Dogs Vs Cats As Pets – What Pet Is Right For You?

A Pet Dog or Cat, Which Is For Me? Learn The Positives and Negatives.

Pet dogs or pet cats, both of these animals are popular pet choices available for us to choose from, but which pet is right for you? Cats and dogs are pretty much polar opposites of each other, from the personalities they carry, to the mannerisms they outwardly display, and if you want to identify what pet is right for you, then we need to learn more information about these amazing animals.

I’ve lived with dogs and cats for a long time, helping to raise them from a young age and eventually into full grown adults, so I understand the pros and cons each one of them holds. For your benefit, I’m going to list those positives and negatives from my personal experience, which will hopefully allow you to answer the question: “Is a dog or cat the right pet for me?”

Behavior – How Loving Are These Two?

Pros for Dogs: Dogs always appear to be happy, no matter what the circumstance. As long as you bought a puppy at a young age and gave them plenty of love as they grew up, then the dog’s attitude should be a fun and loving one, and that’s exactly what owners want. Dogs are loving, loyal, and are simply entertaining to just be around. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible for dogs to feel another emotion besides joy! Well, they also feel guilt when they do something wrong, but besides that, dogs are constantly brimming with positivity and it is absolutely infectious at times. Imagine a tiresome day at work, coming home and plopping down on the couch, and then being greeted by your happy animal companion who wants nothing more than to cheer you up. Aw, how nice of them!

Cons for Dogs: However, dogs sometimes can get too needy for your attention. Maybe after that long day of work, you instead want to go home and rest without any interruption, but a dog may still attempt to smother you for a pat on the back. Dogs also have the tendency to get jealous over other pets who are being given any form of attention, and may exact revenge if you don’t provide the same amount of love towards them. I had a Poodle that would pee in undesirable locations knowing it was bad, but did it anyways because she got angry or jealous. That was one bad dog. Not all dogs have such an obnoxious characteristic, however.

Pros for Cats: Unlike dogs, cats have more than one emotion! They are also far more independent and conservative. Cats will always have a fondness for their owners, but they choose to show it only when they are in the mood. A cat might wake up after a brief rest, and spontaneously think: “Well, I feel like getting some attention now,” and they’ll walk over to you and start rubbing up against your legs while purring. That’s when you know the cat is in a good mood, when they sound like miniature car motors.

Then there are other times when you will try to pet them, and the cat will just be like: “Yeah, whatever, thanks I guess.” Or the cat is in an extremely lazy mood and will refuse to respond to anything you do. Nobody ever knows how a cat will react, their behavior is random. You kinda have to “earn” their respect and attention, but hey, nothings wrong with that. Plus, cats won’t always be a bother when you’re busy.

Cons for Cats: The problem with a cat’s attitude is that it’s inconsistent, or arbitrary. There are occasions when you just want a friendly pet to come lay down on top of your lap or next to you, and cats will certainly do that, just not whenever you want. What I’m trying to articulate here is cats are not as loyal or willing to comply as easily as dogs.

Here’s an example: Once a dog learns his name, he’ll respond without hesitation when you call him. A cat, however, even when he hears you calling, will choose to either listen or completely ignore you. The cat will even raise it’s head towards you, acknowledging that he’s heard your call, and then close his eyes and go right back to sleep. How rude! Cats will listen every now and then; it’s just if they are in the mood.

Conclusion: The personality is a preference thing. People like loyal and loving pets, but they also enjoy pets who show can show some restraint.

Messiness – How Clean Or Messy Are Dogs and Cats?

Pros for Dogs: Uh, well, you know, um… Okay dogs are not really the cleanest animals around. The good thing is you can potty train them, and training them to go to the bathroom outside is both convenient and a whole lot less smelly for your home. That’s really all I have to say for the positive side. Dogs will take care of themselves most often, but you will probably need to give a bath from time to time to help keep them clean.

Cons for Dogs: First off, if you haven’t potty trained your dog yet, you should! Otherwise, the dog will pee or poop wherever they please, and that’s just gross. On top of that immense problem, dogs are known to chew on wires, shoes, or anything else accessible on the ground. Wires that have been chewed through will render whatever appliance it was powering to be fully useless. Depending on what the appliance was, it may need to be replaced, and means spending money. The same goes for the shoes.

