Modern Dog Magazine states: “…according to an Associated Press/Petside.com poll, there are a lot more dog people out there; 74 percent of the test sample like dogs a lot, while only 41 percent like cats a lot.” They also concluded that dog people are more friendly while cat people see themselves as more independent.” That makes sense because of the way these two different species have evolved.
The evolution of dogs has included domestication, but also psychological convergence. This article states:” Convergent evolution is when distantly related species independently evolve similar solutions to the same problem. For example, fish,penguins and dolphins have each separately evolved flippers as a solution to the problem of moving through the water. What has been found between dogs and humans is something less frequently demonstrated: psychological convergence. Dogs have independently evolved to be cognitively more similar to humans than we are to our closest genetic relatives.:60 Dogs have evolved specialized skills for reading human social and communicative behavior. These skills seem more flexible – and possibly more human-like – than those of other animals more closely related to humans phylogenetically, such as chimpanzees, bonobos and other great apes.”
Cats, on the other hand, have not become as domesticated as dogs. The latest research, “based on insights from recent archaeological discoveries and genome-sequencing studies, is that cats are semi-domesticated. Conventional wisdom holds that the ancient Egyptians were the first people to bond with the cat, only four thousand years ago. In 2004, however, a team of French researchers working in Cyprus unearthed the ninety-five-hundred-year-old remains of a human and a cat buried side by side. Last year, an analysis of cat bones and teeth from a fifty-three-hundred-year-old settlement in China indicated that the animals were eating rodents, grains, and the leftovers of human meals. It appears that, following the advent of agriculture, wildcats in the Near East and Asia likely began to congregate near farms and grain stores, where mice and rats were abundant. People tolerated the volunteer exterminators, and wildcats became increasingly comfortable with people. Whether this affiliation began five or ten millennia ago, the evidence suggests that cats have not been part of our domestic domain for nearly as long as dogs, which have been our companions for perhaps forty thousand years.”
I didn’t grow up with pets because my Mother was allergic and my Father would have refused anyway. He was born during the Great Depression and his Mother was widowed young, so they couldn’t afford to have pets. My Mother had cats growing up. While I was growing up, my Nana always had a cat. I didn’t really bond with any of her cats. We lived in different states and only went to visit once or twice a year and, cats being cats, they skedaddled when four little girls showed up.
I always thought I was a dog person. I’ve had several dogs since I flew the parental coop. My latest dog, Cleo, was a beautiful Greater Swiss Mountain dog who I loved dearly. We had to send her into the big sleep a couple of months ago because she was having a lot of trouble walking. She was almost 10. About a year before Cleo died, we got a cat from the SPCA. My daughter had been begging for years and we finally gave in. Well, surprise, surprise, I discovered that I love having a cat. Even more than having a dog. OMG, they are so much less work, less expensive, less NEEDY! It’s been quite a revelation.
Where do you stand on this issue? Cat or dog? Why?