Why Most Dogs Love Water, But Cats Hate It
Cats are pretty incredible animals. They're cute and clever and seemingly fearless, but we all know one thing that's likely to make them uneasy: water.
While some animals love to go for a swim, cats are generally not one of them. Though not all cats despise the water (Maine Coons are known to enjoy it), the average domestic kitty would probably prefer that you didn't try to stick her in the bathtub. Kelley Bollen, an animal behavior consultant and the former director of behavior programs for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, told Life Little's Mysteries why.
"One contributing factor could be that their hair coat doesn't dry quickly and it's simply uncomfortable to be soaking wet," Bollen said.
Bollen also pointed to felines' quirky personalities as another contributing factor to their displeasure with swimming.
"[B]ecause cats are control freaks and like four feet on a solid surface, they do not appreciate the sensation of floating in the water," she said.
But why do dogs not have that same fear? Well, according to Bollen, some of them—including the Portuguese Water Dog, the Duck Tolling Retriever, and the Irish Water Spaniel—are specifically bred to work in the water. And even outside of genetic factors, dogs are also more likely to be introduced to water in a more pleasant manner from an early age than cats are.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
Subscribe to our Newsletter!SIGN UP NOW
Just like with baby names, a number of dog names spike in popularity each year, as many of them are pop culture-inspired. And this year was no exception, with popular movie franchises playing a big role in the names we picked for our pooches.
According to data collected by Banfield Pet Hospital, the world's largest veterinary practice, which mined the records of more than 2.5 million of its pupper patients, the Marvel movies were super influential in 2018. Black Panther-inspired names such as Nakia, Okoye, and Shuri have quadrupled in popularity in the past year, while Avengers: Infinity War led to 66 percent more cats and 37 percent more dogs being named Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy created a 30 percent increase in dogs being named Star Lord.
This year's Solo: A Star Wars Story also saw a lot of cats be christened Han Solo, while Lando became a popular moniker for dogs and cats alike (up 15 percent from last year for canines).
It even seems as if pet owners have taken a side in the Cardi B and Nicki Minaj feud, as Banfield found there was six times more cats and three times more dogs with the name Cardi B in 2018 versus 2017.
However, the top 10 names of 2018 didn't include any of these movie or celebrity names, but instead are pretty sensible ones! Banfield's list of the top 10 most popular dog names for 2018 are as follows:
Fabian van den Berg:
There are a few ideas about why humans experience ticklishness and there are also two kinds of tickling. One of them is a defense mechanism or warning sign that something moving is on you. Think parasites on your skin or ... no, don’t think about that. The fancy name for that is knismesis. This is the kind of tickling you feel when something soft brushes up against you. Usually, this type of tickling doesn’t make you laugh; It tends to give you goosebumps, and feel a bit uncomfortable.
Another aspect of tickling has to do with the specific spots that are ticklish. The fancy name for this one is gargalesis. This kind of tickling is more intense and leads to uncontrolled laughter. Gargalesis isn’t as straightforward as knismesis, and most likely serves some kind of social aspect and helps us bond.
There are specific spots that are ticklish in this latter way, and those are important for parents and children to form bonds. When we grow up those same spots are also erogenous zones, which help with mating, another social activity we engage in.
That these spots are also vulnerable areas on our bodies is probably no coincidence. Some experts think there is an aspect of tickling behavior meant to teach youngsters to protect their most vulnerable areas.
But other animals tickle, too. Our close cousin the chimpanzee tickles during play, though they make more of a panting, out-of-breath sound when they are laughing. They enjoy it, which they show by not leaving you alone afterward because they want you to keep going.
Elephants can be tickled as well, but my favorite is the rat.
There was a study where it was someone’s job to tickle rats (that must look amazing on your resume). The researchers in question were like, "Come tickle rats with me." Fun aside, this was serious research. It was known that rats make specific high-frequency noises when they play or have sex, noises of enjoyment (kind of like laughing). When they tickled the rats they made the same noises, indicating that the rats were enjoying being tickled, similar to the way humans do. It activates brain areas and pathways that also light up when humans experience joy (at least, the areas analogous to ours).
But a note must be made here: We are often quick to ascribe human emotions to animals, which can be dangerous. Animals like chimps and rats seem to enjoy tickling, so there’s reason to think they experience it in a positive way. But not all animals are like that—so experts aren't 100 percent sure they really like being tickled all that much. (Unfortunately, we can’t ask them.)
A tragic example of misinterpretation is the slow loris. These critters can be tickled, but they don’t like it. What humans interpret as enjoyment is actually fear, making the playful behavior in humans or primates literal torture for this cute-looking animal.
Tickling likely serves as a warning signal and training to protect ourselves. It has a secondary feature in humans, other primates, and rats it seems: to facilitate social bonding. But be careful who you tickle—not all animals experience the same enjoyment (some humans don’t like it either).
This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.