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Study: Dogs Communicate Distress To Humans Better Than Cats

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AARHUS, Denmark — A whimpering dog begging for table scraps or a content cat purring away are familiar scenes for pet owners, and most of the time they know exactly what their pets are trying to tell them. The bond between human and pet is a strong one, and now a new study conducted in Denmark concludes that pet owners develop a special sensitivity to all dogs’ and cats’ whines, whimpers, barks, and meows. 

According to the study, based out of Aarhus University, dogs are more effective at conveying distress and negative emotion in their sounds than cats. Furthermore, dog and cat owners even rated the sound of a whimpering dog to be just as sad or emotionally compelling as a crying human baby.