How dogs distinguish their owners and why we prefer cats

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Have you ever wondered how dogs distinguish their owners, even if they are walking in a crowd of people? Why, according to statistics, more people prefer to have cats than dogs? Publishing 7 Findings from Alexandra Horowitz and Abigail Tucker’s Book Reviews for The New York Times.

There are actually a lot of similarities between cats and dogs, much more than we can imagine. They are predatory mammals that hunt for moving prey. They use their receptors to search for prey.

The total number of dogs in the world is approximately 500 million. There are about 600 cats.

Dogs are gregarious animals, while cats are individualists. Hunting dogs use the sense of smell, and cats use the sense of touch.

Dogs can recognize such a wide range of odors that we cannot even imagine. Just to get a sense of how rich he is, imagine that these animals can smell 20 times more colors than humans.

Dogs can recognize that their owner is walking long before he entered the house or apartment. The fact is that the smell of the host, its smallest molecules and particles, arrives at its destination much faster than the person himself. That’s why a dog (unlike a cat) meets us every time at the door.

Dogs are very attached to their owners, well trained, follow many commands, understand our speech and some words, while cats, on the contrary, are strong individualists and many think that they only eat and sleep, and do nothing else. But why, in spite of everything, do we love them so much? Konrad Lorenz, one of the researchers of the world of cats, said that the reason is most likely that the cat reminds us of a baby in some way: it is small, fluffy, gentle, rounded head shapes and large eyes captivate us and make us love these animals, even though their bad behavior and low affection. It’s all about the associations that arise in our heads.

Unlike dogs, the domestication of cats did not go so smoothly. It took a lot, a lot of time (and nerves) before humanity was able to tame these creatures. Abigail Tucker, author of The Lion In The Living Room, talks about how she once met a wild cat in the forest. Never before had she seen so much hatred and cruelty that was read in the eyes of this creature. The cat looked very intimidating and any wrong move from Tucker could provoke the attack of this wild animal on her.

What conclusions can we draw from these two books?

In Alexandra Horowitz’s book Being a Dog, there is a lot of emphasis on how a dog smells. Various studies and parallels with the human sense of smell are presented. Horowitz also writes a lot about how we have lost our ability to distinguish smells well over thousands of years of evolution. As humanity develops, it becomes more and more visuals, and it is quite possible that evolution will make it so that we will distinguish even fewer smells, leaving only the most necessary for survival.

The title of Abigail Tucker’s book, The Lion In The Living Room, is a bit misleading. We assume that the author will tell us about cute animals that live side by side with humans. Instead, from this book, we learn a lot of details about the history of the domestication of cats, their habits, the reasons for this or that behavior, why mankind prefers more cats than dogs, and much, much more. This is actually an interesting and fascinating guide to the world of these mysterious animals.

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August 28, 2020 |

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