Cats and Dogs Myths that Just Explained Scientifically

There are some myths about cats and dogs, that have existed for more than one millennium (more than 1000 years) ago. Some of them told us to stay away from dogs (even avoid contact with them). Therefore, we could love cats as a substitute. However, some of us will say that dogs are also cute just like cats. Then why?

This article will provide you with the latest information about cats and dogs, to reveal those myths.

Cats and Dogs

The cats and dogs are popular pets in this world. Hence, there are lots of people interacting with them every day. There is some research found that interacting with an animal could have a positive impact to our health and happiness. However, other researchers have found the opposite, which doesn’t have any impact. It could be worse in some cases than that of non–pet owners. (Herzog. 2011).

The Dogs

Two dogs sitting in the big stone
Two dogs sitting in the big stone [2]

Myths:

  • Stay away from dogs, and avoid touching it
  • If the dog licks somethings, please rinse it immediately seven times, the first time with soil.

Fact and Explanation:

The not very recent research about the dog, conducted by D.N. Baxter (1984), found that dogs instinctively pollute the surrounding environment. They sometimes compete with humans for foods. Besides, there are three main dogs problems which are identified, which are: the spread of toxocariasis by canine excreta; the effects of dog’s barking on the quality of life; and the fact that in the prosperous society, dogs often consume more nutritious foods than humans elsewhere, while sometimes some cats owners behave similarly.

Canine excreta

Generally, Female and male dogs instinctively investigate, and mark ‘their ground’ with their urine and/or feces (Baxter, 1984). Therefore, there are some risks to public health from a large number of canine excreta (dog feces) on the streets of urban areas that may be a concern. It contains many pathogenic microorganisms that are dangerous to humans. Even more, these pathogenic microorganisms could resistant to several classes of antibiotics. One of the research found that these microorganisms contain an average of E. faecium (61.6%), E. gallinarum (23.3%) and E. casseliflavus (5.5%). In summary, these strains were resistant to clindamycin (86.3%), tetracycline (65.7%), erythromycin (60.27%) and ampicillin (47.9%). Also, high-level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR) was found in 65.7% of this microorganisms. Furthermore, resistance to three or more antibiotics and six or more antibiotics were observed in 67.12% and 38.4%, respectively. (Cinquepalmi, et al. 2013)

Welfare problems

Some breeds of the dog suffering from welfare problems. It not only because they have extreme characteristics. But also, the presence of high levels of inherited diseases. Nevertheless, the popularity and population of such breeds are not declining. It caused many dog owners experience different health problem with their dog. Therefore, these issues sometimes requiring veterinary care or other professional assistance. Even more, the research found that many of the owners of French Bulldogs often have experiences with health and behavior problems with their dogs. (Sandøe, et al. 2017)

Dog’s saliva

In addition, the dog’s mouth is contained C. canimorsus. Hence, most of the population is in contact with this pathogen. Even more, It just needs a simple lick to transmit the disease, but this disease is very rare. This due to the patient’s immune status. However, around half of them get hearts damage or splenectomy. Moreover, half of them do not suffer any known medical history. (Renzi, et al. 2015)

Accordingly, did soil has any relationship with this? In general, Yes it did. Today antibiotics are believed to fight against many types of bacterial disease. However, these bacterial is start growing resistance to the drugs. Hence, it is going to be a major problem. The research found that recently there is a promising antibiotic, most importantly, that extracted from soil. In other words, this is the powers of soil microorganisms. This antibiotic is called teixobactin. As a result of using animal tests, it proved to be effective at killing a wide variety of disease caused by bacteria. Furthermore, it also proved to kill even those that already have developed immunity to other drugs. (Brian. 2015). Accordingly, there is some benefit microorganism in soil, that can kill the pathogenic microorganisms from the dog’s saliva, before they can harm any humans.

Dog’s Barking

Furthermore, any excessive noise more than 85 dB, could create any disturbance to the peace, comfort or convenience. Even more, it can also create a health hazard. A dog can barks at an average 120 dB and 500Hz, while human ear can be damaged if heard a sound above 85 dB. Therefore, any human could be stressed and loss of sleep because of a continually barking dog. (Keokuk Animal Control, 2015)

Dog’s foods

Lastly, the research shows that dog owners prefer more to dog food brands than human food brands. Therefore, they likely to be more sensitive about the price of human food than the price of dog food. Furthermore, the survey from the research also found that dog owners care more about buying healthy dog food than buying healthy human food. (Tesfom and Birch, 2010). Hence, it is unnatural that human dignity is less noticeable than dogs. Besides, there is some suggestion that the resources put into the production of pets food, can be diverted to feed some of the most hungry and malnourished people.

The Cats

cat sleeping
The sleeping cat [3]

Myths:

  • We are free to live with cats but we must treat cats well, providing the cat with enough water and food, and giving “roaming time”

Fact and Explanation:

While dogs bury their bones, cats bury their poop. Hiding their waste is a natural cat’s instinct because they are obsessed with cleanliness.

