Lion of the Blogosphere

Is cat man’s best friend, not dog?

https://www.livescience.com/18294-cats-world-died.html

A study in New Zealand in 1979 found that, when cats were nearly eradicated from a small island, the local rat population quickly quadrupled.

Without cats, there would be a massive increase in rats and other rodents which would eat food stores and crops, resulting in mass starvation among the world’s poorer nations.

Man needs cats to live!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 16, 2018 at EST pm

Posted in Science, Uncategorized

76 Responses

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  1. There was a study recently that dogs release about 6-8x the amount of oxytocin (“love hormone”) that cats do when interacting with their owners.

    Humans also are more likely to release oxytocin when interacting with their dogs than cat owners with their cats.

    Dogs are man’s best friend. Dogs love people and people love dogs. Cat owners evidently don’t love their cats so much as become attached to them, sometimes with the aid of the toxoplasma gondii parasite.

    Cats might be more useful (or at least less work) than dogs in most modern situations, though I’ve had the pleasure of hunting with a dog, which is very enjoyable.

    Wency

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Yeah, I would think “man’s best friend” is more about the emotional bond than pure utility. I’m not an expert on livestock economics, but I would guess that the horse has been more vital for human development and economic advancement.

      fortaleza84

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Dogs were the first animal to be domesticated. Some people say cats still aren’t domesticated.

      Rosenmops

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • People didn’t domesticate cats, cats domesticated people.

        Half Canadian

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • “Ah!’ said the Cat, listening. ‘That is a very foolish Dog.’ And he went back through the Wet Wild Woods waving his wild tail, and walking by his wild lone. But he never told anybody.”

        Rudyard Kipling

        gothamette

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • Set your pug picture as your WordPress avatar, sis.

        Frau Katze

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Cats look better in photographs. There are scores of “cat boards” on Pinterest (I’m a long-standing addict of Pinterest). However I believe that Pinterest users are more female than male. So that could be skewing results.

      There’s not many dog boards, although people with a special interest in a particular breed likely have them (I have never come across one.)

      There’s specialty cat boards like “Cats in windows”.

      There’s some appealing about them, even you don’t have a rodent problem. I’ve heard the toxoplasmosis thing. Since there were cats in the house since I was a child, I probably have it now.

      Frau Katze

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  2. Dogs herd cattle, scare off predators, kill rats and sometimes function as part of a war machine. Plus, they give married men an excuse to be away from the house (walking).

    Curle

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  3. There are rat catching dog breeds, like terriers. Cats also kill lots of birds, who eat a lot of insects and help maintain food and crops.

    Tom

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Rat killing dogs are specialists. Rodent killing (and scaring away) cats are generalists.

      gothamette

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • Scientists just did yet another survey of the horrible germs mice in NYC carry in their bodies & droppings. You don’t want know! Just keep them away.

        Why don’t cats get sick from them?

        gothamette

        April 17, 2018 at EST pm

      • Scientists just did yet another survey of the horrible germs mice in NYC carry in their bodies & droppings. You don’t want know! Just keep them away.

        Why don’t cats get sick from them?

        I don’t think that rats carry bubonic plague anymore. There are still a few cases in remote places, carried by prairie dogs I think.

        But mice carry hantavirus, and that’s very serious. But the cases tend to occur in less populated locations in Canada and the USA. A few years back, a man in BC was cleaning his cabin in the woods. Mice had been visiting all winter and there were droppings all over the place. In short order he became very ill and died. It turned out be a hantavirus. But it doesn’t happen very often.

        Cats are vulnerable to plague also.
        https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_ct_plague%20

        Cats and dogs are not affected by hantavirus, but they could bring it home if they attack an infected rodent.
        https://www.gopetplan.com/blogpost/hantavirus

        Frau Katze

        April 17, 2018 at EST pm

      • Right. They carry even more things that are being discovered as we speak. I saw a news article about it on my junk news feed, but the situation is apparently so serious that the NY Times picked it up:

        Mice are really bad. I had a few in my apartment and my landlord for once took the problem seriously and got me a good exterminator. He plugged up all the holes. But I didn’t realize that their droppings are so pathogenic. UGH!!

        gothamette

        April 18, 2018 at EST am

      • @gothamette The article is scary. I also checked the abstracts of the studies. It was mentioned that no one checks people who have become ill with one of the bacteria or virus if rodent exposure might be a factor. I guess no one knew previously that it was even a possibility.

        More on the deadly and fortunately rare hantavirus here. If you’re in urban New York you’re safe. The mouse that carries it prefers suburbs and rural locations.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/04/12/risk-of-a-rare-but-deadly-mouse-borne-virus-increases-in-the-spring/?utm_term=.a206285a229c

        Frau Katze

        April 18, 2018 at EST pm

      • “The article is scary.”

        It is – and humbling. We don’t know yet all the viruses that are out there. Honestly, I thought we did – but of all the things I should have known, it would be that.

        When we were dealing with the mouse problem I had no idea that and their droppings were so dangerous. I had to take one of the glue traps outside – horrible. A local Hispanic handy man killed the thing for me, screaming, “They bring-a disease!” He was so right.

        gothamette

        April 18, 2018 at EST pm

      • I just read that WaPo article – scary!

        gothamette

        April 18, 2018 at EST pm

  4. Third world man needs cats to live. So do NYC hipster soy boys and spinsters. Something needs to take care of the rats in their apartment buildings.

    666 goat 666

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  5. This is deceptive, though, because basically all land mammals are invasive species in New Zealand. Without people, there would be no cats there, but no rats either. Native species like the kiwi, which is flightless and builds ground nests, are defenseless against the weasels that were introduced to control the rats which were introduced accidentally, and on and on.

    Hermes

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • In North America I imagine weasels, snakes, and various raptors would pick up much of the rodent killing slack.

      bobbybobbob

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  6. I certainly agree. I love my cats who can keep out the vermin. I’ve even had a 20 year old cat who could catch rats (I live near a river). Fwiw, in the medieval era a cat mistakenly killed (they were hunted for their fur) was worth a certain amount if it hunted mice for its master, and double the amount if it also purred. (from the book Medieval cats by Walker Meikle.

    https://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Cats-Kathleen-Walker-Meikle/dp/0712358188/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523904108&sr=8-1&keywords=medieval+cats&dpID=51wZ518UEkL&preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

    Jack Cade

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  7. Is cat man’s best friend, not dog?

    It would be in the interests of man killing lions to trick humans into thinking they are.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  8. This Hannity thing is fucking hilarious. The judge trained to be a Playboy bunny!

    IHTG

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  9. There was a Wall Street Journal article a few months ago, I believe, that posited that homo sapiens defeated the Neanderthals because of the alliance between canines and early man.

    Now, that is utility.

    Xcommenter

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • They weren’t thorough enough.

      Dorian

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Not buying it. Dogs are descended not from wolves but pariah dogs that gathered around the 1st human settlements @10-15K years ago. Long after Neanderthals were gone.

      gothamette

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  10. Anyone living in a rural area knows cats are fantastic pest control. They’re much more useful than dogs.

    Dogs are most useful in urban/suburban areas because their bark alone discourages Diversity incursion when you’re not home.

    hard9bf

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Dawgs be rayciss, yo.

      Oswald Spengler

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • I see a lot of vibrant and diverse guys walking dogs in my neighborhood. Or the dogs walk them. I stay away. Don’t want to lose a hand.

        gothamette

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Two cops came by our house back in the 70s to talk about a break-in nearby. Lived in a borderline rural/suburban locale easily 98% white. One cop was white the other black. Our collie, who hadn’t encountered many if any non-whites went bezerk with hostility towards the black cop. We got her under control but it was very embarrassing.

      Curle

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • In all seriousness, she likely had never smelled a black person before. There is a marked difference in pheromones.

        Dorian

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  11. We went without cats for a year or so and our property was overrun with mice and voles. We got a couple good hunters now and they kill constantly. Trouble is, if they’re pissed at you they bring in live animals and let them loose in the house. In fact I think if there is a mouse in the house it’s because a cat brought it in there. At least here in suburbia. Don’t know about the city.

    Mrs Stitch

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Cat’s don’t get pissed at humans. The live animals are because the cats think you don’t know how to hunt, so they are bringing you practice targets. Maybe the cats are frustrated that you are so lousy at being a cat.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • It’s just that I noticed they did this only when I didn’t feed them by the usual schedule or gave them something they don’t like.

        Mrs Stitch

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • I’ve had cats bring in a dead rodent and will wake me up to present their prize for helping feed everyone. That cat definitely thought I would be pleased.

