Experts in Charlottesville discuss characteristics of cats and dogs as pets

Cats and dogs are two of the most common household pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 48 million dog-owning and 31.8 million cat-owning households exist in America. Among the pet-owning community, there has always been a debate about which animal makes the better pet. To determine the suitability of each pet, let us take a look at some of their major differences and characteristics.

They Have Different Pack Mentality

  • Just like wolves, dogs are pack members. They work in groups under the leadership of Alpha dog. When they are owned by a human, they see their owner as a pack leader and submit themselves to him. As a consequence, they follow his instructions, look for directions, and try to be involved in the owner’s routine as a means to connect with him.

On the contrary, cats are solitary hunters. They don’t follow the pack mentality and tend to get things done by themselves. They don’t need human companionship as much as dogs and often come across as cold and aloof. The truth is, they enjoy their solitude. But with time, they establish a bond with the owner and want to spend time with him. However, they don’t see the owner as a leader and won’t show undue submissiveness.

Their Lifestyle and Behavior is Different

  • Dogs and cats have different lifestyles. For e.g. dogs’ sleeping schedule usually aligns with the human sleeping schedule. They are active during the day and play with their pet owners during daylight. Dogs prefer sleeping at night.

On the contrary, cats remain inactive during the day but usually get in a playful mood during the evenings. However, cats can be trained to make more time for their pets during the day.

  • Another difference is the way they react when they detect danger. Whenever dogs detect danger, they convey a warning by growling, showing their teeth, and staring in the direction of the danger. Cats react to danger by arching their backs and lifting the hair on the back. They may also growl and snarl. By making these sounds and gestures, they sometimes give warning signs for humans to stay away from them if they feel threatened.

Their Food Choices Are Different

  • cats and dogs as pets

    Understanding the nutritional needs of your pet is crucial to keeping them healthy and active. Dogs need food that is rich in protein and fat content while cats enjoy carbohydrate-rich foods. Their eating habits also differ. Cats need to be fed frequently and in smaller portions. If the calorie intake of cats falls below the recommended limit, they can develop a liver disease called hepatic lipidosis. Dogs can go for longer periods in between meals and they can also go on a low-calorie diet for health purposes.

They Housetrain and Use Bathroom Differently

  • Cats are easier to potty train. With a little effort, they will learn how to relieve themselves in a litter box that is usually placed inside the home. On the other hand, potty training a dog requires more patience and perseverance. They don’t relieve themselves inside the home rather they have to be taken out where they relieve themselves. They have to be accompanied by their pet owners before they become fully trained.

These are some of the major differences between cats and dogs. The bottom line is that before adopting a pet, you must learn about their lifestyle and other requirements. For more information on pets, their health, and medical requirements, contact Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Call us now at 434 971-9800.