Cats and dogs are the most admired pets of all times. Cats are more self-governing and are usually low-priced than dogs. Dogs are loyal and compliant, but they need more care and vibrant activities, such as outdoor strolls. Cohabitation between dogs and cats is not impossible. These two species can co-live quite well despite their conspicuous discrepancies. But how can these different traits affect your bond with your pet? And which pet should you pick if you can only choose one? In this article, we will give you a heads-up on the cat vs dog debate to help you decide which is the best pet for you – a dog or a cat.
How to Choose?
Considering how much time you can spend with the animal is key when it comes to choosing between a cat or a dog. Dogs thrive in the presence of their owner and love quality time unlike cats who can handle solitude. You should also ask yourself whether you are willing to splash the cash or not since dogs are more expensive than cats. Most importantly, you should choose the pet whose behaviour suits your personality type as dogs are more needy and affectionate than independent cats.
What to Consider before Adopting a Cat?
Each cat type has its own temperaments that makes it different from the rest of cat breeds. For example, Siamese cats are intelligent and playful, but can be quite loud, while longhair cats are laid back and shorthair cats are generally affectionate and even-tempered. Each cat also has a different personality, so you need to interact with it before you bring it home. Also consider the length of the hairs you can handle, as cleaning the furniture from long hairs, like those of a Maine Coon, Persian, or Ragdoll can be a buzzkill for many people.
What to Consider before Adopting a Dog?
When it comes to adopting a dog, one should think about its size beforehand. Large dogs, such as a German Shepherd or a Labrador require larger spaces and more food than other dog breeds. Some breeds, such as Labradors, Corgis, and Spaniels, are also easier to train than others and have a friendlier temperament. The length of the dog’s hair should be taken into account as those with a longer coat will need more regular grooming. Although purebreds are the most popular, they are more prone to suffer from health issues, whereas mixed-breed dogs generally have fewer health concerns.
The Instinctive Behavior of Dogs and Cats
Dogs are pack animals as in the wild, dogs form packs in which each member cooperates to find food and ensure their protection. The pack usually has an “alpha dog” that other dogs look to for the lead. Domestic puppies have this pack instinct which generally makes them sociable, friendly, and happy to belong to a family or even a single person who can provide them with food and emotional nourishment. Dogs instinctively go wherever their pack goes, making them more readily receptive to experiences such as travel or moving. This mentality pack also makes it very difficult for dogs to be left alone, especially for long periods of time. Dogs need closeness and attention. Having a dog can be compared to having a young child.
Cats are lonely hunters as most feral cats are solitary nighttime hunters. This explains why they often sleep during the day and like to walk around the house at night. Unlike dogs, cats can jump and climb, which helps them hunt and escape danger more easily. Their sharp, retracting claws give them a definite advantage when it comes to catching prey and evading larger predators. Therefore, cats don’t need to cooperate to survive. This also makes them territorial. For domestic cats, these instincts make them much more independent than dogs. This independence can make them seem distant.
Not only do cats love their space, but they can be inclined to mark their territory by urinating outside their litter box, especially before being spayed. That is why cats see rearranging furniture as a source of stress. Although a cat’s independent nature usually helps them cope better than dogs with being left alone, it’s important to remember that all cats are different. Some breeds of cats are more social than others. Cats can develop extremely strong bonds with those around them. When a cat’s favorite person goes missing, they develop separation anxiety, especially if they go from owner to owner. Cats are also very intelligent creatures, and although they have a hunter mentality encoded in their DNA, they also know who feeds them and plays with them.
Cats usually outlive dogs, which is an important issue to consider if you seek a lifelong furry friend.
Which Is Easier to Train?
When it comes to training a cat vs a dog, dogs are generally the easiest to train. Dogs’ pack mentality makes them ready to follow a leader and generally makes them more obedient by nature. Generally, dog training is a process of teaching and reinforcing orders that help you communicate your wishes to your dog. Dogs are so eager to please that they are happy to meet your requirements. However, every dog is different, and some breeds have temperaments and learning skills.
Cats can be trained, but not as thoroughly as dogs. It takes a lot of patience and constant practice to overcome their willful nature. With cats, it is best to focus training on setting boundaries. Cats use the litter box instinctively. Sometimes it is enough to show them once where the bin is. If a cat is slow to figure out how to use the litter box or seems to forget it later, this is often a sign of an underlying health problem, and you should see your vet. Dogs, on the other hand, can be much more difficult to learn how to use the litter box.
Although some cats learn to do tricks, they do them to please themselves and not to please their owners, and therefore, cats are more difficult to train. Most dogs can be trained to do a few tricks with patience.
All in all
If you are looking for a companion to sit by your side, a dog might be your best pet. Cats can be very affectionate and attentive, but only to a point as cats tend to get bored or overstimulated, so they need some me-time occasionally.