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Who’s Smarter….Dog or Cat Owners?

By Dr. Andrew Jones

By Fiona Macrae
Mail Online (UK)

It is a claim calculated to have rival pet lovers fighting like cat and dog.

According to a scientific study, cat owners tend to be cleverer than their dog-loving counterparts.


It found that university graduates were more likely to favour feline companionship – possibly because they work longer hours and have less time to go out for long walks.

Those with degrees were 36 per cent more likely to have a cat than others, including dog-lovers.

The contentious allegation – from a catloving researcher – follows the first large-scale attempt in 20 years to estimate the number of pet dogs and cats in Britain’s homes.

Using census data, information on household sizes and a phone survey, Bristol University cat expert Dr Jane Murray concluded that the nation’s hearths are home to some 10.3million cats and 10.5million dogs.

Around 26 per cent of households own cats and 31 per cent have dogs. And many don’t stop at one.

This week’s Veterinary Record reports that one in 60 households has between six and 12 pet cats and one in 100 is home to between six and 17 dogs.

Concerns about fur flying mean that just 7 per cent of families have both cats and dogs.

Families with young children are less likely to have dogs, perhaps because they lack the time to exercise a pet.

Dr Murray, an expert in cat diseases, said: ‘These findings contradict the widely-held belief that many families acquire a dog for the purposes of educating their children about pet ownership, at least at a young age.’


She added: ‘The study has shown many common factors relating to cat and dog ownership, such as a garden and rural location, but it has also identified some notable differences. In particular, the difference in the level of education achieved by a household owning cats and dogs.

‘The reason for this association is unclear. It is unlikely to be related to household income but it could be related to household members with longer working hours having less time available to care for a dog.’

Chris Laurence, veterinary director of the Dogs Trust and director of the Feline Advisory Bureau, had a message of reassurance for dog owners.

He said: ‘I don’t think they should be miffed – the relationship between a dog and human is probably closer. If you’ve had cats and dogs, you’ll know that the cat owns you and not the other way round.’

The Kennel Club said its own research shows that five per cent of dog owners credit their pet with helping them find love and one in three has forged a friendship with someone met while walking the dog.

Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: ‘We are a nation of dog lovers, and so it is no surprise that people are more likely to strike up a friendship or meet a new partner with a shared love and passion for dogs.

‘They enrich our lives in so many ways and, as well as helping us to make new relationships, they still retain the title of man’s best friend.’

P.S. What about people that walk their fish……………………………



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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Pet health | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Who’s Smarter….Dog or Cat Owners?”

  1. Avatar Jean Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I have to euthanize many pets during my 63 years but only when they were very very sick-in pain and had not chance of getting well. Unfortunately-I have had a few very close relatives that if they were pets would have passed away with comfort and dignity(with the help of a loving vet)-instead-we had to wait untill they went “naturally”-in pain with much suffering. I don’t know the answer to this very very sinsitive issue.

  2. Avatar margie wheeler Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I think the picture of the man walking the fish is truly classic, original and I’m just now wondering, was he paid to do this? Well, that is one man who loves his fish is all I can say and really, why wouldn’t a fish enjoy getting to see something besides the contents of his glass cage-it is native to a massive ocean and is used to exploring. One day maybe we will understand what God had in mind when he told Adam to have dominion over all the animals. I imagine Adam’s horse, hearing Adam’s request, gladly submitted himself to a ride. We see such remnants of unconditional love in our dogs and other pets and maybe it is a glimpse of the paradise we lost.

  3. Avatar Robert Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 12:09 am

    It’s been my experience and opinion that the cat fanciers are those who don’t want to expend the time, energy, and commitment to an animal in order to care for and maintain it. They put out food and then put out the cat, that is the extent of their effort and commitment to what should be a caring relationship. Yet they complain when the animal won’t come to them when called and has to be enticed with food. However, when I’m there, the cat(s) will come straight to me (although I’ve never owned a cat), because I give them attention and affection and scratch and rub them, and they love it, and I’ve never had to offer them food to get them to come to me, they just do. Then they run from, or ignore their owners. Maybe they (the cats)aren’t as dumb as I’ve always thought. I’ve always had dogs (medium to large breeds) from when I was about 4 years old to now in my 50’s. Just lost my last two companions over the past two years. First one (large English cocker spaniel) from unknown reasons at the age of 12, the second one (black Lab mix)age 11, from a cancerous tumor on her liver the size of a melon (the surgery was a success, but the patient died), she was doing well but must have thrown a blood clot that hit her heart.

  4. Avatar Robert Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 3:35 am

    As a followup to my previous post, I don’t know if dog lovers are any more intelligent, but I do believe that they are more compassionate and loving than cat owners, because they are willing to take/make the time to care for their charges in return for the love and companionship that their dogs bring to the table (with NO strings attached!). I wouldn’t necessarily consider a cat lover intelligent when they let themselves be manipulated and “used” by “their” cat(s) as servants and give little if anything in return. To me, those are the type of people who stay in abusive relationships because negative attention is better than no attention at all! Just like children who behave badly to get the attention of their parents who never seem to have time for them when they are well behaved.

  5. Avatar Animals Away Says:
    April 1st, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Dog and Cat owners themselves are completely different breeds! It too has been my experience that cat owners have been people who need less responsibility when it comes to the pet, but of course love their pets wholly. Whereas the dog owners responsibility is greater because dogs themselves are needier than cats.

  6. Avatar Micheline Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Bonjour, je tiens à vous offrir mes sincères condoléances à vous et votre famille. J’ai aussi reçu le même diagnostique que votre père, la même journée l’an passé,mais ce fut pris dans les tout débuts, tout semble sous contrôle. Vous aurez une personne de plus en haut pour vous aider à lutter contre la cruauté enveers les animaux.

  7. Avatar Margaret Says:
    April 9th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    So sorry about your Dad, my prayers are with you and your family
    I do agree in haveing a choice on how to die if you have an incurable disease, we don’t let our pets suffer so why do we let our love ones ???


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM