Should You Get A Dog Or A Cat?
Sat, April 17, 2021

Should You Get A Dog Or A Cat?


Can you imagine living with both dogs and cats? It’s not necessarily doom and gloom as both animals can get along well despite their differences, said Jean Marie Bauhaus of Hills Pet, an American pet food company. But if you only have to choose one, would you pick a cat or a dog? Choosing the best pet for you might entail how their differences affect your relationship with your dog or cat.

Dog Owners Versus Cat Owners

In 2018, the General Social Survey, who helps monitor societal change and the growing complexity of American society, found that those who only own dogs are “very happy” (36%) compared with owners who have a dog and cat (28%) and a cat (18%) and non-pet owners (32%), reported Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post, an American newspaper in Washington, D.C.

More dog owners (63%) sought comfort from their pet unlike cat owners (51%). Dog owners were likely to play with their pet (76%) and consider their pet as a family member (93%) than cat owners (65% of owners who answered “play with their pet” and 83% who chose “consider their pet a member of family). Correlation does not equate to causation. For example, the General Social Survey found that dog owners were likely to be married and own their own homes than cat owners, which may affect the respondents’ happiness and life satisfaction.

Mars Petcare surveyed 1,000 dog owners and 1,000 cat owners, revealing that the former tends to earn more money on average than the latter ($47,000 versus $40,000)— which could be associated with additional trends, according to Better Cities for Pets, a program that helps cities be more pet-friendly. Extra income may aid dog owners considering that they spent 33% more on clothing and accessories and 26% more on entertainment compared with cat owners.

Dogs were likely to improve their owners’ lives through exercise than felines (45% versus 8%). Dog owners were likely to be runners (25%) compared to 16% of cat owners. Cats may not be the best fitness partners, but owners were more likely to disclose their secrets to their pet felines than dog owners (23% versus 19%). 70% of cat owners credit their cat in helping them reduce stress compared with dog owners (66%).

Interestingly, 19% of dog owners were likely to go all-out for their canine’s birthday compared with 9% of cat owners. Dogs influenced how their owners make decisions, with 67% reporting that their pet is a huge factor planning unlike 58% of cat owners.



How Do I Know If A Dog Is The One for Me?

Dogs are pack animals, making them friendlier, happier, and more social. Dogs are happy if you (in case you live alone) as a family member provides them with food and leadership. They are more eager of accepting new experiences such as travel or moving. However, their pack mentality also means they should not be left alone for extended periods. Dogs love attention and closeness akin to that of a young child.

Dogs are easier to train cats as the former’s pack mentality makes it enthusiastic to follow and obey you. Dog training involves teaching and reinforcing commands that allow you to communicate your desires to your pet. A dog is the right pet for you if you’re energetic and love the great outdoors, stated Purina, an American subsidiary of Nestle. If you have a garden, live in rural areas, or have access to parks and open spaces, consider getting a dog. If you have a demanding job, consider whether you can give your dog attention and even train and groom it.

Your lifestyle should also be suitable to the breed you are getting. Dogs come in different sizes, shape, hairiness, and temperament. Bear in mind that breeds have different learning aptitudes, with some being more receptive to training than others. Potty training is harder for dogs, particularly puppies. If you are patient, you can teach your dog where and when they are not allowed to potty using positive reinforcement and a lot of repetition.  Dogs are usually costlier to care for than cats considering food, training classes, vet bills, and daycare.



How Do I Know If A Cat Is The One for Me?

Cats are solitary creatures, utilizing their claws to catch prey and to defend themselves from larger animals. Cats are seen as aloof because of their independence, sleeping during the day and prowling at night. A cat is a better option for you if you have a busy lifestyle and want a more independent pet. Cats also make better pets for individuals who are less physically active.   

Felines can forge a strong bond with their owners and some breeds are more sociable than others. When their owner disappears or passed from one individual to another, cats may suffer from separation anxiety. Cats can be trained, but it also requires patience and consistent practice. If you wish to train your cat, consider training it on establishing boundaries.

Cats get their dose of physical activity from play and through their hunting instincts. Activities that involve stalking prey (toys) and climbing high places (cat trees) help stimulate their instincts. In general, pet felines do not need a big area to roam around. In fact, if you live in a large house, you might not be able to find your cat because they excel in hide-and-seek.

Regarding potty training, cats instinctively use the litter box. All you have to do is show them where it is. If your cat fails to catch on, consult your veterinarian as this may be a sign of a medical condition. Because of its independence and ability to care for itself, a cat may be a less costly option for you. A cat relies on you for food, and stimulation can be as simple as shining a flashlight on the floor or tying a feather on a stick.  



Which One Is The Best?

In a dilemma? Only you can answer that question. It is advisable to do your research on your pet’s breed, genetics, animal history, and temperament before adopting or purchasing it. As a testing ground, you can take care of someone’s dog or cat to see if either one is right for you.

The cat versus dog debate may ensure for eternity, but only you can make the final decision. Avoid impulse buying pets. Think about it first and do your research. If you are confident, why not get a dog and a cat?