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Thread: Cats and Dogs

  1. #1 Cats and Dogs 
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    Why are house cats basically the same when dogs come in such a huge variety? Do they have more genes you can mess with?


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    cats are not domesticated to the same extent as dogs are
    have you ever tried herding cats ?


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    wha??? It depends on how many years they have been domesticated?
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    no, you misunderstand me : cats have a mind of their own, and are often on the prowl away from home during the night, unlike dogs who tend to stay at home or leave it accompanied by their owner
    hence there's a lot more uncontrolled interbreeding going on amongst cats, which works against the selection efforts of humans
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    ok then. Why are there so many different kinds of fish then. They just release the sperm and who knows who's eggs it lands on. But the variety of fish is amazing. Why not cats?
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    felis domesticus is 1 species

    "fish" covers thousands of species (the definition of species being that they don't interbreed, so they can't start blending)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orleander
    ok then. Why are there so many different kinds of fish then. They just release the sperm and who knows who's eggs it lands on. But the variety of fish is amazing. Why not cats?
    1. You can keep fish in a pond/bowl and control their sexual behaviour. If you're talking about domesticated animals.

    2. If you are talking about all fish in general the comparison is meaningless. At the very least, fish would contain all the actinopterygians, a clade equivalent to that of the sarcopterygians (lungfish, lizards, frogs, ostriches and yes, all cats). If you start thinking about all felines, then you have a much greater size variation than amongst modern dogs - tiger to domestic cat is a greater difference than grey wolf to fennec fox.

    3. Domestic cats can be bred in a variety of forms, but certainly they seem to be less various than domestic dogs. Marnix suggested one possible solution - cats are not herd/pack animals and their socialisation instincts are nothing like a dogs. Ergo they are not really trainable (of course professionals can get them to do tricks but those are generally exceptions) and therefore can fit few roles apart from the standard: companion and verminator. Dogs, being happy to please and be trained, can move on to herding, hunting, retrieving, guarding etc and therefore increase the human motivation to play around with size and shape until they get what they believe to be the ideal.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    I believe selective breeding practices have been done on dogs for thousands of years, whereas selective breeding of cats to produce new breeds really only started in France during the 1800s. Also it actually is misconception that there aren't as many cat breeds as dog breeds it is just that 97% of cats owned by people are not official breeds. Most of the pure show breeds are very rare and owned by cat enthusiaste.

    On the topic of the way cats often breed wildly, the street cats of North America (The American Shorthair) are a distinct breed from the European Shorthair common on mainland europe. Moreover, the European Shorthair of the UK is different from the European Shorthair of the mainland. These aren't recognized breeds, but usually reflect the homogenized dominant traits of the cats found in those regions. Most people's cats come from those street cats. That is why cats seem so homogenous.
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  10. #9  
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    Cats are not all the same. Infact, there are several different kinds of cats.

    Hairless
    Hairy
    Exotic
    Wild

    No cat is exactly like any other, much like humans.

    Humans come in different colors and shapes, and generally, no human is the exact same as any other.

    I think you should look into something like this. There are so many different breeds of cats, like dogs.

    To me, all dogs are the same. Their temperments are all the same and they all smell...

    But then again, I dont know much about dogs. :wink:
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  11. #10  
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    Dogs can be trained; therefore they have many different uses. They are selectively bred to hunt different game in different terrain, pull sleds, herd sheep, etc. Cats are pets or mousers - that's about all they're good for.
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    So dogs are in more varieties because we have bred them for a purpose, where a cat's only purpose was just to be a good mouser.

    So we have dogs ranging in size from a Chihuahua to Great Dane. Could we ever do that to cats?
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  13. #12  
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    If you compare a house cat with a tiger, consider it done.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orleander
    So dogs are in more varieties because we have bred them for a purpose, where a cat's only purpose was just to be a good mouser.

    So we have dogs ranging in size from a Chihuahua to Great Dane. Could we ever do that to cats?
    Well cats can range from very tiny exotics around 5-7 pounds to Maine Coons of about 20 pounds, which also have water resistant coats, and were bread to be winter resistant cats in New England. So it is possible, just people need a reason to do it, and people have been doing it with dogs for much longer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crim50nredd
    To me, all dogs are the same. Their temperments are all the same and they all smell...
    I can walk into any house and not be able to smell that a dog lives there. But I can walk into a cat owners house and tell pretty quickly.

    Also to say dogs are all the same is soo wrong. Dogs have a personality thats different in every dog.
    Cats just use people... they only care about themselves and they all run away when anyone they dont know comes near them (most of them) and they all piss off at night to go do shit on there own.
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  16. #15  
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    Are cats and dogs in a mutualistic, commensal or parasitic relationship with humans?
    ...Wait, what?
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CircularlyPolarized
    Are cats and dogs in a mutualistic, commensal or parasitic relationship with humans?
    It's hard to say because the relationship between humans and cats and dogs, for the most part, is not obligatory. Most cats and dogs could survive and reproduce well enough on their own in the wild without human help, save maybe for certain extreme breeds that tend to have serious health and/or birth complications. But the species in general could definitely live without us. Usually when you're describing one of the relationships you listed, the relationship is necessary for one (commensal and parasitic) or both (mutualistic) of the species involved.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  18. #17  
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    Aren't there - to use a big word in perhaps the wrong way - facultative symbiotic relationships? I was pretty sure there was.
    ...Wait, what?
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CircularlyPolarized
    Aren't there - to use a big word in perhaps the wrong way - facultative symbiotic relationships? I was pretty sure there was.
    Oops - you're right, I forgot about that. In that case, I would have to call it facultative mutualism. Both parties get something out of the deal.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  20. #19  
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    So I wasn't crazy after all! Well, at least not in that aspect.
    I'm torn between mutualism and parasitism. A pet can no doubt bring some feeling of company to a human, but on the other hand, it's a bit like they're (ab)using our natural instinct to seek company, kind of like how cuckoos manipulate other birds into caring for their eggs.
    While neither cats nor dogs regularly throw human children out of the nest (yet :P ), many pets don't fill any other purpose than feeding our pleasure center with company-signals or whatever. The question is whether this is actually beneficial for us.
    ...Wait, what?
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CircularlyPolarized
    So I wasn't crazy after all! Well, at least not in that aspect.
    I'm torn between mutualism and parasitism. A pet can no doubt bring some feeling of company to a human, but on the other hand, it's a bit like they're (ab)using our natural instinct to seek company, kind of like how cuckoos manipulate other birds into caring for their eggs.
    While neither cats nor dogs regularly throw human children out of the nest (yet :P ), many pets don't fill any other purpose than feeding our pleasure center with company-signals or whatever. The question is whether this is actually beneficial for us.
    Companionship is most certainly beneficial for us. When you're happy your level of stress hormones go down. We're social animals and we want to be with other beings, so pets make us happy. There may be specific cases where it's more like parasitism, but I think generally it's more like mutualism.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  22. #21  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Yes and studies have shown that pet owners live longer lives than non-pet owners. As a way to release stress they can be invaluable.
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