Do you own both a cat and a dog? Which one do you believe loves you more?
The love hormone
Animals release the “love hormone” oxytocin when they interact with each other and with humans. Humans release oxytocin too. Scientists first discovered this hormone was released when new mothers interact with their baby and it’s also released by lovers during sexual intercourse. But back to cats and dogs…
A recent television program tested oxytocin levels of dogs and cats before and after they saw their owners. Dogs showed a bigger hormone increase of 57%, compared to just 12% in cats. The amount of oxytocin released by dogs is similar to humans when they see their spouse or children, if not a little more. Their conclusion was that dogs love us 5 times as much as cats do and dogs may even love us more than our spouses!
It appears though, that nobody loves like a goat!! When a pair of unlikely friends – a terrier and a goat, who regularly played with each other, were tested, the dog had a 48% increase in oxytocin, while the goat had a 210% increase! So while the dog was attached to the goat, the goat was in LOVE with the dog! Could goats be the most loving animals of all?
In other tests, after interacting with cats and dogs, only 30% of humans showed an increase in oxytocin. Those who had owned dogs in the past were more likely to have increased oxytocin levels than cat owners, or those who had never owned pets.
Who loves us most?
So, from all this we could conclude that our cats love us less than dogs do and we also love cats less than dogs. But is this the case? Or do cats and their humans need the right environment to express their love. Perhaps cats are just more choosy than dogs!
What’s your experience? who loves you more? Does your cat love you at all? Does your dog? Does it matter?