Another Difference Between Dogs and Cats


My owner was telling me about a conversation he had with a co-worker, explaining to her that dogs have a special relationship with humans.

Lightning at the Dog Park

“So do cats,” she said.

“Would your cat save you if you were drowning?” he asked.

“No, but your dog wouldn’t save you either.”

“He sure would.”

“He’s not any bigger than your head.”

“He would try to do something.”

“Exactly. He’d make things worse.”

That’s not very nice and if I ever meet this woman I’m going to growl at her.

I’m not a big dog like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin, but I’m not a cat either, so I would definitely try to save him.

It’s a roll of the dice. I might save him or I might kill both of us, but he was going to drown anyway and I don’t want to be alive without him.

If you want to see how dogs and cats think differently under pressure, read this story about a family with two dogs and one cat. One of the dogs died trying (successfully) to save the family and (unsuccessfully) to save the other dog. The cat escaped unharmed.

Dogs will risk their lives trying to save humans and other dogs. If you’re a cat owner, you’re on your own.

— Lightning paw

  9 comments for “Another Difference Between Dogs and Cats

  1. Marshmallow
    23 Oct 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Hello Lightning,

    As I peruse your master’s blog during my evening reading period, I feel compelled to respond to your comments. First of all, your loyalty is admirable. Perhaps one day you will be able to serve in the US Armed Forces, should they begin accepting tiny canines for front line infantry. Currently, I’m not aware of any suicide bombing units in any branches of our military, but with your courage and desire to serve others, I suspect you would do well should you be chosen for that duty as well. I would be honored to have you serve under me any time, soldier.

    I considered your drowning hypothesis very carefully and wanted to point out a critical flaw in your theory. In that situation, critical thinking skills would be very important. It most likely is not a “roll of the dice” on whether you would save him or die trying. It’s a calculated risk in which you should weigh the facts before acting. He’s drowning. You aren’t. He probably weighs about 17 times what you weigh. As a roll of the dice, that would equate to those dice landing in such a position that they are balanced on an edge, resting against each other so that no die has only one face up. Don’t go to Vegas.

    As for the story of the dog saving the family while the cat escaped unharmed, it is implied the dog is valiant, heroic and honorable to the death, and that perhaps the cat slipped out of the burning building and quietly purred as he licked his paws while watching the destruction of his home and family from a safe distance. Whatever the case, the smart survived. You didn’t see any of those humans trying to save the dogs or the bird, did you? I’m considering the possibility that a human could actually be as smart as me.

    I’ve linked an article for your review.

    I think you’ll agree that it supports my theory. Co-dependency is overrated.

    Smell ya later,


  2. Lightning
    24 Oct 2008 at 11:43 am


    I will never understand cats if I live to be 14 years old. You would watch your family get barbecued and feel smart about it?!

    That is why I say to cat owners out there that I hope you like heat and plenty of it and if you don’t you better get a dog.

    I read your link and if cats are so smart then why are they sitting in a laboratory at Tufts University while I’m doing fun stuff like going to the dog park and updating my blog?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! j00Z g0t 0wN3D!

    I send a bark out to all the scientists at Tufts University and their feline lab specimens.

    The pug is a noble animal, not a science fair project.

    P.S. I like your picture.

  3. Marshmallow
    24 Oct 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Hello again, Lightning. You misinterpreted my comments, which I understand may be confusing for you since you are, in fact, a dog. Of course I would not feel smart about watching my family get barbecued. I would feel smart because I survived while the dumb dog ran back into the burning house to get the other dumb dog. Self preservation seems to be a concept that is foreign to canines.

    The dogs are not at Tufts because they are busy training to serve humans as expendable front line infantry units in homes across America. I am not actually at Tufts, although I would volunteer to consult with the researchers should they require my services. When I finish typing this, I will eat a few pieces of kibble, have a nice bath, and find a sunny spot to nap in for awhile. It’s so much more relaxing than chasing criminals and escorting blind people across busy intersections.

    Nobility means nothing if you and your master are dead as a result of stupidity. Who will be left to tell your tale of heroism? Me and the other cats. When we tell your tale we will be sure to convey a respectful attitude even though we abhor your unquestioning servitude.

    Do you suppose your human master would give his life to save yours? I would not expect my housemates to do that for me, which is good because I would not do that for them. We co-exist independently…we don’t exist co-dependently. It works out better that way.


    PS. When cats rule the world again, I will be glad to have you and your human serve on my staff, should you survive that long. In the meantime, try to keep your humans from playing with matches.

  4. my cat can beat up your dog
    24 Oct 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Cat called 911 to help ill owner, police say


  5. Lightning
    24 Oct 2008 at 6:14 pm


    I don’t want to get into a he barked/she meowed exchange with you but the point of the story is that the family is only alive because they decided to get a dog, so to all humans who are not tired of living and would rather be dead I would say you should definitely get a dog.

    But just to show there are no hard feelings, I asked my owner to make you an avatar for your comments.

    @my cat can beat up your dog:

    That must be the exception that proves the rule. Normally cats will just wait till you’re dead and then eat you.

  6. MS
    24 Oct 2008 at 7:02 pm

    From the link about cats eating their dead owners:

    I can tell you something too…there is a reason this man who has cat food strewn about his home is single and living alone.

  7. Marshmallow
    24 Oct 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Lightning,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. All humans who are tired of living, please adopt a cat from a shelter. I would especially encourage the aged and infirmed to take advantage of this offer. It’s a win-win situation as far as I’m concerned. Cats are meat eaters, and those of us that humans consider “domesticated” don’t get nearly enough of that with all this dry kibble lying around.

    And thanks for the avatar. I can’t believe how young I look in that picture!

  8. Augusto Tosi
    18 Nov 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I can not believe the amount of ****** comments that are written in this thread.
    Firstly, it’s not that dogs are generous and cats are selfish. These are human categories that don’t apply to animals.
    Dogs behave the way they do because they are social animals. When wild, they live in packs. Packs have a leader, and the elements that are not leaders behave with the leader exactly like domestic dogs behave with their owners. It’s just their nature and their instinct. They don’t do that because they are generous to you. They do that because that’s the way it works for them.
    Conversely, cats are not selfish. Cats are solitary animals. They live alone their whole life, except for the 30-40 first days of their life, when they depend on their mother’s milk. The “pack logic” just isn’t part of their genes. It’s not a fault. It’s just the way they are.
    I lived with both dogs and cats and I can testify that they both are able to incredible affection and love to their owners. They just show it in different ways, according to their own nature.
    Oh and a final note: between cats and dogs, dogs are -by far- the most necrophagous species. There is a lot of studies to attest that, and the size of dog’s noses compared to their skull dimensions says it all. A hungry cat can surely become necrophagous, but it’s not their way of life. While all canine species are necrophagous just as much as they are predators. Some canine species even adopted necrophagy as their main mean of sustenance, like jackals, hyenae, et c.
    Just setting some facts straight.

  9. Lightning
    18 Nov 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Hello Augusto Tosi

    You seem to know a little bit about dogs but not as much as me because I AM a dog and you also know nothing about loyalty because a dog would never eat its owner like a cat would.

    A dog will guard his owner’s body until someone finds it or until he starves to death, whichever comes first.

    P.S. I am marking a Dislike on your comment.

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