To remedy this problem, you can buy cord covers to cover any vulnerable cords laying around. Make sure the covers are hard enough to prevent any chewing. As for the shoes, put them away in a closet somewhere. Also, consider having a few chew toys available for your dog to satisfy their chomping urges; it’ll save you money in the end.

Pros for Cats: Cats, to match their independent behavior, clean themselves many times. It’s part of a cat’s daily routine. They even have tongues that have a sandpaper like texture to help clean and groom their hair. Due to a cat’s frequent cleaning, they rarely need to be bathed, which is great. I mean, have you tried bathing a cat before? It’s a nightmarish experience for sure.

Most cats are already potty trained, all you have to do is have a few litter boxes scattered throughout the house, the rest can be left up to them. How convenient is that? You can even let a cat outside and they’ll take care of business, even burying it after they’ve finished. Cats are very clean animals.

Cons for Cats: Until they throw up a nasty hairball, that is. A major downside for cats is the perpetual vomiting. Some cats do it more often than others, but at some point, the cat is going to get a hairball from their constant cleaning, and you will have to clean it up! It’s kinda gross, but you’ll get used to it eventually.

Additionally, it’s important to spay or neuter a cat as soon as possible. It’ll prevent them from spraying your home with urine. Seriously, the earlier the better. You don’t want a cat to develop a spraying habit, it’s the worst.

And of course, cats have the tendency to claw furniture! There are scratching posts one can buy to discourage this type of behavior. Placing the posts next to the piece of furniture is most effective.

Conclusion: Cats are cleaner than dogs, but have the potential to be messier, especially if they are not spayed at the right time. But self-cleaning and instinctive potty training are two very convenient hygienic qualities to have in a pet.

Fun – Are Dogs or Cats More Fun To Play With?

Pros For Dogs: Because of a dog’s willingness to listen, to put it simply: it allows you to do more fun activities with them, and that can be way more fun for certain people. You can teach a dog new tricks, like sitting, rolling over and playing dead; all of which are entertaining for you and your family to see. Dogs also love to go for walks in the parks for some healthy exercise, or play an exciting game of fetch. Undoubtedly, dogs are very amusing animals and most of the fun comes from the owner interacting with their pet, unlike cats. I’ll explain below.

Cons For Dogs: Fun stems from an energetic and friendly attitude, which is precisely where dogs excel. If you are looking for a fun pet then, dogs will rarely disappoint. No real cons come to mind in this department.

Pros for Cats: Cats, despite their supposed sophisticated demeanor, are captivated by the simplest of things. If you’ve raised a kitten before, the first thing that stands out is their ability to entertain themselves with absolutely anything. It’s a cat’s self-entertainment that is so enthralling and fun to watch.

My cats will attack innocent rugs, rolling themselves up inside and clawing at the furry mat as if it were alive. They’ll also chase their own tails around in circles until they get dizzy, in which case they’ll stop for a few seconds, and do it all over again! Cats will stalk bugs in the house, hiding behind cover and methodically pacing themselves towards the unsuspecting insect, then they crouch down, shake their behinds back and forth until finally ending with a vicious pounce. It’s hilarious to see, and you would be surprised at how effective cats are at eliminating bugs.

If you want to participate in on the fun and interact with a cat, you can. All you need is a single piece of string. Seriously, cats cannot resist the opportunity to play with a piece of string. Even if you were to wake a cat up in the middle of the night, and they see a string wiggling vigorously in front of them, they’ll instantly become wide awake and start playing around with it.

Cons for Cats: While cats will amuse themselves with simple things, you’ll have a hard time getting them to learn any tricks. Or going for walks. Or playing with things that are not strings or string equivalents. Oh well!

Conclusion: Two different styles of fun are at work here. Dogs are more willing to learn and play with their owner, and that’s fun. Cats on the other-hand, are more willing to amuse themselves, which is fun for the owner to watch.

Cost – How Much Will These Pet Dogs and Cats Cost Me?

Dogs: The average cost of a dog varies and is usually dependent on their size. Bigger dogs such as German Shepherds will require more food to eat, while smaller puppies like a Maltipoo need much less. The more food you buy, the costlier it becomes. Other dog expenses might include flea medications, chewing toys, cord covers to protect electrical wiring, and a new shiny pair of shoes if they get chewed up! If your dog is not potty trained for the outdoors, pee pads can cost money as well.