        Frau Katze

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Mrs Stitch, I hope you never get coyotes. They are showing up in suburbia. I read some stupid liberal woman’s FB page about how she is being invaded by coyotes and as an ethical vegetarian she has tried to get rid of them by banging pots, etc. She whines that animal control won’t do anything about them, but admits that although she can get a permit, she won’t shoot them. She is a great example of why Westerners despise Eastern liberals.

      When I lived out West for a while, we had a coyote problem. We took care of it by wiping them out with guns. Problem solved. (I watched.)

      gothamette

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • I have coyotes living in the green belt behind my house. Basically means you have to keep the cats and smallish dogs indoors most of the time.

        Curle

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • We had an aggressive clan that needed to be wiped out.

        gothamette

        April 17, 2018 at EST am

    • What are your hunter’s names?

      gothamette

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  12. Humans have sex with dog and horses, but not cats and rats. So here you have it, Lion.

    Everybody needs everybody, so you shouldn’t hurt anybody and help everybody and respect all life. If they weren’t useful, they wouldn’t have been created. This is very simple.

    Yakov

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • No one said that dogs and horses aren’t useful. But cats are more useful for the growing and storage of grains and other farm products.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • No one said that someone had said that’s dogs and horses aren’t useful. But I think a cat just doesn’t cut it as man’s best friend. Your problem is that you keep thinking in terms of class and elitism and you transfer that thinking to animals. Whereas I think in terms of a collective classless body of a nation and transfer that thinking to flora and fauna. Everyone has it’s place in my the world and a cat is unique and a dog is unique and so is a porcupine. Everyone is unique just like everyone else. Think about what I’m saying.

        Yakov

        April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • “But cats are more useful for the growing and storage of grains and other farm products.”

        If that were the case then they’d just put cats near every feed lot and grain elevator. But I’ve been to feed lots and grain elevators and don’t recall seeing any cats. I’m sure there’s a few sneaking around but they’re still overrun with rats. Most people would be shocked. On the other hand, there are professional exterminators who go around with packs of terriers to eradicate rats. There’s a reason for this.

        Under normal circumstances like a home, cats and snakes will both keep the rodent population in check. But they don’t hunt when they’re full. So it takes lots of cats to kill lots of rats. Terriers, on the other hand, have an extremely high prey drive and kill every rat they see whether they’re hungry or not. Regardless, rodents breed too fast to ever kill them all. The only way to keep rodents (and roaches) as well as stray cats, dogs, etc under control is to be conscientious about how you store and dispose of food. Take away their food and they’ll disappear on their own. Of course, that’s not always possible i.e. grain elevators, feed lots, etc.

        destructure

        April 17, 2018 at EST pm

      • Regardless, rodents breed too fast to ever kill them all. The only way to keep rodents (and roaches) as well as stray cats, dogs, etc under control is to be conscientious about how you store and dispose of food. Take away their food and they’ll disappear on their own. Of course, that’s not always possible i.e. grain elevators, feed lots, etc.

        Some time ago there was a serious problem with grizzly bears (very lethal) in the Canadian Rockies. Eventually strict rules were applied about food storage. Restaurants were the main problem, they just left their garbage in bins. After this, the bears stopped hanging around these areas and it became safer for visitors.

        Frau Katze

        April 17, 2018 at EST pm

      • “If that were the case then they’d just put cats near every feed lot and grain elevator. ”

        Feed lots and grain elevators are indications of modern mechanized farming. Lion is referring to the old days, when grains weren’t secured properly and there wasn’t rodent bait.

        Barn cats do hunt when they’re full. They are born to kill, that’s all.

        gothamette

        April 17, 2018 at EST pm

    • “Humans have sex with dog and horses, but not cats and rats. So here you have it, Lion.”

      This is why some people think you are Lion’s alter ego. His Tony Clifton.

      Curle

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • We are two Ashkenazi Jews (Lion’s claims to being Polish notwithstanding), so how far are we removed from each other already? We are messed up in different ways though, so that’s why it looks they way it does.

        Yakov

        April 17, 2018 at EST am

  13. I still think cats are useless, but maybe I haven’t met the right cat.

    toomanymice

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • If they were created, they can’t be useless, obviously.

      Yakov

      April 17, 2018 at EST am

    • If they were created, they can’t be useless, obviously.

