(WCMH)–Cats and dogs both make good pets, depending on the owners. But which species loves their owners more?
A new study done by researchers for a BBC documentary measured both dogs and cats for oxytocin, a hormone that simulates pleasure in our brain and helps us bond with our offspring. They found that dogs produce almost five times more of the hormone.
Researchers tested pets for oxytocin levels before and after they saw their owners, TODAY.com reported. Researchers swabbed 10 cats and 10 dogs for saliva, then had them play with their owners for 10 minutes. After, the saliva was tested again.
Oxytocin levels were elevated in both animals, but dogs showed an increase of 57.2 percent of the hormone compared to 12 percent in the cats.
One dog’s hormone went up a whopping 500 percent.
According to People Magazine, Dr. Paul Zak, who examined the results, “was really surprised to discover that dogs produced such high levels of oxytocin.”
He adds, “it was also a nice surprise to discover that cats produce any at all. At least some of the time, cats seem to bond with their owners.”