For years, cat and dog owners have been bickering over the relative merits of each type of pet. But in recent years, scientific researchers have started to weigh in–and their findings thus far come down firmly in favor of dogs.
Many people have pets to experience the companionship, but cats just don’t have the same sort of emotional attachment to their owners. Compared to dogs, scientists have found cats show genuine affection far less than you might think. Really, cats have a hard time showing affection to any creature–they are responsible for killing 3.7 billion birds a year, many of which are endangered. Talk about an environmental disaster!
Every cat owner in the world has had a “You’re driving me crazy!” outburst at their cat (don’t lie, you have), whether it be from a full glass of water knocked off from the kitchen table, or the cat eating your food while you clean up the mess in your dining room.
A study conducted by Czech scientist, Jaroslav Flegr, has found alarming evidence that a parasite often found in cat feces can subtly change people’s personalities over time, increasing rates of neuroticism, schizophrenia, and perhaps even suicide.
Other experiments by Japanese researchers have shown evidence for what we all already knew: yes, they can hear us calling their names, they just really don’t care.
The researchers gathered 20 cats (one at a time) and played them recordings of three different people calling their name–two strangers, plus their owners. Regardless of the order, none of the cats actually approached the speaker, or actually seemed interested in seeing the person.
Cat lovers, I know what you’re thinking: “But my cat does show me affection!” Purring and rubbing up against your leg, however, is most likely not your cat showing you affection. Many researchers interpret this as an attempt by the cat to spread its scent as a way to mark territory.
Observations of semi-feral cats show that they commonly rub against trees or other objects in the exact same way.
In other words, research is telling us that cats are selfish, unfeeling, environmentally destructive creatures, and they can drive us crazy–literally.
So if you needed one more reason not to house an animal that doesn’t love you and manipulates your emotions to get food, here it is.