There are many differences between cats and dogs. Some of the differences are listed below:
- EATING: Cats eat carefully requiring at least several minutes (sometimes longer) to eat; they can be finicky eaters. Senior cats require even more time to eat, tipping their head from side to side while chewing. Cats cannot be fasted; quick weight loss diets can cause life-threatening complications (liver failure, etc).
Dogs devour their food seemingly in a matter of seconds. They can tolerate a lack of food much longer than cats.
- DRINKING: Cats’ tongues barely brush the surface of the water before darting quickly back up, forcing a column of water between the moving tongue and the surface of the liquid. They close their jaws before gravity pulls the liquid back to the bowl. Cats lap the water at a rate of 4 times per second which is faster than the human eye can see. Researchers discovered this by taking high-speed photos.
Dogs scoop water into their mouths with their tongue. It can be a sloppy way to hydrate.
- TRAINING: Cats can be difficult to train to respond to commands. They can be taught tricks but, according to some sources, they do the tricks to please themselves, not their owners.
Dogs can be trained quickly to obey basic commands like ‘come’ and ’sit’ as well as doing tricks. They want to please the pack leader, which is, hopefully you, the human.
- SPACE: Cats can live in smaller areas and can be kept indoors. Because they are solitary, they can also be left alone longer.
Dogs generally need more space, regular walks and attention.
- POTTY TRAINING: Cats can be quickly housetrained. They must have access to a clean litter box.
Dogs need to be trained. Housebreaking a puppy is usually a hands-on, intensive project. It can take months and some dogs never get there.
- CLAWS: Cats’ claws are retractable inside the toes. Thus, they stay sharp. (DO NOT DECLAW; the procedure is painful and can cause crippling; either trim the nails yourself or get them trimmed).
Dogs’ claws are always extended. Thus, they are worn down as they run or walk.
- TEETH: As adults, cats have only 30 teeth; dogs have 42.
- BODY BUILD: Cats’ have lean muscles to sprint, leap and snatch their prey; they are not distance runners.
Dogs run down their prey; they are long distance runners, not sprinters.
- SOCIAL VS SOLITARY: Cats are solitary; their primary attachment is usually to their territory when forced to choose.
Dogs are social; they want to be with their pack which is you.
- MEMORY: According to Dr. Karen Becker of Healthy Pets.com:
Cats remember things up to sixteen hours.
Dogs remember things for five minutes.
- GROOMING: Cats don’t need to be bathed but they should be brushed. Unless they are ill, they are fastidious groomers.
- Dogs need brushing and bathing and grooming if longhaired.
- SOUNDS: Cats meow, hiss, purr and yowl.
Dogs bark, growl or howl.
GAMES: Cats enjoy pursuit, catch and pounce games such as a bouncing ping-pong ball, a ribbon dragged or twirled. . My cats,Tigger (crossed over the bridge) and Spirit enjoy fetching. Spirit and Sophee love running on their four-foot wide exercise wheel and do so without prompting.
Dogs enjoy running and chasing including tug-of-war. Most dogs enjoy fetching, catching balls and Frisbees.
- NUMBER OF CATS AND DOGS IN US: According to the US Census Bureau: Pet Cats: 86.4 million pet cats; 33% of US households own at least one cat. Most cat households have 2 cats (or more).
Pet Dogs: 78.2 million; 39% of US households own at least 1 dog; most households have only one dog.
Information for this article was obtained from the following websites: mercola.com with Dr. Karen Becker; Diffen.com; Banfield.com; and Catster.com as well as my own experiences with cats, including the Cat Authors.