It’s true! Science, that most unimpeachable and magical of intellectual disciplines, says so, and a new book from British anthrozoologist John Bradshaw called Cat Sense explains precisely why dogs make better pets than cats: dogs actually get people, whereas cats, for all their purring and biscuit-making, don’t give a fuck about people. They’re cold, calculating predators with visions of offal and bloody meat bits dancing through their heads.
Bradshaw, on the promotional circuit for his new book, told NBC News that people like cats for their characteristic aloofness and inscrutability. That’s why they make such great internet videos. Ooooo, what is that cat thinking as it crawls into that Hewlett Packard box? I bet that cat is trying to type on the keyboard because it thinks it’s people! Wrong. Cats aren’t thinking about anything but meat, which is what makes them so hard to read; we’ve plopped them into environments for which they are ill-suited, i.e. environments without prey.
Their [cats’] ability to be social ... is only a few thousand years old. The cat's domestication is incomplete, in terms of its need to continue hunting and also in terms of its ability to socialize. One of the consequences of that is it has a rather unexpressive face.
In other words, cats, unlike dogs, haven’t been domesticated to the point where they can pick up on our social cues. Bradshaw’s previous book, Dog Sense, explained how dogs have co-evolved with humans for tens of thousands of years, which is why they can read our facial expressions and body language so well. They’re more sociable, to the point that they’ve even adapted to happily eating whatever the fuck we drop on the floor. Cats, conversely, are biologically incapable of becoming exclusive vegetarians. Also, since cats can’t taste sweets, they’re pretty much certified evil, a gift of domestic pest control from the bowels of Hell.
Image via AP, Bob Walker