Top 7 Major Differences Between Dogs and Cats

February 8, 2022

Dogs and Cats are not identical in many ways. Other than the difference in physical appearance, there are contradictions in their behavior, social interactions, metabolisms, and physical traits. Therefore, they need to be treated differently from each other, including in daily care and emergencies. Understanding the definite characteristic will help you be a great parent for your pet.

Here are some differences between cats and dogs that will make you realize that these pets are adorable and unique in their ways. Despite their differences, they both are similar in having so much love, affection, and attention to offer you. So, if you are currently a parent or maybe planning to adopt one, then it is worth understanding their needs and behaviors.

1. Food Habits

Difference between Dog And Cat

Dogs can be omnivores, while cats are strictly carnivores. Cats cannot produce certain essential amino acids which they obtain through diet. Those are only available in meat or fish proteins—the two most necessary are taurine and arginine.

Taurine is good for the eye, skin, and heart health. Arginine is needed to produce ornithine, which binds to ammonia to make it non-toxic to the body.

On the other hand, canines prefer a carnivorous diet, but they can digest and reap the benefits of plant material better than cats can. Dogs can survive only on plant material. With some precautions, you can put your dog on a vegan diet. But most vets do not advise a cat to be on a vegan diet. Canines can survive for long periods without food, thanks to their ability to burn fat reserves for energy. On the other hand, felines use non-fatty tissues that lead to illness. They are prone to a life-threatening disease known as hepatic lipidosis.

Read Also: Common dog behavior problems and solutions

Difference between Cat & Dog
Difference between Cat & Dog

2. Health Issues

Difference between Dog And Cat

While dogs and cats can suffer from some of the same diseases, many health issues are dissimilar.

Dogs more frequently experience skin disorders, trauma, parasites like fleas and ticks, pancreatitis, and lymphoma. And cats are more vulnerable to inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, asthma, diabetes, immune deficiency, and feline leukemia.

Dogs may also suffer from arthritis and other mobility impairments. Cats can also injure themselves but, they are naturally cautious and less likely to develop any wear and tear on their joints.

3. Dependencies

Difference between Dog And Cat

Because dogs and humans have evolved together, they have developed a very purposeful relationship over the generations. We have not developed such a relationship with cats yet. In addition, dogs are highly social and extroverted. They love to assume themselves as one of the most important members of the family structure.

Dogs are the first-ever domesticated animal to perform various services such as herding, guarding, and hunting. They made them dependent on humans for direction, sustenance, and affection. Cats can perform very few functions to help you. They hunt rodents, enjoy it to the fullest, and may proudly bring it to you.

Dogs are usually predictable in their behavior, while cats are more innovative and creative in their life skills. Cats prefer to be alone and do not need anybody’s presence as the dog’s demand is mostly always.

Read Also: Creating a cat-friendly home

4. Tastebuds

Difference between Dog And Cat

Cats cannot detect sweetness in food, while dogs eat a variety and can recognize the taste of sweetness. Cats love to chase their prey. A mouse has a negligible amount of carbohydrates and no sugar in its body. Therefore, the cat lacks the evolutionary taste for sweetness. Since the diet of dogs is broader, the sweet taste could be beneficial for them.

5. Training

Difference between Dog And Cat

Many people believe that cats are much harder to train than dogs. You can easily teach a cat to follow commands – that is, if you figure out what it wants and offer that as a reward. It is possible to train a cat if you have chosen the correct training methods. For a cat, you can use a tasty treat that you usually do not offer them.

Most people believe dogs are easier to train because humans have achieved expertise in that as they have been doing it for centuries. Moreover, dogs love a pat on the head with praising compliments. While cats hardly care about appreciation. As a result, dogs may respond to food faster because they are inherently keen on responding to humans based on our evolutionary history together.

6. Hunting

Difference between Dog And Cat

Cats are hunters, while dogs are scavengers. That affects how they eat, catch prey and interact with other animals. Dogs tend to be better scavengers, and as a result, they are more resourceful in that sense. That is why dogs enjoy puzzles and search games, while cats prefer a toy on which they can pounce. Cats hunt to kill rather than scavenge.

Both are known for their hunting skills. But there is a lot of difference in their way. The kitty would scale the highest wall, lay in wait and pounce on its prey at the very last moment. Whilst some dogs would jump in the air to catch their prey, most are the opposite in that they stay close to the ground and use their sense of smell to track it down.

Read Also: All you need to know about therapy pets

7. General Differences

Difference between Dog And Cat

Dogs are at their most active during the day. No matter what, they prefer to be on your side, go out for a walk with you or accompany you everywhere. Dogs can encourage you to get more active.

Cats mostly sleep their days away. When you head out to work, leaving Fluffy firmly asleep on your bed, on returning at the end of a grueling shift, you can see them pretty much stretched out in the same position. That is because they have been taking the same long cat nap all day.

Another difference between dogs and cats is the way they sound. It may seem obvious – dogs bark while cats meow. But each one comes with its other noisy tendencies. Your furry friend will offer up a howl or growl now and then, whereas your kitty besides, the meows, is also known for friendly chirrups or snarls, spitting, and hisses when they feel under threat. Their warning signals are likely to differ again.

Whilst dogs will bare their teeth and give long-hard looks into the eyes of their enemies, cats arch their backs, dilate pupils, and occasionally twitch their puffed-up tails. The only similarity is the low-growling sounds four-legged predators make to keep their enemy at bay.

It is difficult to compare the behavior of dogs and cats too closely because, just like humans, there can be huge variations. That can be within the individual breeds and your feline or canine personalities.

Some cats are much more playful and attentive than others whereas, some dogs can be a little on the shy and introverted side. A lot of this can be due to their environment.


It does not matter if you are a dog or cat person, or maybe a combination of both. The fact is that these adorable and affectionate pets can bring loads of happiness, laughter, and love into your life, and that is what makes them similar despite their innumerable differences.

See: Beautiful Names For Your Cat And Dog

-Petofy India
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