Distinctive And "Instinctive" Differences
Of Cats Compared To Dogs
Barbara J Powell
Anybody Need Help Understanding Bizarre Cat Behavior?
cats and dogs make fabulous pets but they certainly are not similar and
that is because they are wired completely different! Remember the book,
"Men are From Mars & Women are From Venus"? Well it is kind of like
cats and dogs are from different planets too.
To be good pet
owners we need to understand a cat's basic instincts that make them
behave the, sometimes, strange way that they do.
Cats are not scared of the dark!
have a cat that loves to hunt and if I let her, she would do a lot of
hunting at night. But she is a black cat and we live near a highway so I
call her in at night for obvious reasons. (And she actually comes -
that's my girl!)
Not only do cats instinctively hunt, they are
also instinctively nocturnal because long ago they would do their
hunting at night to avoid predators. They have trained themselves to
detect motion with very little light. The long, stiff whiskers on a
cat's face are extended sideways when resting but when moving they
extend forward to aid in hunting.
We all know that a dog's strongest
sense is smell. Well for a cat, both sight and hearing are stronger
senses and prove very useful in the dark when hunting.
So if you
are up in the middle of the night and find your cat wide awake, don't
think she is sick or crazy, she is just instinctively a cat! Your dog,
on the other hand, will wake up from a deep sleep, stretch and wonder
what's wrong with you!
Cats are very touchy!
this I mean that cats love to rub their bodies against us, and all the
furniture in the house, and the trees and fences outside of the house.
What is this all about?
Well our lovely little feline is
instinctively marking her territory by putting her scent on all her
surroundings. This is how cats tell other cats to stay away from their
claimed area. Don't be surprised if your cat makes a ceremonial walk
around your property every morning to freshly mark her territory. And
she likely has her favorite spot in your home to lie down where no one
else is permitted to be.
Isn't it nice to know that when your cat rubs herself against your leg, she thinks she owns you and not the other way around? Well, at least this territorial behavior
is more pleasant than a dog's, who urinates to mark his territory.
Cats are very independent!
cat loves to be caressed and cuddled but usually only for a few minutes
and then she wants to be left alone so she jumps out of my arms. I
don't take offense because I know she loves me and that instinctively
cats like to be alone. There are not many "lap cats" out there so if you
are looking for a cuddly pet to rest on your lap, then you need a "lap
Once again it goes back to a cat's origins and their hunting
habits. When too many cats were around, there were too many scents so
cats would find their own territory to hunt their prey. As a result,
cats prefer to be alone.
Dogs historically live in packs but cats
choose to be alone and can easily entertain themselves for hours making
the care of a cat much simpler then a dog.
Cats are superb stalkers!
cats actually stalk their food - a very humorous sight indeed! After
all how hard can it be to "catch" the kibble or Fancy Feast that is in
the dish waiting for them?
My cat, being a hunter, does not stalk
her food but we have certainly seen her on the prowess numerous times in
our hay field or ditches. And sometimes she even corners her prey and
just stares at them in utter cruelty while they fearfully wait for their
Well my precious little kitty, like all cats, learned the
"stalking stature" for hunting from her mother to help her survive. And
she taught her kittens about hunting by bringing home her "kill" for
show and tell.
Cats are not dogs and dogs are not cats!
cats and dogs have their natural instincts dating back to their origins
that make them unique. Hopefully, learning a little more about the
instincts of cats will help you understand their natural behaviors a
Cats have been domesticated pets for over 3500 years proving their instincts or "old habits die hard!"
Barbara J. Powell is the Owner/Operator of Kelly's Pet Resort in Cowichan Bay, B.C., Canada.
View her Website at: http://www.kellyspetresort.ca
The hallway in the dog area
One of our deluxe dog rooms
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Our large, private cat enclosures
The Pet Resort with our large, fully secure exercise areas
Our very well maintained grassed play yard