      Yakov

      April 17, 2018 at EST am

  14. All of that dog oxytocin is annoying for an adjusted human, imo. Its always been hard for me to grasp how some people can like beings that are that needy. You don’t have to work for it, you don’t have to finesse the relationship to be especially good with the dog in any capacity. You just have to feed it, and be careful that you don’t fall unconscious for any lengthy amount of time around it lest all of that love eats your face. I sometimes like visiting with certain dogs, but “m always relieved to go.

    I admit that sometimes I wish that cats weren’t so delicate. Playing with them is always a measured activity. However, that’s made up for he fact they they aren’t always in my face and they don’t stink up the house the way dogs do. They aren’t as smart as dogs, but they’re smart enough.

    Dorian

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  15. Cats vary a lot in terms of how domesticated they are. The very best ones combine excellent ferocity towards pests with a lot of affection and friendliness towards you and your kids. The worst are useless and unfriendly.

    Jehu

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • Cats vary a lot in how friendly they are to their human owners. Some cats can be almost as needy as a dog, and some cats want nothing to do with humans at all when they aren’t hungry.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • As an aside, I’ve read “semi-domesticated” dogs roam around Moscow. They (or their ancestors) were once fully domesticated but gradually they’re reverting. I can’t recall much of the article, I don’t recall if they were now in packs.

        But people seem to like them. Some even know to ride a subway. This is tolerated.

        There was a massive protest when somebody killed one. Some woman (pretty sure it was woman) paid for a dog statue.

        Cats are only partly domesticated so one couldn’t tell it they were reverting.

        Frau Katze

        April 17, 2018 at EST am

      • There were a few when I was a kid. Kid’s in my neighborhood used to execute them in various ways: hanging, drowning, burning, quartering. They did it to cats too. It was a tough place to be a kid or a cat or dig. Hard to imagine them moving in packs though. I mean, Moscow isn’t Chicago, but who knows. I’m gonna check with my niece.

        Yakov

        April 17, 2018 at EST am

    • I like cats that aren’t so ferocious, as they’re overall less maintenance because they aren’t always getting into things, they seem to scratch less, and they’re less whiny because they’re less bored. I call the exterminator if I have a pest problem. That’ll be luck of the draw, but I like females over males behavior wise.

      Assuming that you get a cat as a kitten, how friendly they are generally has to do with how they’ve been interacted with over a period of years. Even initially antisocial cats can become daily lap cats if you treat them gently and with affection. They’re sensitive and so I’ve found that small differences in interaction matter, even down to where and how you pet them.

      My cat initially hated kids, but she then picked up on he fact that kids are important to the family. I have her trained so that what she wants more than anything is to be a “good cat”. So, she started not running away when they came around. Then she sat there and allowed herself to be petted by them, even though they suck at it. Now she comes out to say hi and observe them when they’re here.

      In all, and aside from the mousing, cat’s are basically reflections of their owners.

      Dorian

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  16. Always wondered what my old cat’s name for me was.

    Robert

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  17. So now it’s cats eating rats? Well, at least we’re off the topic of Indian B.O.

    maryk

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  18. I love cats and dogs though I currently own neither. However, I find the excessive fawning over pets nauseating. One woman once told me she’d turn down a better job if it meant giving up her companion. At some point, I think there is too much emotional investment in an animal. Does anyone know if this is a legitimate psychological problem?

    Ivanthegrozny

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • It’s something akin to (but presumably worse than) uxoriousness.

      Anthony

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • I get it. I don’t think its a legit psychological problem, but it can border on unusual human behavior. How I approach it is that in spite of really, really liking my cat I don’t anthropomorphize her like many are willing to do. I try to see animals, even pets, and their life cycles like a farmer would. They are lesser, albeit exceedingly sweet creatures.

      Dorian

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • You’re no longer permitted your own tribe, why not anthromorohize pets?

      Your job in life as an American is to make the gangsters wealthier. Animals are less likely to distract from that pursuit compared to babies.

      Curle

      April 17, 2018 at EST am

  19. New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World

    In recent years, many of the country’s conservationists and residents have rallied behind Predator-Free 2050, an extraordinarily ambitious plan to save the country’s birds by eradicating its invasive predators. Native birds of prey will be unharmed, but Predator-Free 2050’s research strategy, which is released today, spells doom for rats, possums, and stoats (a large weasel). They are to die, every last one of them. No country, anywhere in the world, has managed such a task in an area that big. The largest island ever cleared of rats, Australia’s Macquarie Island, is just 50 square miles in size. New Zealand is 2,000 times bigger. But, the country has committed to fulfilling its ecological moonshot within three decades.

