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The Difference Between Cats and Dogs

By on August 25, 2017

Having first owned a dog for 18 years and then another for 14 years, adjusting to being a cat owner feels … strange. It’s odd how the two most popular pets in the world can be so different, and can polarize their owners so completely.

For example, a recent study claims that dogs are smarter than cats, having the emotional intelligence of a three year old child. However, I can reveal that the emotional intelligence of a 3 year old child is generally grossly over-estimated by those who don’t own one. (Mine put the garden hose in through the kitchen window and turned it on today. You’d never catch a dog doing that.)

Another study recently proved that cat owners are, on the whole, more intelligent than dog owners. One up for all those with dumb pets?

Now living in a multi-pet household, as far as I can tell, the difference between cats and dogs seems to go as follows:

1. Cats prefer to sit high up on chairs, window sills, pianos etc. in case something falls on them. Dogs prefer to sit under your feet in case something – in the form of food – falls on them.

2. Both dogs and cats will scratch at the door to come in. A dog may be encouraged to enter with a small word of encouragement, a nod of the head, a subtle raising of the eyebrow, or sometimes just simple Hodor-like mind-control. A cat will stand at the open door until you walk away in disgust twenty minutes later, and will only then enter if the ambient light and temperature are just so.

3. Cats aren’t themselves unless they get their full 22 hours sleep a day. Dogs aren’t themselves unless you bring them for a 22 hour jog. Up the side of a mountain. In the rain. At night.

4. Dogs are disgusting hopeless creatures who will happily eat their own feces, if they don’t smear it all over themselves first. Cats on the other hand will dig a twenty foot trench befitting a regiment of soldiers from the First World War before using it to squeeze out a pea-sized poo, burying it and then smoothing over the evidence with all the care of a Japanese Zen gardener.

5. Cats rigorously clean themselves. Dogs attempt to rigorously clean us.

6. Dogs will literally eat anything … and manage to stay alive. Cats on the other hand will eat nothing they are offered … and still manage to stay alive.

7. There’s no point naming your cat. He’s probably got a name for you instead. Dogs on the other hand will respond to many names including “Bad Dog!” and “Look what you did!” and “Don’t eat that!”

8. Dogs seem to intrinsically get that they are one species and you are another. Their innate lack of self-worth makes the relationship work. Cats on the other hand think we are ALL cats and he has been adopted by a group of stupid larger cats.

9. The group name for a collection of cats is a “glaring.” This says a lot. The group name for a collection of dogs varies from a “cry” “kennel” “cowardice” and “pack”.

10. Cats will probably one day be recognized for the alien-overlord invaders they really are. But by then they will know so much about us, it will be too late to retaliate. Dogs will be right there on the front lines, dumbly taking one for their human masters. Good boy, Don’t eat that!

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