Who Loves You Baby? Your Cat or Your Dog?
It’s Valentine’s Day, so what better subject to talk about than LOVE.
If you have a cat or dog, I bet you love them to bits. But do they love you back? And do dogs or cats love more. Believe it or not, scientists have looked into this and found that dogs win paws down.
Apparently, it all comes down to the levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin, which has an important role in human interaction. The hormone is released when people cuddle or bond socially.
Researchers tested pets for their oxytocin levels before and after they saw their owners. Ten cats and ten dogs had saliva taken, then played with their owners for 10 minutes. Afterwards, another swab was taken and the levels of the chemical were compared to see what effect seeing their owner had.
They found levels of the hormone increased by an average of 57.2 per cent in dogs but only by 12 per cent in cats.
Neuroscientist Dr Paul Zac, who examined the results, said “From this sample it’s true to say that these dogs love their owners five times more than the cats do.”
Love is in the Air
The news that our feline friends don’t love as much as our canine pals is going disappoint cat lovers the world over - but it's not all bad news.
Dr Zak said: “I was really surprised to discover that dogs produced such high levels of oxytocin.
“It was also a nice surprise to discover that cats produce any at all. At least some of the time, cats seem to bond with their owners.”
The discovery was made as part of a BBC2 documentary called "Cats v. Dogs", hosted by animal experts Chris Packham and Liz Bonnin.
Scientists already knew that dogs - like humans - release oxytocin when they are in contact with their owner. But the test has never been carried out on cats before.
Thanks for reading and don't forget to keep reaching for the stars