Cats: Cat expenses include dry food, flea medications, litter boxes plus litter (unless you let the cat outside all the time), and possibly hairball medication if they struggle getting a hairball up. Cats most often than not don’t have trouble with hairballs because dry foods have a specific ingredient to help lubricate the hair. Also, don’t forget scratching posts for the cats to scratch, the posts cost substantially less than the furniture!

Conclusion: Both cats and dogs require money to take care of, is anyone surprised? Dogs may cost more if you get a bigger breed.

There you go! Those are the positives and negatives for owning a pet dog or cat. They each come with their own unique set of problems, but if you are able to look past them and pick a pet that has a personality that closely matches your own, I think it’s a decision you won’t regret making.

You could also just get both. Dogs and cats living together… what a crazy thought, but it’s possible. I do it!

I help raise some of the most beautiful teacup Maltipoo puppies [http://www.teacupandtoypuppies.net/] in the world, and also take care of some cats on the side. For the most part, the two get along perfectly fine with each other, which you might not expect.

Seven Things You May Not Know About Your Own Cat

Longevity – It is said, give a cat three years for every human year and you have an idea of how old he is compared to us. Not so. A cat at one year old is capable of reproduction and fully able to take care of himself. A three year old human is helpless. Such mathematical formulas for understanding the ‘real’ age of an animal don’t work because their internal, and external developments vary and do not correspond to human development.

But did you know that the life span of cats seems to be increasing, from around twelve years or so several decades ago to eighteen or more and it seems now not uncommon for cats to live into their twenties? Not only advances in cat medicine but apparently in genetic changes as well are contributing to longer life and some cats live to be much older indeed. Several cats in Southern California have been reported to live as long as thirty and thirty four years.

Independent & Loners – Cats are thought to be solitary creatures by many, but anyone who has visited a farm where there are cats will find they congregate in colonies, sometimes nearing twenty in number and seem even to hunt together. There is little fighting because there is always one dominant cat which the others all accept, the rest being equal. At least until a new cat arrives and dominance must be re-established.

If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, as do I, you no doubt find him asking to be let out, even though he has his cat doors. Mine does daily, usually at night. I go to the door, open it and he eagerly runs into he mudroom, awaiting the opening of the next door, though both are equipped with cat doors. If I actually go out into the back patio with him he seems delighted, rolling around on the stones, watching me. I suspect he would love a hunting companion. (Preferably, I expect, one a bit quieter and more stealthy than myself.)

Cats can’t be trained – Training is entirely possible and we have probably all seen on television performance cats trained to walk a rope, roll a ball and even swim underwater. We attribute this to some sort of showmanship business and think our own cats are not trainable. Depending on the breed and the particular cat, they are probably all trainable to some degree and they are certainly able to train us!

Particia Moyes, in her book How To Talk To Your Cat, relates how one of her cats and she have a game, the object of which is to remove from some precarious perch – the top of a chair, say, an object, without disturbing anything around and without knocking the item to the floor. The one cat does this with care and great attention, and success. Her other cat, she tells us, takes the game simply to mean, ‘get the thing regardless’ and will also retrieve the item but in the clumsiest fashion, knocking it to the floor.

Ms. Moyes speaks of two other game she and her cats have; fetch and carry and hide and seek. In the first, the person throws a ball of tinfoil (or what-have-you) and the cat returns it, dropping it at the person’s feet. The second she says her cat invented. She (the cat) will bring the ball of tinfoil, drop it, then leave the room. Ms. Moyes will hide it, then call her cat who will begin excitedly exploring all the hiding places, find it, drop it and leave the room again. Keep in mind that Ms. Moyes creates and maintains an unusual and unusually close and respectful attitude towards her cats. Very likely, and many pet owners, indeed, parents, have discovered that, the more you anticipate your pet (or child) to be capable, the more capable your pet or child becomes.

My own cat offers a less dramatic, but useful example. A stray taken in at about 8 months he at first caused some alarm with his tendency to ‘do his nails’ on the furniture. I would bang my foot on the floor and tell him no and he’d stop. Now I just tell him, in no uncertain terms, to stop and he does. He only does this when he wants something and I’m not paying attention.

