Dog owners ‘are twice as happy as cat owners’, study finds

Rob Waugh
·Contributor
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Coming hot on the heels of the revelation that your cat understands your name, but chooses to ignore you, comes more bad news for cat-lovers.

An annual American survey has found that dog-owners are far, far happier.

America’s General Social Survey added questions about pet ownership for the first time, finding that six in ten households own an animal.

But it also came up with a rather odd, and startling fact: dog owners are twice as likely as cat owners to say they are ‘very happy’.

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This is a big difference; in fact, it’s as big as the difference between social classes.

The researchers warn, however, that it’s too early to say that owning a dog is actually the reason for this huge difference in happiness levels.

In fact, the Washington Post reports, it may be due to the fact that dog owners are more likely to be married and own their homes (factors known to be linked to happiness).

Just to rub salt in the wound, dogs are also far cleverer, research found last year.

Neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel broke down how many brain cells each animal has.

Herculano-Houzel’s team liquefied animal brains from dead animals donated by pet owners, PBS reports – and then counted the neurons in the ‘brain soup’.

What she found was that dogs have twice as many brain cells as cats

Dogs have 530 million neurons, while cats have 250 million (compared to 16 billion for humans).

Herculano-Houzel said, ‘The logical implication is that, yes, dogs are much more capable than cats.’

‘Please love your cats and dogs alike as much as you want. Regardless of how many neurons they have.’

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