cats

A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Biology looked at food choices by dogs and cats [1] when foods were equally palatable, a term we will return to momentarily. 17 beagles and 27 cats were given four bowls of different foods daily and the amounts eaten noted to determine which foods were preferred over a 28 day period. 

  • Cats consume carbohydrates (43%) and protein (30%). When protein was increased, both carbohydrate and fat intake decreased, and cats had more variation in the range of their protein intake. Fat increases had no effect of carbohydrate intake. 
  • Dogs consume fat (41%) and carbohydrate (36%). When protein was increased, fat intake decreased, but unlike cats, carbohydrate intake remained the same. Dogs varied less in their protein intake. Also...

Yes, we know — dogs are warm and friendly and want nothing more than to spend time interacting with their human companions. Cats, on the other hand, have a chillier reputation. Supposedly they're independent, untrainable, and more attached to their homes than the people they share it with.  Well, some recent research suggests that cats have been maligned — they like people more than we (and cat haters in particular) might think.

Dr. Kristyn R. Vitale Shreve from Oregon State University and colleagues assessed the preferences of cats from shelters and of those from households, because, they said, the belief that Felis silvestris catus is not a particularly sociable or trainable animal may be based on "a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most...

shutterstock_162914879 Cat in the driver's seat via Shutterstock

Cats are anathema for some folks — the sight of one gives them the heebie-jeebies, and there's even a medical term for fear of cats — ailurophobia. So they're probably quite willing to believe that, for example, a black cat crossing one's path is a harbinger of bad luck. Recently the news has been replete with warnings that cats (or a parasite they can...