Cats vs. Dogs: Which is Right for You? 

Cats vs. dogs which is better? This question is asked by potential pet owners and debated among current owners. Typically, whether a person chooses a cat or dog it’s a personal preference.

Some people have a love for both and often get a puppy at the same time as a kitten, so they can grow up together in harmony. Yes. Surprisingly, most cats and dogs can get along, especially when they are raised together from a young age.

If you are trying to decide which one is the right choice for you, it’s important to consider your lifestyle. If you are away from your home for more than 12 hours per day, travel frequently, and barely spend time at home, you need an independent pet such as a cat.

A cat will be happy to rule your house while you are out. They will make themselves at home and use their litter box to ensure you don’t come home to any surprises.

However, if you are away from home for about 10 hours or less per day and spend most of your time at home, a dog is an excellent option as a companion and family pet. The following information will help you decide if a cat or dog is right for you!

Cats vs. Dogs

Why Are Dogs Better Than Cats?

The famous debate of which one is better often leans towards dogs. So, why are dogs better than cats?

Kitty in a basketPros of Owning a Cat

  • Social support during difficult times – Cats are known to comfort their owners after a bad day at work and the loss of a loved one. They cuddle next to you in silence to comfort your soul.
  • Reduces stress – Owning a cat brings you all the joys of being a pet parent without the stress of daily walks and other demands a dog requires.
  • Friendship – Your fluffy cat is a good listener and companion. You can tell your cat all your secrets as well as always have the comfort of knowing you have your pet waiting for you when you come.
  • Improved sleep – A cat that cuddles up to their owner while their sleeping helps the pet parent feel more secure, safe, and comforted which encourages deeper sleep.
  • Quiet time – Cats are quiet most of the time except for alerting you when they are hungry. They don’t bark or make much noise which is a trait many pet owners cherish.
  • Low maintenance – Cats don’t demand a lot of your attention or time. They are independent and often loners. Other than feeding them, giving them some playtime and snuggle time, and keeping their litter box clean, you don’t need to do much else on a daily basis.
  • Great for small living spaces – Cats enjoy snoozing the day away in small spaces for hours. If you live in a small living space and want a pet, a cat is a great option.
  • Long life spans – Many cats have the ability to live up to 20 years. Some have lived much longer. If you are looking for a long term pet that will stay with you for many years, a cat is for you. Just make sure you feed them a healthy diet, clean environment, and regular veterinarian visits throughout their lifetime.

Cons of Owning a Cat

  • Odors – The litter box smells of urine and requires daily cleaning.
  • Shedding – Cats shed a lot which means your entire household and clothing will be covered with cat hair.
  • Damage to furniture – Cats have a natural instinct to claw at things which includes your furniture, curtains, and other objects around the house.
  • Allergies – Some people are allergic to cats and might refuse to visit your home.
  • Dead stuff – As a cat owner, be prepared to accept dead animals such as a mouse, roach, lizard, bird, and other small animals that can be found around the house or outdoors. Cats are natural-born killers and often gift their pet parents with their catches.
  • Strong-willed – Most cats are strong-minded and are difficult to train.
  • Scratches – Cats can become scared and frightened easily which means they can be resting calmly in your arms then suddenly leap from your arms causing scratches and irritation to your skin.

Dog with a blanketPros of Owning a Dog

  • Improves your fitness level – Dogs require daily walks which means you will be getting exercise as well. Your dog will keep you moving and in the long run have positive effects on your fitness level.
  • Improves heart health – Canine companionship is linked to reduced cholesterol, decreased triglyceride levels, and lower blood pressure. Studies reveal that dog owners have fewer heart attacks and maintain overall good cardiovascular health.
  • Improves your social life – Your cute little dog will get lots of attention and cause people to flock towards you and start a conversation. The topic of your pup is a natural conversation starter which can lead to developing new friendships.
  • Less stress – Dogs are so good at relieving stress and providing comfort to everyone around that they are trained as therapy animals. Coming home to an energetic, sweet, and loving dog every day reduces stress no matter how difficult your day at work has been.
  • Disease detectors – Dogs have a sensitive nose that has the ability to sniff out a variety of issues including diseases such as cancer and detect seizures.
  • Companionship – Dogs make great companions due to their ability to sense your mood. A dog might try to cheer you up by behaving playful or sit by your side with their head resting on your shoulder or lap to soothe your grief. Dogs are referred to as a man’s best friend because of their ability to be the ultimate companion.
  • Safety – Some dog breeds have a natural instinct to protect their owner and the house. This protective trait makes you feel safe in your home and while taking your dog for a walk.
  • Emotional support – Dogs are accepted in many public places including airplanes because they provide their owner emotional support. If you suffer from social anxiety or have issues being in crowded spaces, an emotional support dog is recommended to ease your suffering.
  • Playmate for children – Kind-hearted dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers are known for their sweet nature and make a great playmate for children of all ages.
  • Childlike behavior – Being a pet parent to a dog is similar to being a parent to a human child. Many pet parents enjoy being a mom or dad to their dogs by dressing them in clothing and caring for them like a child.

Cons of Owning a Dog

  • Grooming – Dogs require frequent grooming and bathing
  • Training – They need obedience and potty training
  • Expensive – Food, toys, veterinarian visits, crates, and other necessary supplies need to be budgeted carefully.
  • Attention – Dogs need to be walked, fed, and have plenty of your attention.
  • Time – You need to rush home after work to walk your dog which takes up a lot of your time and prevents you from attending happy hour or running errands after work.

Golden Retriever Cuddling a Cat

Bottom Line

As you can see, owning a cat or dog has its benefits as well as downsides. When choosing between the two options, you need to consider how much time you can dedicate daily to caring for your pet.

If you have your heart set on getting a dog but work a full-time job that keeps you away from home most of the day, you can hire a dog walker or take your pet to doggy daycare.

If you have your heart set on welcoming a cat into your life, you will benefit from their independence and companionship. Owning a cat allows you to have the freedom to follow your busy schedule without feeling guilty about leaving your pet home alone for long periods of time.

As mentioned earlier, many people can’t decide between the two options and choose to get both. If you are one of these special people, try to get them both at the same time or at least within the same week, so they can grow up together and create their own little pack.

If the pets you are adopting are older, try to gradually introduce them to each other and keep a close eye until they learn to live with each other successfully. Which pet is right for you? Make your decision and start your journey of becoming a pet parent today!

A pet parent herself, Shellie knows the ins and outs of caring for a furry bundle of joy. She has been researching, reviewing and sharing her findings for the best dog products available for a number of years. A valued team member, Shellie's first-hand experience is invaluable.

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