It’s no surprise that women are statistically more likely than men to own a pet. Women may even be to thank for the way the human/cat and human/dog bond evolved. For this reason, we want to celebrate women’s bond with cats and dogs this Mother’s Day. At Shoreline Happy Paws, we celebrate moms every day!
Cats May Prefer Women
From ancient Egypt to witch trials across the globe, cats have historically been related to women in some way. Cats’ natural attraction toward stereotypically feminine traits has tied them to women for centuries. An object of beauty and elegance or a magical, mystical creature, cats likely perpetuated the “Crazy Cat Lady” trope themselves.
According to Karen McComb, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Sussex, cats cry out to humans similarly to human babies. Their cry prompts humans, particularly women, to respond quickly, as they would to their human offspring. Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna’s Konrad Lorenz Research Station and Department of Behavioral Biology, finds that women interact with their pet cats more than men. Cats therefore approach and initiate contact with their female owners more frequently, she says, leading to more intense connections between women and their feline companions.
Did Women Domesticate Dogs?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, domestication is “the process of adapting someone or the state of being adapted to domestic life.”
Human/canine relationships vary greatly based on history, culture, and geography. Despite the varying details, researchers believe that the dog/human bond was spearheaded by women. Throughout history, the usefulness of dogs has waned with industrialization, climate, and lifestyle changes. Mutually and simultaneously, dog/human dynamics have evolved into what many of us enjoy today.
Washington State University researchers “found that dogs’ relationships with women might have had a greater impact on the dog-human bond than relationships with men.” According to Jaime Chambers, a WSU anthropology Ph.D. student and author of the paper published in the Journal of Ethnobiology, “Humans were more likely to regard dogs as a type of person if the dogs had a special relationship with women. They were more likely to be included in family life, treated as subjects of affection, and generally, people had greater regard for them,” said Chambers in her interview with WSU News.
“Mothering” Them All
It’s no wonder that women were at the forefront of developing bonds with cats and dogs. Women’s instinctual desire to care for and nurture those around us makes us natural caregivers. We give our loved ones our all: our love, our time, our money, our energy, and more. There’s nothing a mom wouldn’t do for those she loves.
To the cat moms, dog moms, moms, soon-to-be-moms, and hopeful moms, we wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day, celebrating the unique gifts you bring to each of your relationships.