very seriously and had very high respect. Eventually, cats domesticated pretty much on their own and though they are no longer worshipped as highly, they are very much loved and welcomed in homes.

Moving away from the history lesson on cats, let’s get into all the fun, cute facts about cats. (Though we don’t need anymore reason to love them.)

  • If you don’t want a pet that needs constant attention, Cats sleep for 70% of their life, and are incredibly adorable when they sleep!
  • Owning a cat can cut down your chances of having a heart attack or even a stroke.
  • The world’s richest cat has 13 million dollars that was left down to him after his owner passed. (Lucky cat, right?)
  • A cat’s brain is 90% more similar to humans, that’s more than dogs!
  • Cats can change the way their meow sounds to manipulate humans, often imitating the sound of an infant baby to get what they want.
  • When a family cat died in Ancient Egypt, the family would shave their eyebrows as a symbol of grief.

The list goes on of the many adorable and amazing reasons to own a cat.

The Great Feud: Are dogs and cats really that different?

Now that we know more about both dogs and cats, we have a better chance of debunking the history behind the great feud of cats and dogs.

The idea that cats and dogs hate each other and are natural born enemies has been around for many years. It’s such a commonly held belief that it has almost become accepted as fact. But is it true? Well, both are powerful predators and it’s in their blood to be defensive against other predators, but for the most part, they just don’t understand one another. Most of the time dogs grow up being around other dogs or in a pack. They take comfort in being around other dogs. Cats on the other hand are very solitary animals. They are used to only fending for themselves and being alone. In a way, cats and dogs are wired differently. But it’s not impossible for the two animals to get along.

Many studies show that if a dog and cat grow up in a home with one another they are more likely to get along. With the comfort of getting to know each other and being around one another, they can learn to understand their body languages and, yes, communicate. With time and a lot of patience, your two loving pets can grow to not only appreciate one another but to even became best friends. Usually when cats and dogs meet, their initial reaction is standoffish and fearful. At first they want nothing to do with one another so it’s best to keep them separated at first. Over time, however, they will slowly begin getting used to one another. It’s mostly small steps, like simply allowing them to be in the same room, but eventually, all the animals will coexist peacefully in the house without fighting.

Though both animals are different and have their very own unique traits, They are amazing pets to own and to love and anyone would be lucky to have a dog or a cat as a pet. They also love you back, so if you’re going away on a long vacation or work trip, be sure to hire a pet sitter to watch over them while you’re gone!