The Differences Between Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs are some of the most common household pets, and I’m sure we’ve all seen the animosity the species share between one another. But with dogs being the predominant go-to pet species, a lot of people love to put into practice the same tips and tricks they have used to raise and train their dogs for when they decide to get their first cat. Unfortunately cats don’t respond the same way dogs do, they’re a whole separate species of pet and need to be treated as such. Tony Hakim Animal Lovers looks at the differences between cats and dogs.

Body Language

Cats show affection differently. Dogs will wag their tails and attempt to turn you into a mountain of saliva, but a cat will rub against an object and purr to show affection. Pay attention to its tail, as they will flick their tails in a relaxed manner when calm or abruptly to convey distress, surprise or anger.

Cats do better with positive rinforcement rather than discipline. Image via Pet Bucket.

Cats do better with positive rinforcement rather than discipline. Image via Pet Bucket.

Panting

Dogs may pant when exercised or exited or when hot. However cats pant when they’re stressed (such as during a car ride) and is usually a response to changes in their environment, such as fear, excitement or anxiety.

Food

Cats are carnivore creatures and should absolutely not be deprived of meat as it can prove fatal.  Feed your cat a healthy diet of cat food of smaller amounts but more regularly than you would feed a dog.

Discipline

Cats do not respond to discipline like dogs do, they require positive reinforcement to correct behaviour. Cats learn by experience, and if the experience is good, they will try to repeat it. By contrast they will avoid unpleasant experiences. Reprimands simply do not work with cats and attempts to punish them will only result in misbehaviour when you aren’t around.

Dogs are very different to cats. Image via a Dogs Day Out

Identifying when a cat is stressed

Cats are more temperamental and independent than dogs and can become stressed, confused or anxious when their environment changes and will often toilet in an inappropriate place to spread their scent around to mark their territory and reduce anxiety. The behaviour will correct itself when the underlying cause is resolved.

Cats make a better pet for when you want something more convenient, they require less attention then a dog but will love you unconditionally (as long as you continue to fill their food bowls). We recommend them for those with a VERY busy lifestyle or those who are a bit more inactive and can’t take their dogs to the park often enough. Active owners should seek out man’s best friend, as a cat is less likely to play with you when you want, and for a shorter time.

So which is better? That is definitely a personal decision. Here at Tony Hakim Animal Lovers, we were split on which pet is superior. Cats are perfect for people who want a more independent pet, with a relationship that is constantly evolving. Dogs are more dependent, but steadfast and loyal. If you are considering adopting a pet, definitely talk to your local vet or shelter to work out which is right for you.

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