The people of India, a most interesting country and a great country to visit, prefer dogs to cats. Although I am not completely sure. However, the indication that they do comes from an interesting story in The Indian Express, an online newspaper, about animal rescue in India. In finding homes for unwanted cats and dogs a survey informs us that the people of India believe that a dog is friendlier than a cat. It would also seem that a lot of the people of India feel this way.
The story also tells us that there are animal rescue organisations in India that use foster homes before permanently rehoming dogs and cats. This is along the lines of Cats Protection in the UK. Also, foster homing is very common in the USA too. Elisa, a regular contributor to this website, did lots of it for example. I am pleased to read about how animal rescue works in India. We tend to over-focus on the USA and Europe.
World For All is a rescue organisation based in Mumbai, India. They are a pretty dynamic group of people who deserve masses of praise. They have a nice website too. They are located at: 15A/21 Takshila, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri East, Mumbai 400093. They have a very active Facebook page too where a lot of the action takes place it seems.
They wanted to change what they saw as misconceptions by some people about the domestic cat in order to improve adoption rates. They started a campaign called “Meow Mumbai — the Bombay Cat Project”. They say the current adoption rates are about 1/3rd cats to 2/3rds dogs – of 60 adoptions per month only 20 are cats. In all, World For All have rehomed 1,900 cats despite the obstacle of people preferring dogs.
No one tried to explain why there are these misconceptions. It would be nice to have to information about that. It would seem that a factor in the preference for dogs over cats goes back to the beginning of domestication of both these animals. The dog was first domesticated well before the cat as it was seen as more useful – a utility animal. I wonder if that is still the case in Mumbai, India.
Also, the idea of a dog being more friendly must come from the cat being more independent in nature and not a pack animal. Until people get to know the cat they can seem a bit aloof while dogs look to the “owner” for leadership and directions. This may give the impression that they are more friendly.
As India becomes more westernized (is it becoming more westernised?) I think the people of Mumbai and India generally will see the qualities in the domestic cat that make it a perfect companion animal in the modern world. In the West the cat just about beats the dog in popularity. Their independence and fastidious cleanliness makes them easier to maintain. And they are just as loyal as dogs. And once you understand the cat you’ll see they are just as friendly too.
Original The Indian Express newspaper article.