In fact, this is one way a cat has to get your attention and let you know he needs something – he does what he knows he is not supposed to do. My cat knows he’s not allowed on the kitchen table, for example, but if his food bowl stays empty too long, onto the table he leaps and I know right away he wants feeding.

There is an ancient Egyptian papyrus of the twentieth dynasty showing a dog walking on his hind legs, carrying a staff, herding goats. In the same picture there is a cat, walking on his hind legs, carrying a staff, herding ducks. The picture depicts the dog and cat on their hind legs carrying staffs, no doubt, to indicate that they are in control. Were they shown on their fours, one, they could not be shown carrying a staff and two, they would seem to be on the same level as the goats and ducks, not in charge of them. My guess is that one time, before the dark days of cat extermination, cats were trained and used and I expect they themselves were very responsive to this arrangement.

Aloof – When one considers the terrible history the family of cats has endured at the hands of man, repeatedly throughout Europe and even in America, it is no wonder the cat keeps himself aloof. Associated with witches, Satan and evil, as a race, cats have been betrayed, condemned, tortured and exterminated, many times, by the thousands and tens of thousands. Those which survived the pogroms passed on their genes to progeny, along with the survival sense to be wary of man. Yet every cat owner knows how truly attached a cat can become and how genuinely grateful they are for the affection and care given them.

Cats & Music Start playing an instrument, even something gentle, such as folk music on a guitar, and a dog is likely to leave the room. A cat, on the other hand is likely to come near, lay by you, roll around, purr and seem to enjoy the sounds immensely. My previous cat used to be my biggest fan, particularly of my fairly elaborate finger picking.

My current cat loves to hear the guitar but the obvious deep pleasure he gets from that doesn’t even compare to when I pick up the Celtic Harp and play on its strings. I can only describe his state as ecstatic, as if each tiny individual sound washes him with almost unendurable pleasure. Many composers throughout history relate the same story.

The famous harpist, Mlle Dubuy, noticed that her cat purred pleasantly when she played a piece on her harp well but cried when she played less so. She used this phenomena to improve her skill. Recognizing how much she owed her success as a harpist to her discerning cat she left him her substantial inheritance and endowed loyal friends likewise to ensure her cat was well cared for.

There is a video on YouTube of a cat playing the piano. She is quite intentionally sounding the notes, utterly absorbed in the phenomena. When his mistress plays Bach on another piano the cat stops and listens with obvious appreciation. It is quite as if this cat, and in fact, all cats, truly do appreciate beautiful music and the one in this particular YouTube video, aspires to musicianship.

Movement – We all know how agile and flexible cats are – owing to a variety of factors. Unlike man, in whom the vertebrae of the spinal column are held together by ligaments, in cat they are bound by muscle, giving the cat great range of movement. Because of the construction of his shoulder joint he can turn his foreleg in almost any direction.

But have you noticed, probably without thinking about it, that there is something funny, something odd in the way a cat runs?

Unlike almost all other mammals who advance by moving the front leg of one side of the body and the back of the opposite, the cat moves front and back legs of the same side. So it’s, front, left, let’s say, slight pause, back left, right front, pause, right back. The only other mammals said to do this are the camel and the giraffe – and they both have funny gaits too.

Food, water and health – Cats can live just fine on dry food. This is a dubious statement many authorities state as being downright false. Cats need meat. They have not the biological capability of taking various elements from a variety of non-meat foods and constructing the needed proteins, which man and dogs can do. And much of the content of dry food, i.e. Carbohydrates, not only are not natural foods for cats, they are said to be wholly unnecessary and can be harmful. Meat in some form, usually canned food, is a necessity for cats, not only for the proteins but as well for the water.

Cats do not have, as every cat owner has probably verified, a strong drive to drink. Their normal prey is their primary source of water. Deprived of that and not given sufficient wet food a cat can easily, and all too often does develop kidney disease from dehydration.

Regardless of whether your cat eats wet or dry food or both, fresh water should always be available to her. Many cat owners have observed that cats are more likely to drink if their water bowl is not located next to their food bowl, which makes sense, as in nature, animals go in search of water independently of their search for food. Also, being clean animals, it may not ‘feel’ as hygienic to have food and food smells next to their water source.

