Commentator Peter Mandel may be knowledgeable about the interaction between cats and humans, but he omits possibly the most important factor in cat psychology ("The Cold War between men and cats," Nov. 4).

As most cat owners can attest, cats feel superior to their owners, while dogs accept their subordinate position.

Cats are the masters, having all their needs provided for with a minimum of reciprocity in terms of affection or obedience. By contrast, dogs are part of a two-way relationship that is protective and attentive to their master's needs.

If we can believe the numbers, it's amazing that a majority of households favor a cat over a dog. Could it be the daily required excursion, notwithstanding the weather, required for dogs, or the pleasant touch of cat's fur that accounts for the difference? Let those who have owned both be the judge.

Nelson Marans, Silver Spring