Cat vs Dog : Which pet to choose?
We all know a friend who is hesitating between taking a dog or a cat as a pet. Maybe you've had this dilemma once in your life. It's perfectly normal, because dogs and cats are the most popular pets in the world. Each one has its own unique characteristics that make them so adorable. Cats are known for their independence while dogs need more attention and exercise.
In this article, we will study the characteristics of these pets to help you make your choice. You will have elements to answer the cat vs dog dilemma and they will allow you to answer the question, "What is the best pet for me?
Characteristics of cats and dogs
Life expectancy varies according to the breed and living conditions of these pets. Cats have a life expectancy between 12 and 25 years. The life expectancy of dogs is shorter and varies between 12 and 18 years.
Because pets are not in the wild, they do not need to rely on their instincts because they have access to food. In fact, domestic cats that have easy access to their meal do not need to hunt. However, they can hunt pests (mice or rats) for fun.
All dogs have the ability to hunt because they know how to do it instinctively. However, like the cat, they will not do so if you feed them regularly.
Cats are generally solitary and independent animals. They do not fear loneliness and this does not influence their anxiety. They can stay home alone as long as he has access to their food. This independence can make them seem distant.
Unlike kittens, dogs are animals that live best in packs. They like to belong to a group and be in the company of their owner or other dogs. When you leave them alone in an apartment, for example, they are able to wait for you at the door all day long. Because dogs need more attention than cats, they are less suitable for people who travel a lot or have a long working day.
It is best not to leave dogs alone in the house all day, while cats are easily accommodated in this situation.
Their living space
This information is one of the most important in choosing your pet. In fact, depending on the living space available, he will be more or less happy and will not develop forms of stress or anxiety.
Pets, because of their size, can more easily stand apartments. Cats like small spaces as shown in numerous videos that show them entering a small space. They derive a certain satisfaction from lying in a small cardboard box for example.
Dogs do not tolerate small spaces as well. In general, they need more space to live in. Of course, this depends a lot on the breed of your dog.
Different breeds have different displays of affection. Indeed, it is known that some breeds of dog or cat are more affectionate than others that are more independent.
Moreover, beyond the breed aspect, there is the character of your pet to take into account. Overall, cats are more independent but can be particularly affectionate, whereas dogs will love you unconditionally if you treat them properly.
Energy / Activity
This is a very important element to consider before making your choice. Indeed, if you are rather sporty, you like jogging or other outdoor sports, a dog will be more suitable for you. On the other hand, if you are more "laid back" and less sporty, a cat might be advisable.
Cats are great sleepers and can sleep up to 16 hours a day (Our article : Top 8 best cat bed for a restful sleep). Again, it depends on the breed of cat because some are very active, for example the Bengal cat (see blog). These felines often sleep during the day and like to wander around the house at night, sometimes preventing their owners from sleeping. Our article "My cat meows at night, what should I do?" will give you some solutions to avoid this.
Like cats, some breeds of dogs are more energetic than others. If you choose a dog, choose a breed that fits your lifestyle. Dogs can be kept indoors but should be walked regularly (at least twice a day).
Cat training versus dog training
Although some cats learn to do tricks, they do them to please themselves and not their owners. This makes kittens difficult to train.
How to choose between a cat or a dog
Before choosing between a dog or a cat, it is important to consider the following:
- The time you can devote to your pet: Dogs need more attention and therefore more time than cats;
- The budget devoted to your pet: As a general rule, the maintenance of a dog is more expensive than that of a cat;
- The temperament of the animal you wish to have: Dogs are more demonstrative and affectionate while cats are more independent;
- The lifestyle you have: Do you spend a long day at work? Are you sporty and a jogger? All the answers to these questions are as many elements allowing you to make your choice;
- The available living space: Your living space is a crucial element to take into account. Indeed, if you live in a small apartment, it would be more interesting to choose a cat rather than a dog. On the other hand, if you live in a house with a large garden, the dog will be an ideal companion for you;
- The presence of children: If you wish to have children or if you already have some is an important fact to take into account in the choice of your pet;
- The presence of another pet: Depending on the pet you already have, the cat or dog may be suitable. For example, if you already have a dog, choosing another one will allow your pet to have company and it will no longer be alone when you are away.
After having taken into consideration all the elements previously mentioned, you will still have to define if you want to take a purebred pet from a breeder or if you want to rescue a dog or a cat in an animal shelter.
If you don't adopt a kitten, think about whether you want an indoor or an outdoor cat, as there are breeds of cat more or less adapted to each situation.
Cat breeds have different temperaments but they vary less than dogs. For example Siamese cats are intelligent and playful but can be very noisy, while long-haired cats are relaxed. Shorthair cats are generally affectionate and in a stable mood.
Each kitty has a different personality, so you should interact with them before bringing them home. Consider the length of the cat's hair, as longer hairs, such as those of a Maine Coon, Persian or Ragdoll, will require daily brushing (check out our cat brush).
When choosing a dog, consider its size. Larger dogs, such as a German Shepherd or Labrador, need more space or cost more to feed and care for. In addition, some breeds of dogs are easier to train, such as labradors and corgis. Just like cats, dogs with long coats will need more regular grooming.
Although pure breeds are popular, they may be less easy to train and may have specific health problems. Mixed-breed dogs generally have fewer health problems and can be adopted from shelters at a lower cost.
