Myriam Acero Aguilar
Orcid ID:
Universidad Nacional de Colombia


This research paper analyses the social constructs of the contemporary relation with cats and dogs in urban settings. In order to do this, it resorted to an ethnographic study by observing the practices kept by families towards those species in various settings in the city of Bogotá. This is supported by human-animal studies in combination with a social constructionism approach. The main finding is that the integration based on affection of cats and dogs to the so-called multispecies family is imbued of a series of metaphorical meanings, sometimes ambiguous and conflicting, which help explain the complexity and multidimensionality of human-animal relations. The study arrives to the conclusion that people do continuously acknowledge the importance of affection and the social roles performed by these animals. However, a limited and often misguided understanding of the place of animals in their relation to humans is observed. Therefore, acknowledging cats and dogs as individual beings with their own experiences and interests is encouraged.

Keywords: human-animal relation, human-animal studies, anthropozoology, pet, multispecies family.