Revisiting The Scientific Proof That Dogs And Cats Are Capable Of Love

Any good dog owner has known since the beginning of time that man’s best friend is capable of love. Between the joyful wagging of a tail and those slobbery kissy smoochies – who’s a good, wittle kissybear, you are, yes you are! – dogs are nothing but furry balls of faithful happiness. Cats, on the other hand… well, the jury is still out on them, because most cats are selfish jerks that poop in the neighbor’s garden like no one’s watching. (But I am watching, Dave, and I swear to God the next time I catch Mr. Purrfect crapping in my bushes, I’m going to ship him to Abu Dhabi!) Still, cat people strongly believe that their special critters love them, too, so it shouldn’t require a team of researchers to tell us what we already know.

But sure enough, if there’s a discovery to make, someone will make it. In this case, a team from Claremont Graduate University proved last year that dogs and cats are capable of love, and their study is making the viral rounds again. Specifically, our furballs’ cute little brains emit the hormone oxytocin, which the human brain produces in moments of friendship and love, or when a stripper does an amazing job of convincing you that she really doesn’t want to charge you for that lap dance. Perhaps the greatest aspect of this research, though, is that the conclusion was drawn from observing the bond between a dog and goat that like to play together. So, those of us who do nothing but watch animal videos on YouTube all day are basically scientists now. Nobel Prize, please!

For more on why dogs and cats continue to be awesome, anchors Tom Storey and Briana Lane weigh in on today’s episode of The Desk.