The Abstract Podcast

Pet science: The truth about cats and dogs

In this episode, we discuss what science has to say about our relationship with our pets.

Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

For centuries, dogs and cats have reigned as the most popular pets in the animal kingdom.

The close relationship with our furry roommates has long provided scientists with key insights into humankind.

Science finally explained why dogs look like their owners and why your cat thinks you're an overgrown primate prone to emotional outbursts.

Whether it’s the inner workings of your dog’s brain or potentially lifesaving info about your cat you didn't know you needed, the latest scientific research is illuminating our relationship with our pets and the ways that dynamic influences life far beyond the dog park.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss what science has to say about our relationship with our pets.

Our first story looks at how the latest trends on TikTok help researchers determine how much dogs really understand when humans speak. While it remains unclear exactly how much they’re perceiving, the latest scientific studies suggest dogs pick up more than previously thought.

Our second story is about the cat owners across the globe who are picking up a brain parasite without ever knowing. While one of the most common parasites on Earth is likely living in your pet’s litter box, these findings go far beyond cat lovers, with science inching closer to understanding why most of these infections never make you sick.

Read the original Inverse stories:

Where to find us:

Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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