Do Dogs Really Love Humans More Than Cats?
Today, one of the biggest controversies on the Internet is the eternal dogs vs. cats dispute. While a lot of people love both species, some insist that one is superior to the other and identify themselves as “dog persons” or “cat persons.” One argument that dog lovers love to bring up during such disputes is that dogs are loyal, loving animals while cats are basically just using you for food and aren’t really all that emotionally attached to you.
So, here’s some good news for you dog people! According to a new study, you were apparently right. A documentary on BBC2 titled “Cats v. Dogs” explores the issue at hand, scientifically explaining which of our pets tends to love us more.
When in contact with humans, dogs’ bodies release the love hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure. The problem here is that cats have never been through this test. According to Dr. Paul Zak, the head of the study, there’s already evidence that dogs actually display feelings of love toward humans. There have been numerous smaller studies that have proven that human-canine interaction releases oxytocin both in dogs and in humans.
Because brains function based on a myriad of different chemical reactions, it is possible to “chemically measure” things such as love in mammals. We humans secrete this hormone when we care about someone or when we’re, say, hugged by a loved one. The moment that you see your child or spouse, levels of oxytocin in your blood rise by 40 to 60 percent.
The experiment required saliva samples from 10 different cats and dogs, ten minutes before playing with humans and then after playtime was over. They tested both samples for oxytocin presence and what they found was pretty interesting. Namely, the final results showed a 57.2 percent rise in oxytocin in dogs (on average) and only a 12 percent increase in cats. On the bright side, cat lovers, it shows that your cat does care about you to some extent. Just not as much as your dog.