OPINION: Dog, cat comparison invalid: both cute

CN/ Julie Santiago

By Julie Santiago

There is no such thing as the perfect pet because people are different and have different needs. Throughout our campus, and everywhere else for that matter, people of different backgrounds and many different interests feel the need to compare the most popular pets in the world; dogs and cats.

An estimated 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs lived in the U.S. in 2017.

“Man’s best friend” is a common phrase that refers to the long history between humans and dogs. Scientists still disagree about when and where dogs began to be domesticated.

According to Gregor Larson, an anthropoligist from University of Oxford, dogs are domesticated descendants of gray wolves, which first arose in Western Eurasia about 30,000 years ago.

It is believed that docile, less fearful, and less tempered wolves began to hunt with humans and were very helpful.

The ones we liked lived and eventually became the dogs of today. The World Canine Organization recognized 339 breeds of dogs in 2013.

The first cats were scavengers in our first settlements about 10,000 years ago.

Similar to dogs, the most fearless survived. Unlike dogs, however, scientists believe that cats undertook these changes naturally.

Cats domesticated themselves and aren’t that different from their ancestors. Scientists believe that cats today came from a wild cat breed called felis silverstris lybica, which can be recognized to this day.

Knowing this history, it is understandable to see why many people opt for dogs and believe that the dog is man’s best friend since we have been manipulating them, genetically, for our benefit through thousands of years of breeding.

Dogs have been taught to be subservient to humans to the point that they now need us to survive. They have been customized in a way that cats have not.

This comparison says more about our society than the animals

Comparing a dog to a cat makes no sense. Physically, a cat can not do what a dog can do and vice versa. The evolutionary history is not the same, but they still both have good qualities and are in our lives for different reasons, but one is not more useless than the other.

People seem to prefer pets that behave in a way that complements their own personalities.

Sociologist Lisa Wade, an associate professor of sociology at Occidental College, believes that the question of whether a person is a cat person/ dog person is really just a question trying to asses whether a person is more masculine or feminine.

“After all, don’t we stereotype women as cat people and men as dog people? And don’t we think men with cats are a little femmy or, at minimum, sweeter than most… even, maybe, gay? And don’t we imagine that chicks with dogs are a little less girly than most, a little more rough and tumble? The cat person/dog person dichotomy is gendered,” said Wade.

Nobody ever worries about becoming a crazy dog person.

According to Psychology Today, there is such a thing as a dog or cat person.

Psychologists believe that dog people tend to be more extroverted than cat people.

On the other hand, cat people tend to have higher IQ’s than dog people.

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