It is also advised to avoid plastic dishes for both food and water. Plastic tends to getting scratched and in those nicks and scratches harmful bacteria can grow. Also, some cats are allergic to plastic and develop skin conditions on their chins when fed and watered from plastic bowls.

Still water may run deep – but it still doesn’t suit a cat. Almost every cat owner has noticed that their cats love to put their tongues under the tap or even raise their mouths to falling rain. My cat used to put his head under a drip in the bathtub and let the water run to his tongue until we had it fixed – the tub, that is. Many cats will drink from any form of water other than still water.

Some people, including some vets think there is some molecular difference in moving water. Some think it is the sight of the movement of the water, or the sound. Whatever the reason, (and considering what a big subject this is if posts on the internet are any measure it is a bit surprising that the motivations for this are not better known), cats prefer moving water.

This fact has spawned an entire industry of cat fountains, almost all plastic, though there are several sources for ceramic cat fountains and cat bowls. Whether it is one of the plastic fountains or a ceramic cat fountain or cat bowl, all need the same care, which is simply to keep it filled and give it a thorough cleaning regularly. Some sources for pet fountains are listed at the end of this article and if you go to http://www.etsy.com and type in ceramic cat fountains you can find others.

Dogs and Cats Living Together

Dogs and cats are supposedly life-long enemies. Hence the phrase, “fighting like cats and dogs.” Having always owned both cats and dogs, I find the phrase and the premise to be far more inaccurate than accurate. Of course, we all know that there are those dogs that will simply chase every cat they see and those cats that will never tolerate a dog. However, it has been my experience that handled correctly, the vast majority of dogs and cats can live together. They may not learn to love each other; but they certainly can learn to tolerate each other’s presence. Dogs and cats that are raised with each other typically do fine their entire lives. They may actually accept an animal of another species more easily than one of their own, in that there are fewer fights over dominance and territory.

There are some dogs that should not be kept with cats. Dogs with a strong hunting heritage may always view cats as prey and may never be able to be trusted with any small animals. In addition to hunting dogs, terriers such as Jack Russells and pitbulls are often poor companions for cats. These dogs have an incredibly strong predatory instinct; they chase and attack moving objects without thinking about whom or what the object may be. Cats and other small pets are just too much of a temptation for these dogs.

Other dogs respond less to the animal than the situation and will leave alone a cat that sits still, but chase and attack one that moves. This is especially true of dogs that are kept outside. There is something about being out of the house that really pushes the hunting instinct into overdrive and will often result in even the most docile indoor dog attempting to chase cats once outside. So, one would not want to make the assumption that a cat and dog who tolerate each other indoors will do the same outside. The dog may decide to attack the cat. Finally, dogs that have a history of attacking cats are likely to do so again and should not be trusted with cats. If you are planning on rescuing a previously-owned dog, it is a good idea to get a history of the dog’s attitudes and behaviors around cats before bringing it into a house with cats. Many shelters will allow you to ‘test’ the dog by introducing it to a cat before completing the adoption.

Most cats, if they have had positive experiences with dogs, will tolerate canines in the house. Those that will not typically have had some prior negative interaction that is firmly embedded in their memories. Because most cats, even those that hate dogs, do not attack without provocation, these cats may be able to live with a dog. However, they probably will never bond with the dog, will avoid the dog at all costs, and will be pretty miserable. It is kinder to leave these cats in a feline-only household. Again, it is often possible to find out the history of a cat before adopting it, or to test the cat’s reactions to dogs in an adoption situation.

So which cats and dog can get along? The answer is just about all of the rest of them. In the best of circumstances, cats and dogs really become friends, playing and sleeping together. In other situations, cats and dogs may never be overly friendly, but they can learn to tolerate and behave themselves with other members of the family, including those of other species. As long as you are willing to work out a positive introduction and protect the animals from physical harm, these species usually get along. The process may take up to six or eight weeks, or even longer, but can be successfully accomplished.

