Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Many people land on a definitive side, preferring one over the other. Dogs and cats are very different animals when it comes to the roles they play in our lives and how we need to take care of them.

But what about their bigger, wilder brethren?

What differences are there between canids and felids? What similarities are there?

Check out some important characteristics each of these animals have:



  • There are 37 species of felines
  • They are native almost everywhere, except for Australia and Antarctica
  • Most felines have fur that has a pattern, such as stripes or spots
  • Most have retractable claws
  • Cats tend to be silent, but big cats, like lions, will make noises, such as roaring or growling
  • They usually hunt alone, without a pack (except for lions)
  • They are built for rapid dashes, but not sustained running
  • They have strong sight and hearing but don’t have as good a sense of smell as canines do
  • Their front feet have five toes and their back feet have four toes



  • There are 36 species of canid
  • They can be found almost everywhere, except for Australia and Antarctica
  • Most canids are carnivores, but some have a more omnivorous diet
  • They tend to be very social animals and often communicate with howls, yelps, and barks
  • Most canines have a uniform pattern on their fur
  • They are built for long-term stamina, but not rapid dashes
  • They have four toes on their front feet plus a dewclaw, while their back feet have four toes
  • Their claws are not retractable
  • Carnivorous canines tend to hunt together in packs, while omnivorous canines are usually solitary
  • Social hierarchies come with their social groups

Check out more information about canids in Jeremy’s Heft video, How Wolf Body Size Can Be Exaggerated in Hunting Photos.

All the best,

Chris & the WERC Team