Jan 21 2014

The difference between dogs and cats

I have discussed before how frightening it must be for animals to learn how to go down steps, and how interesting it was to watch Baxter the Wonder Dog learn to do so when he was a puppy and how proud he was of his accomplishment.

He did not have an older dog to model it for him like the one in that other video but it looks like when it comes to teaching their young how to go down steps, dogs and cats seem to have quite different philosophies.


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  1. 1
    Al Dente

    T.S. Eliot put it quite well in “The Addressing of Cats”:

    But first your memory I’ll jog
    And say a cat is not a dog.

  2. 2


    Seriously, cats do learn by observation, and I remember reading an account of a cat demonstrating how to climb down a tree to a frightened kitten who’d discovered that what goes up, must come down, but not always as easily.

    But darned if I can recall the name of the book or the author.

  3. 3

    Children can have similar problems. One of my nephews, who lived in a bungalow, took a long time to get the idea of stairs and learned from his cousins. Once he knew about them, though, his main occupation when he visited us was running up and down stairs.

  4. 4

    I had a greyhound who was able to go up and down steps. It was amazing that he could do so, because greyhounds are long and have long legs. He could only do steps that were carpeted. Some greyhounds never learn because they never see or use stairs at the racetrack.

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