Cats and dogs, I assume, remain the most common pets in America.  They’ve got one thing in common.  They’ll stick their heads into a food dish before you actually can get the food poured.  A cat here at the office sometimes head butts the cup as I try and pour dry food. 

If I point at an object, a cat will sniff my finger.  A dog will look at the object at which I’m pointing.

Where the species differ is in following commands.  If I point at an object, a cat will sniff my finger.  A dog will look at the object at which I’m pointing.  Some new research suggests dogs are hardwired to take instructions and may be very intuitive.  From the time the animals are little puppies.  I’ve seen some YouTube videos where dogs are bringing people slippers and newspapers.  The training needn’t be lengthy.  Dogs are quick learners.

I used to simply say “outside” to dogs I owned and some would grab the leash before I could pick it up.  Speaking to a cat usually gets a far different response.  Often I’m ignored.  There are words they often hear and may even recognize but the best I get is a tail thump or ears pick up slightly.

They do have a positive response if I shake a container of treats.  One of the barn cats here at the studios will go to a particular spot and wait for treats.  So, a cat is capable but only if it involves something it likes.

I also have a cat that knows when I wake up it’s time for some Friskies.  The same when I come home.

The cats at work have a similar response.  As many as two, sometimes three are waiting by the employee door when I arrive at work.  Those rare times I stop by the office in the evening, they also expect a feeding.  So, Pavlovian responses aren’t simply confined to dogs.

 

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