10 facts about cats and dogs

How well do you know your furry friend? We collected some facts that might surprise you.

1. Cat and dog noses are like fingerprints.

No two cats or dogs have the same nose – each has a unique pattern of ridges and creases, like a human fingerprint. The patterns can even be used to identify individual animals.

2. Dogs dream like people.

Researchers found that dogs have similar sleep patterns and brain activity as humans. The twitching and paw movements that occur during doggie sleep are signs that your pet is dreaming – probably of familiar activities like playing outside or chasing their tail.

3. Cats can’t taste sweetness.

You’ve probably noticed that your cat seems to have no sweet tooth. In fact, studies of cat taste cells have shown no response to sugary tastes, which explains why they neither seek out nor avoid sweet foods. Dogs, on the other hand, prefer natural sugars like sucrose and glucose.

4. Dogs and cats can see colour.

It’s a myth that dogs and cats only see in black and white – though their colour range is nowhere near as vivid as ours. It is believed that they see in murky shades of blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and grey, similar to our vision at dusk, and rely on contrast and movement to identify objects.

5. Cats purr at the same frequency of a baby’s cry.

Those sneaky cats have learned to take advantage of our nurturing instinct through purring. What you don’t realise is that embedded within the naturally low-pitched purr is a higher frequency sound more like a meow or a cry, which instinctively influences us to give kitty what he wants – usually food.

6. Dogs are as smart as toddlers.

Pup researchers say dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five, and can trick people or other dogs to get treats. The average dog, they suggest, may be as intelligent as a two-year-old child.

7. But cats may be just as smart (or even smarter).

According to some cat-intelligence experts, cats are as smart as dogs – they just have a different type of intelligence and are less willing to participate in tricks and tests, which often leads to the perception that they’re not bright. The cerebral cortex of cats (the area of the brain responsible for information processing, rational decision making and complex problem solving) has twice as many neurons as that of dogs, and it has been suggested that they have longer-lasting memories.

8. Cats sleep for 70 per cent of their lives.

That’s about 16 hours a day, more than any other mammal besides bats and opossums. As natural predators with few enemies in the wild, they can afford the luxury! Plus, hunting and pouncing takes a lot of energy.

9. Dogs turn in circles before lying down for a reason.

It’s an instinctive behaviour that goes back to their wild ancestry. Wild dogs would turn in circles to flatten down the grass to make a comfortable nest to sleep in, as well as shooing away any pests that might be hiding.

10. Cats instinctively don’t want to drink water near their food. It might seem like a peculiar behaviour that some cats prefer to have their water bowl placed somewhere separate to their food, but in fact it’s a natural instinct held over from their wild predator days. In the wild, cats don’t drink water near food they have hunted because it could have been contaminated by their newly caught prey.

Your dog or cat makes your life better – so give them the best care with Medibank Pet Insurance

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