Cats And Dogs - The Hidden Dangers
    By Martin Gardiner | January 18th 2013 07:28 AM | 3 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Martin

    I specialise in beachcombing the scholarly journals and university websites for uncommonly intriguing academic articles by uncommonly intriguing...

    View Martin's Profile
    Can owning a dog or cat be classed as a dangerous activity?

    Judy A. Stevens PhD. and colleagues at The Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, of the US National Center for Injury Prevention and Control have completed their report – Dogs and cats as environmental fall hazards – which is published in the Journal of Safety Research,Volume 41, issue 1, February 2010, Pages 69-73.

    The team estimates that more than 86,000 US residents are injured each year by unfortunate accidental interactions with cats and dogs. Data* collected over a period of six years demonstrated that dogs are more than seven times more likely to cause accidental injuries – and the most common unintentionally damaged human body parts are the arm and hand.

    The most danger-prone pet-related activities are:

    • (concerning dogs) Walking the dog.

    • (concerning cats) Chasing the cat.

    And by far the most dangerous location (for both dog and cat induced injuries) is the home of the pet owner. The J. of S. R. paper is behind a $ 31.50 paywall, but a complementary CDC report on the same subject can be read in full here.

    * Note: 370 cases were excluded [from the dataset] because the fall did not involve a dog or cat, or a pet or pet item was not directly involved in the fall (e.g., “patient jumped off a fence and fell onto a doghouse.”).


    Reminds me of a “Dog Whisperer” incident, where Cesar Millan was called to a home with a dog and a cat (the cat was called Fo-Fo.)  With the battles between those two pets, it was surprising that either the house or the human were still intact.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    As a human member of a seemingly ever-expanding household zoo currently comprised of three dogs, four cats and a horse, I can attest to the trip & fall hazards the wee beasties create. (we are definitely failed fosters and a favorite target for the local animal rescue groups)

    I am surprised that the statistics indicate that dogs are the root cause of more injuries than the cats based on my personal experience. Although our dogs do create some challenges during their walks, our cats seem to have an affinity for following me down the stairs in the middle of the night. Granted, I own some of the fault for not being fully awake during these late night excursions; however our 9 month old, all-black American Shorthair seems to take great joy in going into stealth mode and testing my reactions.

    Jim Myres
    Dogs & Cats Day 986 of the Cat Diary would seem to support this research. Based on the Dog Diary I would suspect thet the dog was not the problem but the owner. – Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary – 8:00 am - Dog food!!! My favorite thing!!! 9:30 am - A car ride!!! My favorite thing!!! 10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted!!! My favorite thing!!! 12 noon - Lunch!!! My favorite thing!!! 1:00 pm - Played in the yard!!! My favorite thing!!! 3:00 pm - Wagged my tail!!! My favorite thing!!! 5:00 pm - Milk Bones!!! My favorite thing!!! 7:00 pm - Got to play ball!!! My favorite thing!!! 8:00 pm - Wow!!! Watched TV with the people!!! My favorite thing!!! 11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed!!! My favorite thing!!! – Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary – Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Day 984 of my captivity. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. Bastards!!! Day 985 of my captivity. There is some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event, however, I could hear the noises an smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage. Day 986 of my captivity. Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again soon – but at the top of the stairs. Day 987 of my captivity. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is reglarly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe for now. Unknown author - from a post sent to me by one of my kids.