Why Dogs Are a Popular Subject for Scientists and Not Cats?

Why Dogs Are a Popular Subject for Scientists and Not Cats?

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Have you ever noticed that most articles about pets are centered around dogsโ€”dog, behavior, dog training, dog allergies, and such? Have you felt like there was not enough information online about cats, their behaviors, quirks, and other aspects of cat lives as pets? Why is there so little information on cats when compared to dogs as pets?

Why there is more research available on dogs than cats

It is, in fact, true, that there is far less research on cats than on dogs. The amount of research conducted on dogs exceeds that on cats by quite a bit for a number of reasons:

  • Easier to get funding for research on dogs rather than cats: Dogs are considered to be humanโ€™s best friend and are extremely popular as pets. People want to understand dogs more and more and know how they think and feel. This leads to easier and better funding availability for research on dogs than research on cats. Most people believe cats are mysterious, aloof, and cannot be trained because of which there is relatively less interest in understanding cat behavior and emotions. There has also been a lot of negative perceptions attached to cats since ancient times, which means that people did not want to get to know cats better for a long time.
  • Difficult to get cats to behave for research: Dogs love to listen to their human owners, behave as humans want, and constantly be with their humans. Dogs are also highly dependent on their owners. Cats, on the other hand, are quite independent, like to be on their own, and do not always listen to their human owners. What this means is, it is easy to make dogs behave during research trials and experiments but it can be quite difficult to make cats do your bidding to conduct research. This could be a big reason why there is more research on dogsโ€”they are easier to study and make better subjects for research than cats.
  • More number of dog breeds than cat breeds: This is possibly the biggest reason there is more research material available on dogs. As there are more number of breeds of dogs and because most breeds are distinct and very different from others, there is a lot of research conducted on every unique breed of dog. Cats, on the other hand, can look quite similar, and there are far fewer breeds of cats than there are dogs. This means there is less to research in most cases.

Whatever may be the reason, it is clear than for now, the research community is more focused on dogs than cats, and this is unlikely to change much in the near future. Cats continue to remain mysterious and poorly understood and will probably remain so at least for now.

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