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The difference between cats and dogs? There is no working breed of cat

March 16, 2012 at 01:00 PM

The State Journal-Register

“Ten Differences Between Cats and Dogs,” a recent Internet article written by Dr. Karen Becker — who is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian — lists what she believes to be significant differences between the two species.

These differences include cats being easier to house train. Dogs are more social. (No kidding!)

Cats have longer memories. They can remember things for up to 16 hours, and hold a grudge longer than that. After about five minutes a dog has forgotten all about it and is wagging its tail again.

Dogs can learn basic commands such as “come” fairly quickly. In Becker’s words, “cats can be impossible to train.”
The differences between the two species are far more pronounced than Becker lets on. Both are popular with pet owners who are passionate and even fanatic.

Dogs are more versatile. Some dogs are classified as “working breeds” — those that can herd livestock or otherwise assist mankind.

There is no working breed of cat. Felines sleep about 18 hours a day (it’s true, you can look it up) and spend the rest of their waking hours shedding hair. They are extremely important to the well being of companies who manufacture vacuum cleaner bags and those little rollers that take hair off sweaters.

Cats can keep their living areas mice-free, if they choose to. More than one feline has dropped a wiggling mouse on the kitchen floor then grinned as the rodent ran back under the counter.

Cats cannot point birds, tree a raccoon, run a rabbit or fetch a duck floating among the decoys. Any of those things would require an unacceptably high level of physical activity and cut into valuable sleeping time.

Becker says pet owners should monitor a cat’s food intake. Cats pack on the pounds faster than dogs do because the feline metabolism doesn’t efficiently burn fat. That’s understandable. It’s almost impossible to lose weight when you’re asleep.

Cats are independent, aloof and remarkably intuitive. They know which chair you are going to sit on before you move toward it. They have the uncanny ability to identify people who dislike cats, or those who are allergic to them, and immediately use that person for a rubbing post.

Dogs like almost anybody who will scratch their ears, throw them a stick or take them for a run. They are especially fond of those who go hunting with them, and those holding the food scoop.

Dogs and cats were domesticated thousands of years ago. Dogs could help run down wounded prey or keep predators at bay during the field dressing. Cats could keep vermin out of the caves in exchange for a warm place to sleep.

The ancient Egyptians deified cats. Bastet was a feline goddess they worshipped. It seems inconsistent that the people who built the greatest civilization of their time went home at night and bowed down to a bronze cat.

Maybe extraterrestrials really did build the pyramids.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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