What Dog People Get Wrong About Cats

People who are passionate about dogs are often mystified by cats. Especially if they have spent little or no time around them. As a result they may buy into the worst assumptions and cliches about us kitties, and take them for truth.

What do dog people get wrong about cats? And what’s the truth they are overlooking? Let’s take a peek.

Dog people often believe that cats are unaffectionate.

Anyone who has lived with a cat knows that this is completely false. But it’s also true that a cat’s expression of affection is far different from a dog’s unabashed worship.

Dog owners enjoy the type of enthusiastic adoration they get from dogs, but a cat by nature just doesn’t do that. Unlike dogs, cats take a while to warm up to new people, and they like to show affection on their own terms. As long as those rules are followed, we cats are pretty free with the purrs, happy paws and head butts. And unlike dogs whose energy can be needy, cats are more likely to show up when they feel the person needs some kitty energy.

Dog people believe cats are independent and don’t really need people.

Dogs are like children. They need lots of attention and can’t be left alone for long periods of time. They require training and may even need to go to school so they can learn how to behave properly in social situations.

The truth is cats aren’t anywhere as independent as many people (not just dog people) think. They actually thrive on human interaction. It’s just that the interaction doesn’t have to be as hands-on as it is with dogs. Most cats won’t act out and destroy the house if neglected. They’ll just be sad and bored and sleep all day and develop stress related behaviors and conditions. Cats like to know you are there, and they love to have established routines with their favorite people. It’s comforting for both them and their humans.

Even though you don’t need to walk a cat, quality time with them is equally important.

Dog people think cats are judgmental and mean.

Because cats are put off by energetic, emotional displays — the sort of things dogs love — dog people often feel judged by them. It’s really not judgement. In the natural world, cats are stalkers when it comes to hunting prey. And they are also prey themselves. Big, attention-getting action is the antithesis of what feels right to them.

Even in a situation where we feel safe, like in our own homes, we prefer quieter attention and less fussing. We’ll let you know when we’re up for zoomies and action. But if you start first with loud vocals (“Look! It’s a kitty!”) and actively chase after us, we see it as something unpleasant. Some cats may even feel threatened.

Dog people think cats are a-holes who do annoying things just because they feel like it.

Knocking things off the counter? Throwing up on carpet instead of the tile floor? Dog people see cats doing these types of things and just assume they are jerks.

The truth is cats don’t have the brain function that enables them to understand what jerky, a-hole behavior is. There are other motivations behind the things they do that frustrate people (even cat loving people!). For example, check your own reaction to a cat knocking something off the table. It got your attention, didn’t it? That’s all the cat knows, it’s a way to get your attention if you haven’t been paying attention to them. And the throwing up thing? Vomiting for a cat is a full body experience, and they use the carpet for traction. They dig in their paws as their body is heaving. It’s as simple as that.

A lot of times people, especially dog people, assume cats are motivated by things that only exist in a human’s ability to think and feel. Because they don’t know how a cat thinks, they have difficulty seeing things from a cat’s perspective. Which is a whole lot less complicated than they assume.

Are there other things dog people get wrong about cats? Let me know what you’ve heard in the comments.

Other posts you’ll enjoy:

Who’s Smarter, Cats or Dogs? The Final Word
Who Is Better at Human Manipulation – Cats or Dogs?
The Big Difference Between Cats and Dogs – and Why Humans Don’t Get It

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​ Why do some (although certainly not all!) dog people hate cats? A lot of times it’s because they don’t understand us! Here’s what they get wrong, and what the truth really is.
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