13 thoughts on “Which is more fierce, cats or dogs?

  1. Actually both vids bother me. First, I know next to nothing about alligators, but to me it seems that on a different day, on different mood/feed status of the gator the cat would have become a really quick lunch. I think it was irresponsible for the people to allow this play to go on – but I admit that perhaps they and/or the cat knew better.
    The next one was worse as I know something about dogs. What on Earth was the shithead thinking – dogs are not toys and this kind of prank can leave a very deep mark on his mind, just sickening. And then the idiot puts the vid on display, as if it was funny.

  2. I agree that the second video was cruelty. That poor dog.
    The cat video was hilarious, but I was really worried about those boys so close, especially the one at the boat. I suppose those gators weren’t hungry.
    The cat was amazing.

    On fierceness: I just got a foster dog (yesterday) and he’s obsessed with our pet rat. He hangs out at the cage but the rat doesn’t cower, she comes right to him and would bite him if she could get her teeth through the wire (of course the dog would probably eat the rat first). I’m not leaving the dog alone near the cage-not yet.

  3. “Actually both vids bother me.”

    I was shocked by both, but I’m hoping that the first shows a situation that evolved ‘naturally’ and that is more or less under controll. Many populations of gators really are fish-only eaters, or so I’m told, while crocs more often pick off birds and mammals. I would love to know the story here. The second video is mere dog abuse.

    By the way, one of the key reptile/mammal differences is that mammal muscles (and neuromuscular systems) are very very fast compared to reptiles. No matter how quickly the snake may strike the wary mongoose is faster. Thus, snakes eat only non-wary mongeese and these cats probably will always get away (unless there are two gators and the cat does not see the second one?)

    Lynn, you should read about the rat in the can effect!

  4. I guess you must be right about the cat and the alligator thing. Actually the people in the vid seem to be quite relaxed about the situation also considering the children – so it seems that they indeed were accustomed to gators and probably could estimate the danger better than me.

  5. Alligators are ambush predators. Living in Florida we get a regular stream of stories about people taking their dog for a walk down by the canal or pond and Fluffy suddenly taking up SCUBA, without all the equipment. It’s usually a dog in the story, mostly because cats don’t get walked on a leash so there are fewer witnesses when they get invited to lunch.

    It also has to be noted that a twilight jog around the lake can get interesting if you step on a large gator in the dark. General advice … keep running. Stepping on an alligator tends to increase the benefit of any run by temporarily boosting cardiac output and enthusiasm.

    South Florida is also looking at an increasing population of Burmese pythons. Some areas are reporting far fewer stray cats around.

    And then there are the mosquitoes …

  6. Experiment: Put all your rats in the same exact cages, give them the same food, yadayada. For half the rats, have undegraduate volunteers come in and take a rat out of the cage and cuddle, speak in soft terms, pet and stroke (the rat). The other rats, you never interact with beyond minimal necessary.

    Text condition: Put rats in habituation chamber. This is a checkerboard in a square with high walls. Rats go in one at a time for 10 minutes, and you record which square the rat is in every 30 seconds (or whatever)

    Observation: The Ignored Rats spend almost every moment of their time in the squares along the outside of the chamber, hugging the walls. The coddled and stroked rats spend some time on the outer edge but much of their time in the middle squares, standing on hind limbs looking around, or just sitting there.

    Conclusion: Rats that are coddled and cuddled and stroked are better socialized than rats that are ignored.

    Correct conclusion: (perhaps) rats that are cuddled and stroked by humans, which rats are nomrally afraid of, become so stressed out that their steroid hormone systems develop an untenability high baseline and they can no longer experience normal rat anxiety or fear.

    Second experiment to test alternate hypothesis: Same exact procedure as first experiment, but instead of cuddloing, coddling, and stroking the undergrad does nothing other than placing the rat in an empty coffee, can, putting the lid on the can, and shaking the can around a few times, and putting the rat back in the cage.

    Result: The can-shook rats act just like the coddled, cuddled, stroked rats.

    Your rat can be totally laissez faire in the face of its main natural enemy (your cat) because it has spent so much time in the company of a giant and horrific two-legged ogre (you).

    No offense of course.

  7. Was that really done–the shaking part I mean?

    I wouldn’t be surprised by the results. Our domesticated animals all tend to lose their natural anxiety and fear. But if they’ve simply been desensitized by the big ogres it’s more than that.

    I still think my rat is fierce, but this dog is driving me crazy. He’s a hound and it’s in his nature, but his obsession means he’s to stay close to me, or in his crate when he bugs the rat. Herbie’s just a foster dog and should get a new home soon. This (and the fact he’s a hound) is his only fault. Any readers in NC want a dog?

  8. Lynn, yes, that was real research. I think the shaking was not especially harmful to the rats.

    Slicing them up to look at their hypothalamus later may have been slightly fatal, assuming something like that was done.

  9. Recently moved to FL from the northeast and easy to recognize teh common simplemindedness of the local yokels that exosed not only the cats, but the little redneck spawn to such danger. What a dump. Perhaps the cat was giving the local snaggletoothed bumpkins a break from class.

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