Resolved: Atheists Are More Cat People Than Dog People

Having co-habited with many cats over the years, I've found them to be free-thinking and inquisitive, like atheists. Dogs seem to be more accepting, more willing to go along. I think this accounts for the fact that atheists tend to favor cats over dogs. (I'm not saying atheists hate dogs--just that we're better attuned to cats.) Comments?

Tags: atheists, cats, dogs, pets

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Heh. What rules does Fingus have for you?
after any nap over 30 minutes in length, wake up petting of at least 10 minutes is required
on waking up (moi) after bathroom and coffee pot on, 2TBLs canned prior to pouring coffee
if it walks on 2 legs I'll handle it, on 4 she gets first shot at them
any petting/feeding of other animals requires twice as much for Fingus
more than 2 hours of computer requires petting on the lap, then she gets to open a drawer and relax in it
if its raining I have to walk around the house and prove that its raining outside of every door and window to make sure theres not a sunny door somewhere
no matter how cold it gets the bedroom window must be opened 4" so IF she Wants to go out she can
This all sounds very sensible.
I enjoy cats but I prefer a dog as a companion animal. Dogs are generally more social than cats and you can probably have a more interactive relationship with a dog. There are going to be exceptions, of course.

People are complaining about dogs being too needy -- "draining" is the word someone used. That's a sign of a dog that is not well-socialized, a dog that is unsure of where it stands in the relationship. That "neediness" is often an attempt to become dominant in the relationship. (Hint: watch "The Dog Whisperer")
I used to be more of a cat person. Any more I think that I enjoy both pretty much equally. The dog and the cat I have now seem to approach me for just about as much attention. The dog tends to get a little more seeing as she needs to go on walks. They're both affectionate, both get excited when I come home, and, as far as laying around the house goes, have about the same sort of energy level.

I can't tell you how many times I've looked up from what I'm doing to see both of them staring at me.
I agree with you completely. I'm sure there are exceptions, but in my experience most atheists (and independent, freethinking people in general) tend to live with cats, or cats and dogs, but rarely just dogs. I've also found that conservatives I know (who tend to be strongly theistic, almost always followers of one of the big three monotheistic religions) tend to strongly favor dogs. These folks usually like to exert control over others, notably their wives or girlfriends, and dogs fit perfectly into this scheme. A well trained dog usually does exactly what you tell him, treating his master like a god, whereas a well trained cat is one who sometimes comes when called, usually doesn't sharpen her claws on your furniture, and prefers that you treat her like a god. A dog is a relatively pure giver of love, even if mistreated, and just wants to be loved. A cat demands to be treated with respect and to form a good relationship with her, you must usually give more than you take. A dog wants a master to lead him. A cat will let you serve as a parent, but never a master.

Hopefully I haven't offended anyone by my depiction of conservatives. There are always exceptions and I know there are conservative atheists and conservatives who treat animals as having their own reasons to exist. But for the most part, conservatives and theists tend to see things hierarchically with their god at the top, them right below, and everything else well below them. This fits in perfectly with the needs of dogs. Liberals and atheists tend to see the world in a more egalitarian light, with each being existing for their own reasons and not put there to serve man. This fits in perfectly with the independent nature of cats.

For the record, we currently have three cats living with us, two adopted from nature and one from a rescue group. Cats are my first love but I am an activist for all animals, grew up with cats and dogs, and would love to have one or two dogs if only we didn't live in a townhouse.
Sounds like you need a small farm!
I wish! You're right on target with my desires though.

Where I live, I'm about 10 minutes from work, but property values are insane. I'd love to get 5 or more acres, but the land would cost at least a million dollars within about 20 miles of here.

My children love to discuss what we'd do with a million plus dollars. One of our frequent discussions is what we'd do if we suddenly became very wealthy: I'd go back to working part-time for various charities and we'd move with a few like minded friends to a hundred acres or so in the country and start an animal sanctuary for cats, dogs, and any other animals we could accommodate.
We were lucky enough to find a house and a few affordable acres within walking distance of the cohabi-tater's work which, unless you're farming, is often a rarity in rural areas. That was a lot easier than finding like-minded friends to live with.

Hopefully someday you'll get to live your dream.
If,as I suspect,you're taking the piss,I apologise for what follows:


A rather fatuous non sequitor. An atheist is a person who does not believe in god(s) period, NOTHING else implied or may be inferred.

There seems to be a correlation between atheism and some occupations such as scientists. However, I've seen no causal link between atheism and intellect or indeed to with any superior mental qualities.

I like cats,but prefer dogs. Currently I have two dogs,no cats.There is no place to keep a cat. I've always considered it irresponsible to allow cats to roam.Here cats at large kill native birds and small fauna.(feral cats have made some small species almost extinct)

The apparent need of some atheist to try to demonstrate superiority over believers is human,but probably impossible. In part, I guess because it's been observed that getting even a small bunch of atheist to agree on ANYTHING is (ahem) "like herding cats".

I do not sees any kind of superior/inferior dichotomy between cats and dogs. I see two very smart species, each one having evolved in in ways best suited to its survival. One survival trait they share is having formed a symbiotic relationship with humans.
Good post, Tarquin St John Sh'gn'sty.

I have read that it is thought that humans chose to domesticate dogs but cats chose to become domesticated (sort of domesticated, anyway) by humans. Both are endearing and I was a cat person for most of my life -- and I still like felines -- but I've come to prefer dogs in the last nine years.

Nine years ago, the stepson decided that he wanted a pug. If ever there was a dog designed for helping a cat person become a dog person, it is the pug. They're wilful and stubborn, like cats. They're far less eager to please than most dogs.

Most dog breeds were bred for work. Legend has it that a barking pug warned a Chinese king of an approaching army. Forewarned, the king was able to defeat his enemy and, so, decreed that pugs would occupy a place of privilege in the royal court. Whether or not that is true, the origin of the pug is that of a lap dog in the ancient empirical courts of China. It didn't have to work -- it had to be cute (in a "so ugly it's cute" sort of way) and it had to enjoy lots of attention.

That reminds me somewhat of the old quip that the ancient Egyptians considered cats to be gods and the cats have never forgotten it.

I'm the one who has put the most time into trying to train our pug, so I'm the one to whom he is most likely to listen -- I'm the one with whom he's developed the strongest relationship. Someone else can repeatedly command him to sit and he'll look at them, look the other way, and remain standing. I'll gently say the word, "sit", and he sits right down, looking at me expectantly. How can I not be moved by such attentiveness and loyalty?

Of course, cats can be trained, too, to a certain extent. I used to have a tomcat who loved attention, loved to play, and thought it was great fun to bite and scratch my hands. I decided that this had to change. So, every time he caused me even a little bit of pain, I yelled "Ow!" Pretty soon, he figured out how to play and roughhouse with me without breaking my skin.
It's so true. They don't want to hurt their people. They just need some feed back as to what their people are experiencing, the non-metaphorical kind!

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