Difference Between Cow and Buffalo

Cow vs Buffalo

It is very interesting to follow the difference between cow and buffalo, given the context of the uses of these two. Mainly, cow and buffalo could be understood as two species; on the other hand, these are used as terms. Additionally, there are some other important facts about both cows and buffalos and those are discussed briefly in this text.


The term cow commonly refers to the reproductive female cattle. In addition, few of the species of mammalian females are called as cows. Cows are fertile and are called for the females who have delivered at least one calf. Usually, they are smaller in size and show less aggression compared to others of the population. Cows do not have prominent horns, but sometimes they may have small and blunt horns. The presence of prominent hump and dewlaps is not usually seen in cows. Out of all those female-specific features of cows, the most important feature to identify them is their female reproductive system, which consists of two ovaries and uterus that open to the external by the vulva. That means, observation of vulvae just below the anus confirms that it is a cow. In addition, their urination behaviour would be important to notice as cows urinate to back and out of their bodies.

When a cow comes to the heat, mucus secretion could be observed from vulva, and it is a significant feature to detect the heat. Usually, one female delivers one calf a year, and lactation occurs until the calf is ready to be weaned. As their milk is nutritious for humans, lactating cows have an elevated value for them.


Buffalo is an important member among the bovines with a black colour cattle-like appearance. Usually, the term buffalo refers to the domestic buffalo or the water buffalo, despite there are few other referred species including Cape buffalo and Eurasian buffalo. However, there are different types of water buffalos raised for milk, meat, and work purposes.

Usually, all types are black in colour and larger in physique compared to other cattle species. There are distinct types of coats according to the climatic conditions that they live; a long coat in temperate climates and short fur in tropical climates. Usually, most of the buffalos have horns, but shapes and sizes vary according to the species. Cape buffalo has its own characteristically shaped thick horn with special downward and upward curves while Wild Asian buffalo has slender horns with an upward curve. One important observation about them is the absence of the sweat glands on their skin, which makes them have more heat inside their bodies. Therefore, they prefer to stay around water during the daytime. In addition, they put mud on their body, so that their bodies would be cooled.

Usually, the swamp buffalos are raised for both meat and work purposes, as they are very strong whereas the river buffalos are raised for milk purposes. However, the term buffalo is colloquially used to mention the American bison in North America.

What is the difference between Cow and Buffalo?

• Cow is a female cattle while buffalo is a separate bovine species.

• The term cow is used to refer the female of many species, but the term buffalo refers to domestic or water buffalos.

• Cattle cows are domestic, but buffalos prefer a life in the wild.

• Buffalos have broader and stronger horns than cows with horns.

• Buffalos are usually more robustly built than cows.

• Buffalos are ashy black in colour while cows are of few colour and sometimes with patterning, as well.