Personally I think it’s unfair to compare cats and dogs. You’ll find people on both sides claiming one or the other is a better pet. Of course as pet lovers, we seldom think of any negative aspects to sharing our lives with cats or dogs and many of us are lucky enough to have both together.
There are differences though and it may be easier for some people to choose depending on their lifestyle.
For example, food. Dogs generally eat more, even small ones. Cats eat more slowly while most dogs seem to inhale their food.
Dogs have to be walked for exercise and to go potty. Cats have to have their litter box cleaned regularly. Many people now take their cats for walks, but cats pretty much exercise on their own.
Both cats and dogs need mental stimulation. Bored animals can become mischievous.
Cats and dogs both require regular grooming. Nails and ears must be attended to. Both should be brushed often to keep the coat clean, free of snarls and in good condition. Some breeds of dogs need regular clipping and long-haired cats sometimes have their coats trimmed. Dogs need baths more often than cats. I know you’ve heard that cats do a great job of cleaning themselves, but they too need to be bathed once in a while.
Cats and dogs are pretty much equal when it comes to illnesses. Except for rabies and some diseases like cancer and diabetes, their illnesses are different and stay within the species.
Tricks can be taught to both cats and dogs. Dogs are able to perform more than cats. Teaching cats requires more patience.
Cats and dogs are used as therapy pets. However dogs have a wide range of work, acting as guide dogs, service and therapy dogs, search and rescue, herding, working with the police and army, competing in various sports – the list is long, the feats amazing.
If you have to go away for a day or two, a cat can be left alone as long as there is access to enough food and water and a litter box. Cats have been labeled unfairly as “independent” but I believe it’s just that they can take better care of themselves than dogs can in a domestic situation. Dogs need to be walked and should not be left alone for more than 8-10 hours.
People owning cats or dogs or both have been proven to be healthier.
Both cats and dogs like attention and deserve it. But cats are more often content lying quietly on your lap or at your feet.
Owning any type of pet teaches responsibility to children when they are allowed to care for it.
Dogs can be noisier with their barking. But have you ever heard a pack of cats on the prowl at night? You must admit, they can cause loss of sleep. However, dogs can be trained not to bark at inappropriate times.
It’s true that some dogs left alone can be destructive due to fear or loneliness. But there are training tools to eliminate this behavior.
Cats are probably better pets for people with mobility problems. But many people in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities have service dogs that can perform amazing tasks.
Most cats can be content living indoors. And all too often, apartment buildings do not allow people with dogs to rent while they will overlook cats as pets.
In the final analysis, we all choose the pet suited to our personalities. Most of us who love animals have room in our hearts and lives for all God’s creatures.