This is a re-post of a blog entry written soon after we brought Lucy home in January 2007. The original posting was on my "old" Blog. It's a piece I enjoyed writing and, ten years later, it still relatively accurately sums up my thoughts on some differences between cats and dogs.
July 1, 2017
Now that I own a dog (Lucy), I've been in a few positions (get your minds out of the gutter) with regards to observing some significant differences between cats and dogs when it comes to their bodily functions.
First, the obvious. Cats do their "business" in a cat box. They do not like to be observed while doing this and (generally) will bury their evidence. Dogs, on the other hand, let it all hang out and do their "business" in front of anyone and everyone who happens to be around. They don't bury it (although they might sniff it or do a half-hearted back foot kick over it (if another dog is around)).
Eating. For the most part, cats are fairly dainty. They USUALLY won't scarf down their entire bowl of dry food in 30 seconds flat (although to be fair, Clyde does sometimes eat too much too fast and barfs it right back up). Editorial comment from 2017: So do Lily and Apollo. Dogs eat their food right then and there. In fact, I read that it's not a good idea to let them leave any food in their bowl because that is what an "alpha" animal does (the implication being that, because they are "alpha", they can leave food and no one will touch it). If you want to be "alpha" in your house, don't let your dog do this. Editorial comment from 2017: Lucy had a food aggression and so we were not able to leave any food out for her. Not that she would have left any food out in the first place. Hesed, on the other hand, does not chow down all of her food at once, nor does she appear to care if one of the cats strolls by and takes a munch). Don't bother worrying about picking up your cat's food if s/he leaves some as they are and always will be "alpha" in your life.
Barfing. You know when a cat is about to hurl because it gives you plenty of advance notice by going through an elaborate process of making loud up-chuck noises. They must start this about 5 minutes before they have to let it out because if you try to chase a cat off a carpet while it is doing this, it will run away from you and wait to heave until it's back on the carpet (one exception to this being sometimes when you chase the cat, it elects to projectile puke while running madly about the house, so rather than having one pile to clean up, there are now about thirty). Dogs just hurl. There are no preliminaries. One second they are sitting there minding their own business, the next, about twenty gallons of stomach contents are all over the floor (or the backseat of your car, or, if you are exceedingly unlucky, YOU).
Odors. As much as I love cats, I've gotta give the gold star to the pooches in this category. In general, their fluids (note we are not discussing poop) do not smell as bad as cat odors. Dog pee, although there is typically a lot more of it, smells like not much because they drink so much more water. We all know what cat pee smells like, and how hard it is to get rid of the smell once it's in your carpet. Ditto with cat barf dog barf. It is harder to clean up and it stinks. Dog barf, although resembling some mutant alien creature, hardly smells and it mops right up.
So, there are a lot of differences. About the only similarity I've discovered so far is that cat poop and dog poop and cat farts and dog farts smell equally bad. Editorial comment from 2017: No change here!