Cat care versus dog care
Choice of equipment
To live comfortably, cats need certain things:
- An available food: these felines are great nibblers, they can eat small amounts of food about ten times a day. This is why it is important to use a cat bowl or cat feeder in order to have their food available at all times.
- A regular water supply: the domestic cat often has a diet based on kibble, which is a dry food. This is why it is important to provide your cat with a source of water, either in a bowl or with a cat water fountain.
- An accessible and clean litter box: In order to prevent your cat from depositing "little presents" all over your house, it is important to provide him with a litter box. Our article "How to teach a kitten to use litter box" will give you tips on how to teach your cat to be clean at an early age. Moreover, cat litter mat are indispensable accessories for keeping your home clean.
- A scratching post : Cats need to make their claws. In order to avoid finding your chair damaged, it is essential to acquire a scratching post for your kitty.
- Toys for cats : Cats can be very active, which is why you should provide them with cat toys;
- A Cat Bed : Offer to your kitten its corner to him, its haven of peace in particular with our calming cat bed.
- A cat brush : This will help remove dead hair from your cat's fur. So he won't risk swallowing them.
The essential equipment to have when you have a dog are the following:
- A bowl of food and water;
- A leash and a collar to facilitate walks outside the house among other things;
- A dog bed that will become his own personal space;
- Like the cat, the dog needs to play to keep busy, especially with chew toys;
- He also needs treats that will allow him to clean his teeth, for example.
Cat or dog food
These pets don't have the same needs.
The amount of food your cat needs will vary depending on her age and size. Kittens need less food than most dogs. Domestic cat food comes in dry (kibble) or wet canned (pate) form.
The amount of food a dog needs depends on its age and size. Their food comes in the same form as cats.
Grooming your dog or cat
As you know, cats don't always like water. Fortunately, they do not need a bath, but they should be brushed regularly (with cat brush or cat hair remover glove).
Dogs, especially those with long hair, need frequent grooming and bathing. Unlike cats, dogs generally enjoy water.
Both cats and dogs can be infected with ticks, lice, fleas or other parasites. When this happens, it is important to consult your veterinarian for advice.
Cats and Dogs Health
The average life expectancy of a cat is between 12 and 14 years. However, cats can live until their twenties, or even thirties in exceptional cases, which represents a very advanced age (see article: How old is your cat really?).
The life expectancy of dogs is between 7 and 16 years on average. Of course, this lifespan varies according to the breed and the living conditions of the dog. The life expectancy of a dog can go up to about 20 years. The size of the dog influences its life expectancy.
Cats know how to use a litter box after a few lessons. Kitten owners can teach them how to be clean as early as a few months. For greater efficiency, a combination of a cat litter box and a cat litter mat is perfect to keep your home clean. To increase the chances of using your cat litter box, it is necessary to clean the litter box daily.
Dogs should be trained from an early age. They need to be socialized and maintained properly. Dog training takes about 2 months.
Dogs can act as guard or watchdogs, protecting their owners, their territory and their homes. Cats, on the other hand, cannot perform this function.
Annual cost of a cat and a dog
All expenses taken together, we can globally estimate the annual cost of a cat at approximately $1,000 the first year, then $300 to $700 per year for health and routine maintenance for a middle-aged cat with no particular health problem. It is important to note that in addition to these regular expenses, there can always be more important expenses, which vary according to the cat's state of health, its fragility, the breed's predisposition to certain pathologies and in case of illness or accident.
A dog will cost its owners approximately $1,300 per year, not including veterinary fees for life's hazards (the advertised rate does not take into account veterinary interventions or treatments).
The above costs take into account all expenses related to your pet (food, bed, accessories, toys, veterinary fees, insurance, grooming, etc.).
The cat will therefore be a pet more suited for small budgets.
Cats and dogs in a few figures
There are approximately 90 million pet cats in the United States, according to census data. Approximately 3-5% of American domestic cats are purebred. The list of cat breeds is large, most registries recognize about 40 breeds of cats.
There are about 83 million pet dogs in the United States. It is important to note that not all dogs in the world are listed or kept at home as pets. Many are roaming the streets freely and are very difficult to register. For this reason, the most common figures used to estimate the number of dogs in the world are usually from pet food manufacturers.
According to the literature, there are about 700 different breeds of dogs, most of which have been approved by the FCI (Fédération cynologique international).
The most popular breeds of cat and dog
The most popular cat breeds in the United States are Persian, Maine Coon, Exotic, Siamese, Abyssinian, Ragdoll, Burmese, American Shorthair, Oriental and Sphynx.
The most popular dog breeds in the United States are the Labrador, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Beagle, English Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Boxer, Poodle and Rottweiler.
Conclusion of this cat vs dog
This article has presented a number of elements that can help you make your choice between a cat or a dog. Remember that you will be adopting a real companion that will give you back the love you will give him or her.
It's important to consider that the cat or dog's expectation is "relatively" important. Before making your choice, make sure that you really want a pet so as not to inflate the number of animal shelters.
Bonus 1 :
Whether you choose a cat or a dog, you will face a hair loss. To help you out, check out our article "Cat Hair Remover: A solution to fight against pet hairs" which will help you choose from cat hair remover.
Bonus 2 :