There is no reason for dog and cat lovers to come to blows over which makes the better pet. Having owned both, I can honestly say that either species makes wonderful companions. However, the reality of modern existence can make keeping a dog much more difficult than a cat, simply because the cat is not as emotionally ‘needy’ as is the dog.
If Time Is Not on Your Side
The reason why cats can be the best choice for many households is that unless adequate time is available for training and attending to a dog, you and your dog will probably find yourselves very disappointed. The demands of work, often with the adults working 2 or more jobs, and school for the children can mean that the home is empty, except for pets, for most of the day.
Dogs are social, pack animals, and humans have taken the place of the ordinary canine structure. Interaction with other living creatures is essential for dogs, and when they are deprived of this, they can begin to exhibit unfortunate behavioral patterns such as inappropriate soiling and destruction of property. In addition, the exercise need of many breeds of dog is great and unless this is satisfied, once again personality problems will develop.
For those individuals and families who are unable to devote the time and attention required for a happy, healthy dog, a cat can be the perfect pet.Cats are also good around children, and enjoy being a part of the family.
Why Cats Can Rule
If you would like a pet that will be more responsive than a frog, but less demanding than a dog, you will probably be the ideal cat owner. There are a number of reasons why cats can fulfill your desire for a home companion without stressing you out:
• While cats are definitely affectionate with their owners, they don’t have the crying need for human input that dogs do. Cats developed as independent hunters while dogs are pack hunters that have evolved along with human hunters. Because of the cooperation needed by the dog/human team, dogs require and demand almost constant human companionship. Cats will be there for a cuddle and play, but will not disintegrate mentally if you’re not there.
• Cats are much cleaner than dogs. If you are out of the house for most of the day, you certainly don’t want to come home to puddles, and worse, on the floor on furniture. A litter box will suffice to supply your cat’s toilet needs without problem.
• If you live in an apartment, a barking dog can anger neighbors or even get you kicked out. While it is true that some female cats are very vocal when in heat, cats are generally very quiet and will not cause any disturbances.
• Housebreaking a dog takes a good deal of patience and time. However, even very small kittens will instinctively use a litter box, you usually just need to show them where to go and they will be happy to comply (be sure to keep the box clean, a dirty box will often be avoided by cats).
• Cats will amuse themselves quietly; a catnip mouse, a scratching post, and a spot of sunlight will keep a cat happy for hours.
• The urge to protect the pack is strong in dogs, and this can sometimes be a problem when you invite guests into your home. The more reserved nature of a cat means that he or she will either come out to provide an aloof greeting or spend the entire visit hidden away.
• A daily walk is not required by a cat. You need not worry about taking your cat out when it’s rainy or snowy or in the middle of the night. Besides using the litter box without problem, cats simply don’t have the demanding exercise needs of dogs.
• Mice and be found everywhere, from the humblest cottage to a penthouse apartment. If you have a cat, you have a natural and eager vermin hunter that will be more than glad to keep rodents out of your home.
A cat can brighten up your home and provide companionship and affection, even for those who are at work for long hours. After a long day at work, a cat will be happy to curl up on your lap while you relax in front of the television, and will be more than happy to find a cozy spot on your bed to keep your feet warm on cold nights.