If you are thinking of bringing a cat into a dog household, or vice-versa, there are steps that you can take to ensure the success of the relationship. First, because a dog can kill a cat, safety is your first concern. The dog needs to be able to be kept separated from the cat. This can be accomplished with a crate, or a separate room. The dog should have a refresher obedience course, so that it will sit, stay, and come to you when told, and leave the cat alone if ordered to. The dog needs to remember that the people, not the dog, rule the house. This way you can ‘explain’ to the dog, if necessary, that the cat is yours and needs to be treated with respect. In addition, the cat needs to have a safe haven. This means that the cat’s food and litter boxes need to be inaccessible to the dog and that the cat has places to run and hide. For example, leave a few bookcase shelves empty so the cat can climb to them, put a cat door into a closed bedroom, or use baby gates to separate the dog from the cat’s own room.

I keep my cats’ litter boxes, toys, scratching posts, water, and food in an extra bedroom. I use a baby gate to keep the dogs out of the room. I have cut a small cat-size opening into the closed mesh of the gate so that the cats can dash through it if necessary and not have to leap the gate. My dogs respect the gate, but if you have dogs that leap over it, you may need to cut the cat door into the room door or install a screen door with an opening large enough for the cats.

The initial meeting and first few weeks are critical times to set the tone for the future, so it is important to make all introductions go as smoothly as possible. The key is to remember that these animals will be together for a lifetime; there is no reason to rush their meetings. If bringing a cat into the house, provide the cat with its own bedroom for the first few weeks or longer. The litter box and food should be placed in this room. The dog in the house can smell the cat under the door, but has no real need to meet the new member of the family until the cat is comfortable and bored with its personal space. If this is a young kitten, they may end up living in this room for several more weeks. Once the cat is doing well in its own room, you can let the cat explore the house, undisturbed by the dog. You can actually put the dog in the cat’s room while the cat is out, so that the dog really gets to experience the cat’s scent without bothering the cat. You can also get the pets used to each other’s scents by swapping toys, towels, or other items between them.

The initial face to face meeting should be done after the new cat is familiar with the entire house. Make sure that the dog is on a leash and under control. Have another person near the cat to provide help, if needed. Keep the meeting short and positive. Praise the dog for being wonderful around the cat. Use food rewards if appropriate and make sure that the dog understands that good things happen when the cat is present. After a few, short positive meetings, it is time to let the cat explore for longer periods, with the dog present and on the leash. If this step proceeds calmly, let the dog off the leash and watch the interactions. Make sure you are always there to stop any problems before they can accelerate. Do not allow the dog to be aggressive in any way to the cat, and lavishly praise the dog for good behavior. Be certain that the cat has access to hiding places. If aggression occurs at any stage of the introductions, return to the previous stage and slow down. Even if all looks great, do not leave the cat alone with the dog until you are truly positive that everything is running smoothly. This means that if they cannot be supervised, the cat should be left in its bedroom or the dog kept crated.

Bringing a dog into a cat household is relatively easy. The dog should be kept on a leash for the initial introductions and never left unsupervised. Make sure that all animals are praised for their wonderful behavior when they are together. As previously discussed, the dog can be crated or the cat left in a bedroom when they cannot be watched. Since the cat is already familiar with its territory and the dog is a newcomer, the dynamics of the relationship often turn in the cat’s favor, making the transition relatively easy.

Puppies and kittens do present unique challenges. Kittens must be protected from dogs at all times simply because any dog is big enough to badly hurt or kill a young kitten. A kitten must always be closely supervised even around the best behaved of dogs. Provide the kitten with appropriate toys of its own. Do not let the kitten ‘play attack’ the dog or chase it. This can rapidly escalate into a dangerous situation. For the same reason, do not let the dog ‘play’ with the kitten. The kitten must be kept in a safe room when an adult it not home. My kittens stayed in their own room when I was not at home and at bedtime until they were approximately six months old.

Rambunctious puppies may also be a problem. Without meaning to, an energetic puppy can harm a kitten or even an adult cat. It is up to you to make sure that their interactions are monitored so that no one gets hurt. It is also really important to exercise and play with the puppy routinely. Make sure the puppy has its own toys and uses them. A tired puppy is less likely to bother the cat and less likely to be a behavior problem in the house.

It takes work, patience, and time to introduce cats and dogs to each other. However, the positive outcome is well worth the work. My cats and dogs play, eat, relax, and sleep together. I get tremendous pleasure watching them. You will be pleasantly surprised how much positive energy is brought into your home by having both cats and dogs living there.