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Page 15

APRIL FOOLS

CATS VS. DOGS: WHAT REALLY MAKES THEM SO DIFFERENT? -------------------------------------BY: TIFFANY DITTO Staff Writer -------------------------------------If there?s one thing that is a mystery to a die-hard dog lover it?s cats. They?re cute and fluffy just like some of our pups, but their personalities and needs couldn?t be more different.

FOOD It may seem odd to talk about food as a difference between cats and dogs because they?re both carnivores, right? Right. But, dogs are scavenging carnivores ? meaning they thrive by eating primarily meat, but can also survive if necessary by eating plants. Cats, on the other hand, are considered by scientists to be obligate carnivores ? meaning they need meat to survive. Because of this you may notice cat foods tend to have a higher protein concentration than most dog foods. Another difference is that cats tend to thrive by eating smaller more frequent meals, whereas you may only feed your dog once or twice a day.

COM PANIONSHIP It?s no secret that dogs are man?s best friends. The reason for this lies in their pack mentality. While the dogs we see today are far from their wolf ancestors, some of that pack mentality has been inherently passed down through their genetic lineage. As a pet parent, you take on the role of pack leader, and thus your dog aims to please you. Being a part of your dog?s pack also means that your dog often wants to be around you as much as possible. The ancestors of the common house cat, however, are solitary hunters (not big cats that live in prides). Due to this, cats are often okay with spending large amounts of time alone and can be left

to entertain their selves.

battle than dogs.

Both pets make great companions because even though cats are solitary creatures, everyone loves a good back rub and to snuggle sometimes.

Both animals can have a variety of heart diseases and thyroid issues ? cats tend to get hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) while dogs tend to have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid).

ACTIVITIES & PLAY Both cats and dogs require stimulation from their environment, weather that?s taking your dog for a run or having your cat chase a laser pointer in your house. Not providing stimulation for your pet can lead to behavioral issues like scratching up furniture, or tearing up the contents of your trashcan.

M EDICAL ISSUES Both cats and dogs, like humans, are prone to a variety of medical issues. Dogs have to worry about many viruses like distemper, parvovirus, or bacterial infections like bordatella. Meanwhile, cats have to battle panleukopenia, feline leukemia virus (Felv), Feline infectious Peritonitis (FIP), and Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Thankfully there is a vaccine for all of these. But as far as common infectious viruses go, cats have more to

Cats and dogs are both prone to some orthopedic diseases but these tend to be more wide ranging and common is dogs. Be sure to take either pet to your veterinarian at least once a year for vaccines and a wellness exam to catch any illnesses or ailments your pet may have. At the end of the day there?s not one right or wrong pet. Obviously we favor dog?s here at Texas Dog Magazine, but there?s still plenty of room in our hearts for a cat or two. Tiffany Ditto is a veterinary nursing student in Texas. When she?s not studying or writing for TXDM, she enjoys spending time with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Riley, and Tabby Cat, Lindsey.

Twitter: @TiffanyDitto

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Texas Dog Magazine | Spring 2019