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B. . A Special, Comforting Role for Cats

Narrator: This is Science Today. A dog may be man's best friend - but not if that man happens to be sick. That's what researchers at the University of California, Davis found when they asked dozens of male AIDS patients whether they found more comfort from dogs or from cats. According to Dr. Lynette Hart, the study's author, dogs were more demanding and less of a comfort to the ailing men than their feline counterparts.

Hart: Cats were actually the superior pets for these men. And they had closer feelings of warmth and support from their animals, whereas the people with dogs were feeling some level of frustration and almost irritation.

Narrator: The gap between cats and dogs only increased as the men's health failed.

Hart: The relationship with the dog would become even more disrupted, whereas the relationship with the cat would become even much closer and more comforting. So it really points to a very special role for cats with people who are in hospice or are limited in their movements for whatever reason.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.