The choice between adopting a cat or dog is in your DNA as much as it is influenced by experience

Owning cats and dogs is in the DNA
Owning cats and dogs is in the DNA. Photo in public domain.
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The choice between adopting a cat or dog is in your DNA as much as it is influenced by experience



A research project involved 35,000 pairs of twins in Sweden. The objective was to find out what makes people dog or cat people. The project was about dogs but I have included cats because the same rules must apply.

There are two influences on your personality traits which also apply the whether you like dogs or cats, or, in my opinion, any other companion animal. These are either inherited traits or personality characteristics which have been picked up through experience i.e. influences from the environment as you grow up.

The researchers came to the conclusion that genetics and environment play almost equal roles in determining dog ownership (and cat ownership).

I’m surprised that the professor who ran the project was himself surprised to discover that a person’s genetic make-up was a significant influence on whether he or she liked dogs or not. I would have thought that this would be an expected result.

Professor Tove Fall of Uppsala University in Sweden, said:

“I have a dog and I thought it was my own choice. Now I see that my jeans might have played a large part.”

He also made the observation that some people have a strong predisposition towards a desire to look after a dog (to that I will add, ‘cat’). He argues that they must be allowed to express this desire.

His findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports. An interesting side topic also developed. This is whether dog domestication affected human DNA. Prof Fall believes that dog ownership might have influenced human DNA because those families who domesticated the wolf may have had a bigger influence on human evolution and therefore their genes are carried forward more than the genes of those people who were not involved in dog domestication.

Source: Times newspaper.

1 thought on “The choice between adopting a cat or dog is in your DNA as much as it is influenced by experience”

  1. Quote: “The researchers came to the conclusion that genetics and environment play almost equal roles in determining dog ownership (and cat ownership).”

    I am not in agreeance with the researchers’ conclusion. I grew up in a family that always had a dog. Yet ever since I can remember, I was totally drawn to cats. My father was vehement in his refusal of allowing me to adopt a kitty.

    My passion and love for cats has never waned. Feline attraction and preference IS encoded in my genes, the same as my eye color and other personal attributes. I believe this to be 95 to 100% absolutely in my DNA, with very little environmental influence. πŸ˜ΌπŸ˜»πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ—οΈπŸΎ

    Reply

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