Kids Prefer Dogs to Cats, Study Says

the daily dish More on PawNation: Cats, Dogs, Lifestyle, Science

A new study has demonstrated that young children show a preference for dogs over cats, The (Vancouver) Province reported. When the study asked 272 children aged 3-6 to identify the animals with facial features that appealed to them most, dogs were the overwhelming favorite.


"Children in our study preferred dogs over cats in every comparison, and regardless of their familiarity with this species," said the study's co-author, Marta Borgi of the Istituto Superiore di Sanita in Italy.

The study did, however, show an increased appreciation for cats in older children, suggesting that cats are, perhaps, an acquired taste. "The appreciation of less-popular animals like cats probably needs time to develop, and appears more dependent on their physical appeal and on our contacts with them," Borgi said.

When choosing, children tended to prefer cats with specifically infantile, "cute" faces over other cats with more regular features, although when the kids were given the choice between a dog or a cat, the cats couldn't seem to compete with the dogs, no matter how cute the cats were.

There are always exceptions, of course. Children who already had pet cats were more likely to show a preference for cats over dogs. Interestingly, an as-yet-unpublished followup study shows that subjects of any age who had cats at home demonstrated a feline preference, but dog ownership did not affect choices in the same way.

Borgi said the study may be useful for helping choose ideal companion animals for autistic children or other kids whose social development may benefit from interaction with pets.

SEE KIDS GROW UP WITH THEIR DOGS:

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

67 Comments

Filter by:
freewalk9

I actually prefer dogs, although I do like cats. I have had both, and horses, too. A well-trained dog is, in many ways, easier than a cat if your concern is a clean house. I take my sheltie out, he does his business, I clean it up. No litterbox, no smell, no mess. He has a schedule and I always know when he needs to go. I find dogs better companions, you can teach them tricks, do obedience or agility and they make great hiking buddies. My sheltie is my best friend.

January 05 2014 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
adestefano2

I have 2 cats. No dogs. I got cats because they are more independent. They clean themselves (as much as they can) and they go in a litter box. My girlfriend had a dog and he was a pain the butt. She was constantly running home to walk her dog so we could not spend that time together. It eventually became a wedge between us and we broke up. She preferred her dog over me which was most irrational. I'll keep my cats thank you.

January 03 2014 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
classof68gto

We love all animals but we have 5 indoor felines. We have had 4 of them for almost 8 years and one for 2 1/2 yrs that was a feral and gets along well with our others. Indoor cats are so sweet if spoiled and loved like ours are. We love dogs also but just so happened we got cats.

January 03 2014 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Harvey

We got rid of the children because the dog was allergic.

January 03 2014 at 10:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
marksatirv

My cats always liked to sleep with me. So did my dogs.
After you've had a cat for a few years, they do develop an emotional attachment to you. They get upset when you leave them alone and they run to the door when you come back. Plus they have an almost eerie sensitivity to your moods.
Cats and dogs have different qualities but both can be interesting pets. The human's lifestyle has a lot to do with how it works out.

January 03 2014 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
marksatirv

Reports on alleged "studies" should always identify WHO performed the study and WHO funded it. Otherwise, the reports are not credible. Additionally, the public needs to know if their tax dollars are paying for nonsense like this.

January 03 2014 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JANROSE444

My cats are incredibly loving. They don't slobber, they don't jup up, They are quiet. Dogs are wonderful too but they are too willing to do the will of human beings and thus have been used against civil rights protestors, and by the Nazis in WWII against prisoners and of course many more bad things. They seem to be willing to do anything to please man. Of course, it took some exceptionally cruel and dreadful human beings to train them to do these things. Try to imagine a bunch of cats controlling those civil rights protesters.

January 03 2014 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JANROSE444's comment
sneakyp957

" Dogs are wonderful too but they are too willing to do the will of human beings and thus have been used against civil rights protestors, and by the Nazis in WWII against prisoners and of course many more bad things."

What kind of brain damage have YOU suffered? You are going to blame dogs because some dogs were owned by Nazi's?

I thought I had seen PC run-amock before,but you are in a class of your own!

January 03 2014 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yogamews

Dogs will usually tolerate more abuse than cats.

January 03 2014 at 5:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
No Name

I have always loved all animals but have been partial to cats. But I see children now who are not disciplined and cats do not care for them. They don't like to be handled and roughed up and will scratch when they are scared. There is one rule in my house for ALL, children and adults, my cats are the kings of the household and treat them right. Or else!!!!

January 03 2014 at 5:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to No Name's comment
classof68gto

Amen

January 03 2014 at 11:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
StillDezzin

What absolute nonsense -- I preferred cats from birth onwards, and many other kids do as well. In most of the rest of the world, this is the case. Take the blinders off and expand your world view and you will find that, as ever, cats, not dogs, are the world's (and even the nation's) most beloved companion, with over 10 million more cats than dogs being in domestic households. That is for a plethora of very good reasons. To quote the cliche: Cats rule! Dogs drool.

January 03 2014 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Around The Web

Who is Cutest?

Like us on Facebook?