    By coincidence, the rise of the Predator-Free 2050 conceit took place alongside the birth of a tool that could help make it a reality—CRISPR, the revolutionary technique that allows scientists to edit genes with precision and ease. In its raw power, some conservationists see a way of achieving impossible-sounding feats like exterminating an island’s rats by spreading genes through the wild population that make it difficult for the animals to reproduce.

    MEH 0910

    April 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • The Canadian province of Alberta is rat free, and it is much larger than New Zealand. Adding possums and stoats to the mix shouldn’t be too hard.

      Half Canadian

      April 16, 2018 at EST pm

  20. Like the bumper sticker says, the better I get to know people, the more I prefer dogs. Proportionally, the number of dogs that are shitheads is far fewer than humans.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    April 17, 2018 at EST am

  21. Domestic cats are low maintenance and make less noise. They also clean themselves and use a litter box. Dogs require more work and only small wildcats would be equivalent to dogs when it comes to care. Even they require less care than dogs if given their space.

    Besides the roaring big cats, small wildcats are quite fascinating. They have evolved to live in every climate and environment, which has produced so many mind boggling species with all kinds of features.

    Just remember some of their names.

    JS

    April 17, 2018 at EST am

    • Interesting cats.

      Yakov

      April 17, 2018 at EST am

  22. I can’t find it now, but an economist crunched the numbers and cats have historically contributed more to a country’s economy than dogs (mostly because of pest control, I believe).

    Vince

    April 17, 2018 at EST am

    • You couldn’t possibly measure “number of wolves, foxes, possums, raccoons, and human thieves scared away because the dog barked”. This is like a defensive gun use in which nobody was shot – it doesn’t “register” in the statistics but it still happened.

      Tarl

      April 17, 2018 at EST am

    • Let’s see the numbers?

      Yakov

      April 17, 2018 at EST pm

  23. Animal lovers are Nazis. They care about animals more than they care about people. There are piygmeys in the forest that need help, but they would spend thousands on a stupid cat or iguana or a monkey, but not on a pygmy.

    Yakov

    April 17, 2018 at EST am

    • Feline privilege is real.

      Dorian

      April 17, 2018 at EST pm

    • It is a lot less complicated to help cats and dogs than to help people. If there is a homeless dog hanging around your house and you invite it in and feed it, it will reward you with love and loyalty. If you do the same with a man he might rape and or kill you then steal all your stuff.

      Rosenmops

      April 18, 2018 at EST pm

      • Cats and dogs will eat you as soon as you’re helpless to stop them. The difference between them and man is that they’re much smaller and weaker, and thus can’t easily exert their wills over us. But in terms of instinct and inclination, they’re probably worse than the average man. They may be cute and cuddly, but they’re basically sociopaths:

        https://www.buzzfeed.com/natashaumer/cats-eat-your-face-after-you-die

        “Yes, your pets will eat you when you die, and perhaps a bit sooner than is comfortable. They tend to go for the neck, face, and any exposed areas first, and then, if not discovered in time, they may proceed to eat the rest of you,” Rando told BuzzFeed over email.
        And what she revealed about their eating habits was morbidly fascinating. Here’s what we learned:
        Your dog just might try to eat you while you’re passed out and drunk.

        Rando mentions a sordid case that was analyzed in a 1994 study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology.

        The case involves a middle-aged woman who got too drunk and passed out. Her dog, a red setter, had started biting her face while she was unconscious. She later died, but the dog couldn’t even wait a whole day to munch on his owner — and started chewing on her face within 16 hours of the woman last being seen alive.
        In case you’re wondering…

        “Why would ‘Fluffy’ want to eat me after my death? In many cases, the simple answer is instinct,” Rando said.

        Tom

        April 18, 2018 at EST pm

  24. Don’t make me laugh now. What’s easier to pay $250 to keep a girl in school for year in Kabul or to spend $3,000 to transport a stray dog from that city for adoption in Canada or USA? I’m telling you these animal lovers are Nazis.

    http://www.puppyrescuemission.com/about-prm/history/

    Yakov

    April 18, 2018 at EST pm


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