Why Do Dogs Show More Affection Than Cats

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Does your cat seem aloof and maybe even unloving? Does your dog show you more affection than your cat? Have you ever wondered why that is? Dogs and cats have two completely different personalities and temperaments. It almost certainly has something to do with biology or their scientific chemistry. Maybe it goes back to their ancestral roots. Whatever the reason is, dogs win as the loveable pets hands down every time. However, it is about time we explore this concept a little deeper and get to the root cause of why dogs show more affection than cats. This is a fascinating topic to get to the bottom of, for sure.

The Root of the Behavior

The debate on which pet is more loveable has been going on for years. Yet, when you come down to it, one of the root reasons behind why dogs show more affection than cats is because of science. There is a hormone mammals release when they feel love or affection for someone called oxytocin. There have been several studies that show both dogs and cats produce this hormone when they come in contact with their owners, however, dogs produce almost five times more of this hormone upon seeing their owner than cats do. This goes to show that dogs really do love their owners and give more affection to them than cats do. The cats had a very small response to their owners, which may play a part in their timidness or aloofness.

Also, dogs are much more social animals than cats are. Dogs originated from their wolf ancestors who lived, worked, and hunted in packs. This social order allowed them to bond with members of their packs. Dogs today see their owner and their owner's families as part of their pack and will bond quicker than cats. This is because cats are more rogue than dogs and prefer to go it alone. Dogs also look to their owners for safety, security, and to have their needs met. Cats do not form these secure attachments. Of course, they rely on us to feed them, but if they were really hungry they would find themselves a mouse or chipmunk to devour. Throughout history, cats have been the better hunters. This is no different than today. With that being said, your dog will continue to greet you at the door, pouncing and licking you to death, while your cat will eventually come to you when she wants to be petted. It is just their nature. As long as neither pet is overly scared of you then just know this is perfectly normal behavior.

Encouraging the Behavior

There is nothing wrong with your dog or cat bonding with you or showing you affection. A great way to encourage this behavior is to spend time with them. Take your dog for a walk in the park, play fetch, cuddle, praise him, and just have fun with your dog. When it comes to your cat, play string games or rub her back. A good bond between a pet and their master benefits both you and your pet.

Dogs need socializing, they actually thrive on it. So do your best to give them the attention they need. Also, think about taking them to dog parks so they can interact with other dogs. Your dog will love you even more for the quality time you spend with him or her. Also keep in mind, in order to keep this great bond between you and your dog, be sure you are meeting your dog's needs such as feeding them appropriately, taking them out to exercise, grooming them, and helping them to have restful sleep. For any pet, when you take care of them, they will reward you tenfold. So, do not get lazy with your responsibilities, especially if you want the best for your beloved pet.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Just because dogs are more affectionate does not mean that cats are not affectionate at all. Cats also produce that hormone oxytocin, but just in smaller amounts. Your cat may not be jumping on you, greeting you at the door, or overly excited to see you. But they do show some affection towards you in subtle ways such as purring, cheek rubbing, sitting next to you, or the tip of their tails will twitch. So do not write your cat off as cold and callous just yet. He or she may have been showing small signs of affection towards you all along. Dogs just wear their hearts on their sleeves more.


You can’t change the science. Dogs are just more adapted to showing affection and there is nothing wrong with that. Cats make awesome pets as well, but they like to be loners. So do not worry about these behaviors. Nature is funny this way. It has given each animal their own characteristics or personality traits. It is like trying to change a zebra’s stripes, you can’t. Just keep loving your animals, that is all that matters.