Sorry, Cat Lovers: Dogs Really Are Man’s Best Friend

Coke or Pepsi, Biggie or Tupac, boxers or briefs—all common, but ultimately inconsequential debates. None of these debates, however, divide people as thoroughly as the age-old, cats vs. dogs conundrum. Whether you own a pet or not, you’re either a cat person or dog person. You might like both, but in a pinch, you’d pick one over the other. It’s really that simple.

Of course, this debate has never had a clear winner. The completely forgettable 2001 film Cats & Dogs certainly didn’t provide any insight. Neither does the internet’s common pro-cat propaganda. And while a 2015 study suggested that from an evolutionary standpoint, felines are superior to canines, this only proved that big cats are more fearsome predators than their canid counterparts. It didn’t prove that cats make better pets…

Recently, however, the dog side of this polarizing debate has been given some powerful new ammunition. According to a study facilitated by the upcoming BBC documentary Cats vs. Dogs, dogs have been proven to love their human companions more than cats do.

According to a report by MailOnline, this compelling new evidence comes down to a hormone called oxytocin, which is nicknamed the ‘love hormone.’

Researchers began by testing the oxytocin levels in the saliva of 10 dogs and 10 cats. Then, they tested these levels again after the animals had played with their owners for 10 minutes. And while the oxytocin level in the cats’ saliva did jump by about 12 percent after play, the oxytocin levels in the dogs tested jumped by a whopping 57.2 percent. So while this study proves that cats do, despite their frequent aloofness, love their owners, it proved that dogs love their owners more.

As Dr. Paul Zak, the neuroscientist who examined the results, explained, “it’s true to say that these dogs love their owners five times more than the cats do.”

So, there you have it. Dogs really are man’s best friend. Of course, cats don’t generally hump legs, chew up shoes, or require frequent walks, so the debate as to which animal makes a better pet is likely to steam along for centuries to come.

Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor is a globetrotting writer currently based in Ottawa, Canada. He covers mixed martial arts for Fightland and Vice Sports, and freelances for a number of other publications. Follow him on Twitter @TomTayMMA.

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