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The great cat versus dog debate seems never-ending, as almost every individual on this planet has an opinionated stance. In fact, even statistics on cat and dog owners don’t offer a clear end to the debate–according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 36.5% of U.S. households own a dog and 30.4% own a cat. Nevertheless, here is irrefutable, scientific evidence that shows why cats are better than dogs!
In October 2009, The New Scientist commented on a book by Robert and Brenda Vale, “Time to Eat the Dog: the Real Guide to Sustainable living,” which estimated the carbon footprints of a variety of household pets. The authors estimated that a medium-sized dog has a carbon footprint equaling that of two standard SUVs, while an average-sized cat has a carbon footprint equaling one small Volkswagen. In fact, a dog’s carbon footprint is so much larger due to increased food consumption.
In November 2014, physicists at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported that cats are more efficient than dogs at drinking water. To drink, cats dip their tongues into the water with a force of two times that of gravity, while dogs strike the water’s surface with a force of eight times that of gravity. Thus, dogs create a huge puddle that you, the owner, must clean up.
According to a 2014 study completed by Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University, cat people scored higher on intelligence than dog people. Additionally, the study found that cat lovers are more introverted, open-minded, and sensitive.
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Cats can detect sound frequencies from 55 to 79 Hz, while dogs only can between 44 to 67 Hz. Cats can see in light six times lower than humans can, and dogs can only see in light five times as dim. Additionally, cats have a heightened sense of smell–the average cat has approximately 200 million olfactory receptors, while the average dog has many less.
In 2008, researchers from the University of Minnesota released a study that found individuals who owned cats were almost 40% less likely to die of a heart attack than individuals who had never owned a cat. Interestingly, dog owners did not seem to enjoy this benefit.
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Important to note, though, is that additional research has shown that both cats and dogs–not just cats–can lower blood pressure.
According to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, owning a cat instead of a dog could save you $300 to $800 annually. This price differential is due to food costs (dogs are bigger, thus eating more), toy and supply costs (dogs are more likely to play with toys, require leashes and collars, and need training classes), and routine veterinary expenses (dogs’ expenses are typically higher than cats’).
According to a Live Science article, cats have streamlined musculature, a very flexible backbone, and more vertebrae, which grants them the ability to walk along fences, maneuver into tiny spaces, and always land on their feet!