Imagine you have a long and stressful day. Whether you’re spending your time fighting fires at work or chasing a stubbornly independent two-year-old from mess to mess, you can’t wait until the house is quiet so you can relax.
Now, who do you want to relax with? significant other? Or your cat?
If the first friendly face you think of is your cat’s, you’re not alone. A recent survey of pet owners revealed that many pet owners love their cats more than their companions.
Pets over people?
This potentially embarrassing finding stems from a survey of 2,000 cat and dog owners. Commissioned by ethical pet food makers Webbox and Webbox Naturals, the survey asked pet owners about their relationships with their pets and their human companions.
While some of these findings aren’t surprising, the results offer an interesting insight into how pets and people get along.
The most notable conclusion was that nearly 50 percent of respondents admitted to loving their cat or dog more than their partner. It might sound grim, but these guys give good reasoning.
According to the survey, they believe pets can help them feel relaxed. Cats don’t “ask stupid questions” or nag them to do the dishes. Some cats can be short-tempered, but it’s generally accepted that returning to a friendly feline is a great way to end the day.
To further demonstrate their love, 35% of pet parents surveyed admitted to hugging and kissing their animals more than their significant others. Cats don’t always enjoy a close grip, but physical affection for animals can have a long list of physical and emotional benefits.
Blood pressure is lowered, stress is reduced, and heart health improves. Scientific studies have even found that cat purring can improve bone density and promote healing. Partners are hard-pressed to compete with these grunting prowess, and when you add soft fur, it’s game over.
Cats know they don’t have to compete for affection, but human partners, it turns out, aren’t quite as accommodating. Another question in the survey acknowledges how this unbalanced love triangle affects human partners.
Three in 10 think their partners are jealous of their pets. That’s not surprising, considering about a third of survey participants admitted to spending more on pet treats and toys than on gifts for their two-legged loved ones.
The main takeaway from the survey may be that people choose pets over companions. But when you have a partner who loves animals as much as you do, the feeling can be mutual. This cat may be the favorite of the family, but they also return all the attention with their own unconditional love.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
Leave a Reply