We all love our pets: cats, dogs, even birds and rats! The common debate among animal lovers is which is the best: Cats or Dogs?
Let’s start with the CARE needed by each one.
Cats are fairly easy to take care of. The most common cat seen in households is the domestic cat (cats with no breed). The average domestic cat is independent, asking for “love” in his own terms. He is usually solitary and will do his own stuff. They will need a clean litter box, food and fresh water. The litter box, depending on the cat’s use, has to be cleaned at least once or twice per day, and the full litter changed once or twice per month. Again, depending on the cat’s use and type of litter. You can usually leave food “à volonté”, but with others, you need to control food, by giving them a portion in the morning and one in the evening. Do not give exclusively can food, or you will end up with a cat that needs dental surgery, they need solid food to help keep tartar at bay! And of course, daily fresh, clean water. Even if independent, they need distraction and exercise. A few toys for him to play with and a wand with a toy at the end for him to chase and bound with you is a must! Every cat will need a scratch post or cat condo for their claws. (Note: I do not encourage declawing unless it’s a special, extreme situation. Also, for his sake, safety, do not let your cat roam alone and loose outside. NEVER.) Depending on the cat’s coat length, they should be groomed everyday to once a week. Some, despite the scratching post, will need their nails clipped. Baths? It is not a need as they clean themselves, but it’s not bad. But better start when they are young kittens! Then, maybe once a month is enough, unless you have a show Persian!
Dogs, regardless of the breed, all have the same needs. As a social pack mammal, he seeks for his owner/family affection, friendship, companionship. Unlike the cat, you can’t leave a dog alone more than a 8h workday. Dogs, to be calm, obedient, happy and fit, needs daily exercise/walks. If a dog doesn’t drain his energy, he will get frustrated and can develop either aggressive behavior or get into mischief. Unless you are absolutely lazy and own a “teacup poodle”, dogs need to go outside to do his business, picking up his feces at least every two day is a must for your neighbor’s and cleanliness sake! It’s not recommended to leave food with a dog, not only because most can’t stop eating but for his need of some structure. Give him his meal in the morning and evening. Fresh water is a no-brainer! Depending on the coat, dogs need to be groomed everyday to once per week. Some will need to have their coat trimmed. (Note: NEVER shave dogs such as Huskies, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, all dogs with coats that doesn’t grow continuously, unless they have a skin condition requiring it. Their coat are vital to keep their body temperature, protect them from bugs, sun rays and everything that nature can throw at them!) All dogs will need their nails trimmed, some less often like dogs that are active walkers on pavement. Keep an eye on them and if you are unsure, leave the trim to a professional. Nail trims are cheap at a groomer or vet. Also, to prevent dental diseases, brushing their teeth and large smoked bones for them to chew on will help. Dog’s bad breath comes from tartar and bad mouth hygiene.
Now, let’s talk about GENERAL CHARACTER TRAITS.
The common, domestic cat is an independent individual, going about his day without a care in the world. Needing affection on his own terms, he wants a family and a social environment but takes it lightly. Despite this common character in domestic cats, you will find some that are overly affectionate, happy-go-lucky, always on your lap. But this character will be mostly found in purebred cats such as Orientals, Ragdolls and Tonkineses. Some will have dog-like traits in their playing and social needs. Unless you go for a domestic, it’s important that you search before adopting a purebred, they have their own character.
The common trait find in every dog is his affectionate side. All dogs have in their blood the wolf-like need to be part of a pack, a family. They do not do well alone, one of the reasons why it is not recommended to keep a dog leashed to a doghouse, alone, all his life. Some will bark or howl to call their pack and others will develop depression. Some will seem to do well, but they will be unsocialized individuals that will be timing bombs: Biting the neighbor’s kid. Depending on the breed, the work he was bred for, which breeds the “mutt” is mixed with and so on, a dog can be either very energetic or more of a couch potato. Some needs lots of stimulation, others will prefer laying on the floor, near their humans and “guard”. But they all need to walk and socialize to keep their body and mind healthy and fit. Due to their pack instinct, dogs are not for everyone. A dog needs consistent structure and knowing his right place in the family. It will prevent bad behaviors and bites. Not all dogs are happy-go-lucky, some needs it more than others, some breeds need it more than others. Overall, if you are the kind to take them for a fragile baby and let them do whatever they please, don’t have a dog. Go get a plush toy. This human behavior with dogs is the reason we see aggressive nipping Chihuahuas and dominant Pitbulls.
Now why people would “dislike” one or the other?
A percentage of people just never had an encounter with one or the other, or a proper experience. Others had one bad experience such as a bite, attack, nipping, and so on, so they have shut down to the specie. Prejudice is the most seen factor. Some see the cat as an too independent, vicious, unpredictable animal. For the dog, a vicious, drooling, unclean, obnoxious dangerous animal. Well, they can be… if left on their own, not properly socialized, such as ferals.
It seems like there is more dog people than cat people. By having debates with “anti-cat” people, you notice by their words and reasons, that in a certain way, they dislike the fact that the cat’s behavior is closer to the average human and it is not what they search in a pet. Like us, cats think by themselves, are independent, don’t need you all the time, and if they are fed up with you and your affection, you’ll know. For some of them, you have to be worthy before they can trust you. Sounds familiar? In dogs, right up front, dog people loves the proactive, always friendly and love craving trait of the dog. Also the fact that it’s easier to do outdoors activities with your pet. But underneath, dog people seem to be attracted and in need of the “I am always worthy and loved” feeling that dogs bring, the comfort, devotion.
But of course, most people just enjoy the animal’s qualities and how they fit in their lifestyles. Whether it’s the purring cat on your lap or the guarding dog at your feet, they all bring love and complete the household. But heaven, is being loved by both.
** Remember that whatever the breed or species, each individual are different.