Why Cats and Dogs Are So Different

Why Cats and Dogs Are So Different

It’s amazing how different cats and dogs really are. We often take for granted that dogs have very similar behavior and social needs to humans, and we view cats through the lens of our own individual experiences. What if, however, our faith in the abilities of the domestic dog and the wild cat is misplaced? What if cats and dogs are so different that they have little in common?

Many things that we take for granted about dogs and cats are true. Some differences are bigger, some differences are smaller, but some differences are astonishing. Let me take you through some big ones.

Most people assume that cats and dogs are very similar, but if you look at the cross-section of their muscles, bones, and digestive systems, you’ll actually see that dogs and cats are very different animals. While cats and dogs can and do live together in the same household, they are very different to us in many ways, and this has a lot to do with how they’ve evolved over time.

It’s not just the size that makes the furball distinct from the four-legged pet. The physical traits of cats and dogs aren’t really all that different. Cats, for instance, are nocturnal. They have a hearing range covering about two octaves, which is the human voice range. Dogs, meanwhile, are more active during the day. The ability to hear is also important for dogs and cats, which need to pay attention to their surroundings and react to all the little sounds around them.

In some ways, cats and dogs are very, very similar. They’re both mammals, have fur, their eyes are covered, and both have an opposable thumb that allows them to squeeze and release. And yet, their differences are far more striking than their similarities. For one, cats are natural hunters, while dogs are mostly scavengers and vice versa. And cats are far more vocal and annoying, while dogs are far more loyal and affectionate.

Cats and dogs are very different, and it is easy to see why: a complete DNA test, plus a little knowledge, will show you that cats are an inbred offshoot of dogs and evolved from small, furry mammals that looked like they were from Mars. Dogs are far from perfect, but they are far closer to us than their wild cousins, the wolves. They are very social animals that thrive on human affection and have developed one of the most complex societies on the planet.

The two most popular pets in the United States are cats and dogs. And yet, despite their similarities, they are very different animals. Cats are independent and self-willed, while dogs are eager to please and ready to work for you. Dogs communicate through body language, while cats use facial expressions. Dogs tend to be territorial, while cats tend to be solitary. Cats are social by nature, while dogs are loners. Dogs respond well to training, while cats are independent. Dogs are pack animals that love to travel and play with their families, while cats are strictly homebodies that enjoy being loners. Dogs adapt easily to new situations, while cats are more aloof and aloof to new situations. Dogs are more vocal than their owners as well.


There are a lot of reasons why cats and dogs are so different, and they can easily be summed up as a few main differences. First, dogs are loyal and love unconditionally, while cats can be a little fickle. Second, dogs are generally smarter than cats, while cats tend to be more sensitive and emotional. Finally, dogs can be trained, but cats are very independent and respond well to authority.