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Difference between dogs and cats

Essay Topic: ,

Every animal has its own characteristics and features. Generally speaking, each animal is adapted for existence in a certain environment and may be unable to survive or reproduce in other environments. Environment includes such factors as temperature; light; moisture; atmospheric and water pressure; and gas and mineral content of air, water, and soil.

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The various factors of the environment in which any particular animal lives may not remain constant at all times. Most animals are adapted to withstand certain environmental variations. This paper scrutinizes the difference and similarities between the cats and dogs.

Cats are meat-eating animals. The cat family includes not only the domestic cat, but also the tiger, lion, leopard, lynx, bobcat, and many others. Wild cats are dangerous predators, but domestic cat is a pet and companion and is valuable as a means of controlling rats, mice, and other rodents. The young of most wild cats are called cubs; the young of domestic cats are kittens. All cats, from lion to housecat, are adapted for hunting. The head is large and broad, with powerful jaws and sharp, slashing teeth. Long whiskers on the sides of the face are believed to aid the cat in feeling its way through narrow places.

The eye has a vertical pupil that closes to a narrow slit in bright sunlight and opens wide in dim light, maintaining the keen vision so necessary to a hunter. A cat, like a dog, is largely color-blind. Its sense of smell and hearing are very well-developed. The cat has a lithe body, with a loose skin. There are five toes on the front feet and four on the hind. The feet are padded for silent motion. Except for the cheetah, which has feet that look much like a dog’s, all cats have claws that can be drawn backward and upward into protective sheaths. Some cats are good swimmers, but most avoid water.

The traditional belief in the “nine lives” of the cat can be traced to the animal’s cleverness in getting out of trouble, and to its vigor and strong hold on life. Cats can live for several days without food, and recover from injuries that would kill most other animal . Kittens should be fed crumbled bits of cereal in milk, finely chopped cooked meat, or canned baby food four or five times a day. Gradually the number of feedings is reduced, but the amount increased until at 9 to 12 months the cat is receiving an adult diet. Adult cats do best on two meals a day.

Suitable foods include ground lean meat, cooked, non-oily fish, canned cat food, or dry cat food. Fresh clean water should also be provided. Cats not intended for breeding purposes should be kept indoors, it should be provided with a sanitary tray. New kittens should be confined to the tray area until they begin to use it. Most cats over thee months of age use the tray readily. A fixed, padded post for the cat to scratch on will help to keep it from scratching on furniture. On the other hand, the dog is a carnivorous mammal that was domesticated by humans thousands of years ago.

It serves in a variety of ways—as a companion, hunter, herder, and protector, and as a draft animal. For the blind, dog serves as guides. In some places, dog racing is a popular sport. Because of its loyalty, obedience, courage, and friendliness, the dog is often referred to as “an’ best friend. ” Dogs have held a prominent place in mythology and literature. Dogs are mentioned in the Bible and in such historic works as The odyssey. The domestic dog is Canis familiaris of the family Vanidae, which also includes the coyote, jackal, and wolf. Domestic dogs retain some wild instincts.

This explains why some dogs chase moving objects, scavenge for food, and turn around several times before lying down, as their ancestors did to trample down high grass for a bed. Domestic dog often sleep curled up with their tails over their faces, just as wild dogs do to protect their faces from the elements. Domestic dogs, like wild dogs, eat quickly and are protective of their food. Dogs have very acute senses. The most highly developed are hearing, smell, and sight. Dogs can hear sounds at high frequencies, higher than the upper limit of human hearing.

The sense of smell is the most important sense to a dog. Dogs can locate particular scents, follow them when reencountered. Taste buds on the tongue help the dog distinguish sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes. Dogs see in black and white. They have a relatively wide field of vision but a limited capacity to judge distances. A third eyelid, called the nictating membrane, is hidden behind the lower eyelid. A dog can feel pain, pressure, cold and heat. Certain hairs on the body are especially sensitive organs of touch. In addition, dogs communicate by a variety of means.

The sounds they make, such as barking, growling, and whining, can indicate a number of things, including aggression, excitement, fear, and submission. Puppies are active and need three meals a day until the age of six months, when they need to two meals a day. A puppy needs a balanced diet containing protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. A diet of cooked meat, eggs, milk, and cottage cheese, or commercial puppy food provides necessary nutrients and calories for a growing puppy. By the age of one year, a dog needs food only dog food or a diet of meat, eggs, and cheese. Water should be provided with meals and after exercise.

Since many dogs develop tartar, a thick deposit of bacteria and food particles on the teeth, knuckle bones or commercial dog biscuits are recommended to help break down the deposits. It is believed that cats were first domesticated in northern Africa. Egyptian carvings made more than 4, 500 years ago depict cats as domestic animals. The cat was a sacred animal in Egypt, associated with the goddess Pasht, or Bast. Many mummies of Ehyptian cats have been found. On the other hand, dogs are descended from Miacis, a small carnivorous mammal that lived in North America over 60,000,000 years ago.

Miacis was a civet-like mammal that had a long body and tail, short legs, and large teeth for tearing and chewing meat. In conclusion, cats and dogs have a common ancestor in small, extinct meat-eating animals called Miacindae, which lived about 40,000,000 years ago. Cats have seen to have developed rather suddenly from the civet branch of the carnivore group of animals. Both cats and dogs are helpful to man. Although they have different characteristics yet these animals show similarities of some ways in food and its physical features.