What Are the Differences Between Cat and Dog

Chalk and cheese… Mars and Venus… cats and dogs.

Even though these furry friends share similar features – four paws and a tail – they are worlds apart when it comes to behaviour.

A fluffy, feline house guest should never be entertained lightly. Forget the Scouts. ‘Be prepared’ is the motto you’ll need to tattoo on your brain as soon as the one of these hairy heavies comes within five paws of your home.

Life will change… and although you wouldn’t usually allow anyone to beat up your other pets, scratch your sofa to bits or leave bird kill round the house, you’ll let the cat get away with it. You don’t have much choice! After all, she’s her own boss and won’t answer to anything that doesn’t come out of a tin. She’s ‘top dog,’ as far as she is concerned.

A pooch, on the other hand, is an ‘eager to please’ family member – with simple needs and uncomplicated lifestyle. Even though he’ll chew a cushion or toilet roll for fun, he can be trained to respect the house. He likes to obey – and will do anything for a biscuit!

Cats are notoriously choosy, however. She’ll decide where she sits, when she eats, what she does and whether she’ll bestow any affection or not. And, if she’s is a pedigree, she’ll have her own peculiarities which you’ll need to adapt to. Rather than the cat moving in to your home, you’ll be the lodger…

In terms of temperament, dogs are free spirits. He’ll bound up to anyone for a pat on the back, and reward the giver with a loving lick! Show him his lead and everything – from his drippy nostril to the tip of his tail – will shake from utter joy.

Pusskins, meanwhile, tends to prefer her own company… She’ll rub up against you occasionally, or curl herself round your ankles just as you’ve put your stockings on. This is her inimitable way of saying,’ You’re all mine.’ Once she’s hooked you round her little paw, she’ll flounce off to curl up in a corner, not giving you a second glance.

Having perfected the petulant, hoity-toity look, which you’ll see when she turns her nose up at a different flavour of cat-food, she’ll wail pitifully until you give in – and feed her what she likes. Meal times, in fact, never go to plan. To ensure a quiet night’s sleep, you will need a cupboard full of tins and cat nibbles, should you hear a yowl echo through the deep chambers of the house at three in the morning.

For your canine companion, dinner is a breeze. Anything put into his doggy bowl is dispatched in seconds. He’ll even do tricks for a chocolate button! Throw him a bone and he’ll happily chew away at it for an hour or so.

As far as personal hygiene is concerned, she’ll spend her days preening and licking her fur to perfection… as well as catching up on beauty sleep. Dogs aren’t bothered about self-grooming. Unless you drag him off to a doggy parlour to be clipped and washed, the little rascal will happily wear whatever he’s been rolling in.

Communication is a sore point, since both emit hideous noises at different times. What differs is the trigger. Your mild-mannered, friendly mutt will turn into a snarling hound from hell as soon as the postman steps one foot in your porch. Incessant barking will only stop once the terrified guy has shot off out of sight. Should you leave the house without him, he’ll whine and howl in misery until your face appears again.

The cat isn’t phased at all by such triviality. She’s ensconced in her own little world. When she’s happy (fed) she’ll purr to her heart’s content. Her repertoire, however, extends to hissing, scratching and howling. As soon as another cat dares to invade her territory, it’ll not only get her back up… but she’ll endeavour to win the hissing competition.

Exercise is another bone of contention. Lazy by nature, Ms High-Maintenance will catnap during the day. She’ll disappear into a favourite slumber spot for hours on end, occasionally thumping you as you innocently pass by. Given to psychotic bursts after sniffing a line of catnip, she’ll bolt up and down the stairs for ten minutes before collapsing in a heap.

In playful mood, she’ll allow you to torment her with string and a peacock feather. But, prefers to chase cotton-buds or stalk birds. Or, she’ll crouch under a bush for hours, before pouncing on some unsuspecting rodent.

The dog’s exercise regime is somewhat different. He likes to run marathons, swim oceans and chase his own tail! Annoyingly, his favourite pastime is to drag you out for a walk first thing in the morning, when you’ve not woken up yet. At the first sight of a lady dog, he’s off for a sniff! You’re the one who gets all the exercise… just keeping up with him!

Whatever their differences, we put up with their idiosyncrasies as they are wonderful company and full of character. Life wouldn’t be the same without them…

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