Cleanliness

The cat is one of the cleanest animals in the world. This due to the cats spend around 24% of their awake time to clean themselves. Also, cats spend around 14 hours a day to sleep. Cats maintain their fur to avoid debris, fleas, and some excess heat. They use their tongue that is covered in sharp, rear-facing spines called papillae. This papillae only contain about 5% of the overall saliva volume. Also, the cat’s saliva contains enzymes that can dissolve blood and other contaminants. Moreover, as the saliva evaporates, it directly cools the skin. Hence, the body of the cats will be clean every day. (Noel and Hu, 2018). The cat’s saliva is harmless, unless the cat has “visible impurities” in their mouth.

Cat’s purr

Sound healing is one of the oldest forms of healing known to human (Heather. 2007). Therefore, we are now realizing how powerful sound can be when used for healing which is used in many early Islamic hospitals as a healing process. The recent study discovered the healing effect of the “cat’s purr“, which is the fundamental, dominant, or strong frequencies at exactly 25 Hz and 50 Hz. In fact, both frequencies are the best at promoting bone growth/fracture healing. Furthermore, cats have a strong harmonic around 2 Hz to 100 Hz. It is a frequency that commonly used as therapeutically for pain, edema, wounds, and dyspnea. That internal healing mechanism has many advantageous, such as: reducing recovery time, and keep muscles and bone strength while not moving. (Muggenthaler, 2001)

Cats and/or Dogs Allergies

Sometimes, some of us may get some pet allergy symptoms, such as Sneezing; Runny or stuffy nose; Facial pain (from nasal congestion); Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing; Watery, red or itchy eyes; or, Skin rash or hives.

You might have a cat allergy if you feel having any symptoms while the cat is nearby, even if a cat is not present. Cats could produce multiple “allergens” or proteins which could cause allergy to human. It often found on the cat’s fur, skin, and in saliva. However, the longer time a cat spends indoors is not related to the level of allergen. Dust and pollen that sticking in a cat’s body can also cause allergy symptoms. In this case, the allergy is not caused by the cat, but the dust or pollen.

Sometime, we might have a dog allergy, if we feel having any symptoms while the dog is nearby. Just like cats, dogs also produce multiple allergens. These allergens often found in the dog dander, hair, saliva, and even their urine. Unlike the cats, the dog’s allergen level will increase when the dog lives indoors. Even more, the allergen levels will increase in the rooms where a dog is staying. Dust and pollen in a dog’s coat can also cause allergy symptoms. In those cases, the allergy is to dust or pollen, not to the dog.

Conclusion

The myth here doesn’t force you to follow it. But behind that, there is important information that can help maintain your health. If you need pets, and you have a choice to choose dogs or cats, it may better to switch on using the cats as your pet. But you should be sure, and take into account whether you or your family has allergies to pets.

References:

Baxter, D.N.1984. The deleterious effects of dogs on human health: 3. Miscellaneous problems and a control programme. Journal of Public Health, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 198–203. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.pubmed.a043712.

Cinquepalmi, Vittoria; Monno, Rosa; Fumarola, Luciana; et al. 2013. Environmental Contamination by Dog’s Faeces: A Public Health Problem?. Int J Environ Res Public Health 10(1). pp 72–84. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10010072.

Handwerk, Brian. 2015. A New Antibiotic Found in Dirt Can Kill Drug-Resistant Bacteria. Online. Accessed March 7th, 2019.

Heather, Simon. 2007. What is sound healing?. The International Journal of Healing and Caring 7(3). Library of Concordia University.

Herzog, Harold. 2011. The Impact of Pets on Human Health and Psychological Well-Being: Fact, Fiction, or Hypothesis?. Current Directions in Psychological Science 20 (4). pp 236–239. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721411415220.

Keokuk Animal Control. 2015. Barking Brochure. Online. Accessed March 7th, 2019. City of Keokuk.

Muggenthaler, Elizabeth von. 2001. The felid purr: A healing mechanism?. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 110(5). https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4777098.

Noel, Alexis C.; and Hu, David L. 2018. Cats use hollow papillae to wick saliva into fur. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(49). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1809544115.

Renzi, Francesco; Dol, Melanie; Raymackers, Alice; Manfredi, Pablo; and Cornelis, Guy Richard. 2015. Only a subset of C. canimorsus strains is dangerous for humans. Emerging Microbes & Infections volume 4, page e48. https://doi.org/10.1038/emi.2015.48.

Sandøe, P.; Kondrup, S. V.; Bennett, P. C.; et al. 2017. Why do people buy dogs with potential welfare problems related to extreme conformation and inherited disease? A representative study of Danish owners of four small dog breeds. PLoS ONE 12(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172091.

Tesfom, Goitom; Birch, Nancy. 2010. Do they buy for their dogs the way they buy for themselves?. Psychology & Marketing 27(9). pp 898–912. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.20364.

Image Source:

[1] Cover Image from wallpapercave

[2] Dogs Image from pxhere

[3] Cat Image from pxhere

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Written by Philip Faster

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