Cats cannot just be considered small dogs. They are different species with very different dietary requirements.
There are some key differences in gastrointestinal physiology between dogs and cats (Maskell and Johnson 1993):
Let anaemic persons who believe in ‘turningthe other cheek’ console themselves with cringing dogs—for the robust pagan withthe blood of Nordic twilights in his veins there is no beast like the cat; intrepid steed ofFreya, who can boldly look even Thor and Odin full in the face and stare contemplatively withgreat round eyes of undimmed yellow or green.
And so, Sir (I employ the singular since I cannot imagine that you, O JacobeFerdinande, would have the truly feline cruelty to spring all these ten-plus pages on a deservingclub which has never done you any harm), I believe I have outlined for you with some fulnessthe divers reasons why, in my opinion and in the smartly timed title-phrase of Mr.
Dogs and cats have distinctly different dietary requirements. The cat is an obligate carnivore whereas the dog is an omnivore. The cat�s absolute requirement for nutrients derived from a meat-based diet arises from metabolic peculiarities in this species.
The nutritional peculiarities of the cat were summarised in a WALTHAM review by Legrand-Defretin in 1994:
These differences underpin the importance of formulating diets specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of cats and dogs.
A thorough understanding of the nutrient requirements of both species is essential to enable formulation of nutritionally complete and balanced diets. Although this sounds simple, ensuring that all nutrients are present in the right balance and for the right number of calories is a very complex process of recipe design and optimisation. Worldwide, research is still ongoing and the nutritional guidelines for both cats and dogs are constantly being refined and updated (Butterwick 2011). WALTHAM plays a key role in progressing the knowledge of this area of nutrition.
Owners rely on feline behaviour and body language for clues about its emotional state. In this respect, dogs are considered to be more expressive than cats. Dogs evolved elaborate systems for social communication in a pack; the human household is a surrogate pack, therefore dogs communicate with owners as they would other dogs. Dogs transfer their dog-to-dog social behaviours into dog-to-human communication. Many dog owners misinterpret the submissive or juvenile behaviour of a lower-ranking dog (towards its higher ranking owner) as affection.
We would not call a weak-spirited man moreintelligent than an independent citizen because we can make him vote as we wish whereas we can’tinfluence the independent citizen, yet countless persons apply an exactly parallel argumentin appraising the grey matter of dogs and cats.
Altogether, we may see that the dog appeals to those primitiveemotional souls whose chief demands on the universe are for meaningless affection, aimless companionship,and flattering attention and subservience; whilst the cat reigns among those more contemplativeand imaginative spirits who ask of the universe only the objective sight of poignant, etherealbeauty and the animate symbolisation of Nature’s bland, relentless, reposeful, unhurried,and impersonal order and sufficiency.
In comparison, cat people were generally about 12 percent more neurotic; however, they were also 11 percent more “open” than dog people. The openness trait involves a general appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experience. People high on openness are more likely to hold unconventional beliefs while people with low scores on openness (dog people) tend to have more conventional, traditional interests.
The dog but the cat
Simple folk always overstress the ethical element in life, and it is quitenatural that they should extend it to the realm of their pets.
Just on the basis of the nature of dogs being more sociable than cats, one might expect that the personalities of dog lovers would also reflect higher sociability. The results showed that dog people were generally about 15 percent more extroverted and 13 percent more agreeable, both of which dimensions are associated with social orientation. In addition, dog people were 11 percent more conscientious than cat people. “Conscientiousness” is a tendency to show self-discipline, to complete tasks, and aim for achievement. The trait shows a preference for planned rather than spontaneous behavior.
My results showed that people who owned only cats seemed to be somewhat different than dog owners or people who owned both dogs and cats in terms of their personalities. People who own both dogs and cats seem to be much like people who own only dogs. You should keep this in mind, since from here on, at least for the purposes of this discussion, when I mention a cat owner I mean someone who lives only with a cat, while, when I mention dog owners, I mean a person who owns a dog or both a dog and a cat.
The cat-lover need not be amazed at another’s love for dogs—indeed, he mayalso possess this quality himself; for dogs are often very comely, and as lovable in a condescendingway as a faithful old servant or tenant in the eyes of a master—but he cannot help feelingastonishment at those who do not share his love for cats.
Recently, Sam Gosling, a psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin and his graduate student, Carson Sandy, conducted a web-based study in which 4,565 individuals were asked whether they were dog people, cat people, neither, or both. The same group was given a 44-item assessment that measured them on the so-called Big Five personality dimensions psychologists often use to study personalities.
Perhaps one of the most telling differences between dog and cat owners is illustrated in a single comparison. I asked people who own only cats, “If you had adequate living space and there were no objections from other people in your life, and someone gave you a puppy as a gift, would you keep it?” More than two thirds of the cat owners (68 percent) said that they would not accept a dog as a pet, while almost the same number of dog owners (70 percent), said that they would admit the cat into their household when asked the same question but about a kitten. This suggests that most people who own only a dog are potentially dog and cat owners, while most people who own only a cat are exclusively cat owners.