Researchers Set Out To Determine If People Really Do Favor Dogs Over Cats And Found That Pet Owners Generally Provide More Attentive Care To Canines And Are Even Willing To Splurge More On Medical Treatments For Pups

nataba - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual cat or dog

When it comes to the longtime debate between being a dog person or a cat person, it’s generally thought that dogs need more TLC while cats are the aloof ones.

So, people often think cats are more self-reliant and aren’t as invested in human companionship compared to dogs. But is it true that we actually take care of dogs more attentively than cats? New research from three European nations suggests that yes, we do.

That said, the study also points out that attitudes toward dogs and cats aren’t universal; they differ significantly depending on the country. For example, in the UK, people are nearly equally fond of both pets. However, in Denmark, dogs clearly win the popularity contest.

Before this research, previous studies suggested that pet owners were less emotionally invested in their cats and less willing to spend on their healthcare compared to dogs.

However, those earlier studies often had limitations, such as relying too heavily on unrepresentative samples and not taking into account cultural factors that might affect attitudes toward pets. In order to provide a clearer picture, Dr. Peter Sandøe from the University of Copenhagen set out to conduct this study.

“We and others have found that people are willing to spend much less on their cats than on their dogs. We wanted to find out whether cats could eventually end up having the same high status as dogs do today,” he said.

To delve into this issue, the researchers partnered with a survey firm to gather a diverse group of adult pet owners from Denmark, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

Although these countries share some similarities, they each have a distinct timeline when it comes to urbanization: the UK led the way, Denmark followed most recently, and Austria fell somewhere in between.

The study’s authors hypothesized that a country’s historical relationship with rural animals could play a role in shaping modern-day attitudes toward pets.

nataba – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual cat or dog

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