There is a general agreement amongst us that in a home where there are cat and dog companions, cats can sometimes be treated as second class citizens to the dog who is first class and on a par with the humans. Why is this?
This is my instant answer which is open for criticism and discussion.
The root cause of this difference in attitude towards dogs and cats is the difference in character of these two most popular companions.
People are tribal. People warm to other people who think as they think (conformist) and who actually like them. People like to be part of a group. If a person is an individual and a free thinker he or she will have difficulty in getting on within a corporate environment or any group environment. Such a person is an outsider.
You have to be part of the pack, part of the family and you have to bond closely with people to be treated with respect by the members of the group. This is because people are essentially tribal. We are tribal because we seek comfort and we receive comfort in numbers. A group is more secure than an individual. People in a group, gang or community feel safer.
So, a cat is independent. She does not need to be part of a group. She has the personality of an outsider (if she were a person).
Whereas, the dog is needy. The dog needs to be accepted and be part of a group (a pack). The dog goes to the human and wants to please. This pleases the person. The person feels his dog is part of the family, the group, the tribe. The dog is one of them. By contrast the cat is considered (relatively) as an outsider.
People are frightened of people who are outsiders and free-thinkers because they pose a threat to the group. Therefore the outsider tends to be treated poorly or at least less well than if part of the group.
It is irrational for a person to colour his/her attitude towards the cat because of his underlying insecurities but that is the way it is.
The root cause of this possible discrepancy in people’s attitudes towards dogs and cats is due to the fundamental difference in their character when they were wild animals: the solitary African wildcat also called the Near Eastern wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) and the pack animal: the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus).