Pros and Cons of Cats and Dogs
Pros and Cons of Cats and Dogs
Are you exuberant, easy going and extrovert? Or are you solitary, a bit aloof and quiet? Chances are the choice of your pet may reflect a bit your personality. It is not a surprise why poets, artists and writers have a history of being cat people while movie stars,singers and those that generally have a lot to do with people choose the friendly dog.
Whether or not this is true or just a generalization, there are also many other factors to keep in mind when choosing between a member of the canidae family or a felidae member.
Having owned both sides, I can say that they both come with their fair share of pros and cons. Deciding whether one is better compared to the other, is ultimately a choice left to the single individual, his/her lifestyle and personality.
Pros of Owning a Cat
1) Cats are easy to maintain. All they need is a food and water bowl, a litter box and they should be good to go. Additional items can be added at your own free choice. Some spoiled cats have cat trees, scratching posts, toys, catnip, special shampoos and grooming kits. Others simply enjoy a window view and a piece of paper rolled up and that will make their day.
2) Cats are independent. Yes, you can go to work for 8 hours straight and your cat may not miss you or at least it will not show much commotion when you leave. They can easily entertain themselves and cater to their needs on their own. I once, had to leave my cat for the weekend alone (boarding was out of question as she did not do well in unfamiliar territory) and I was sick worried and when I came back there she was like if nothing happened.
3) Cats are clean. You will not smell that typical doggy odor and they rarely have anal gland issues. Your home will not smell like cat and if you are particularly careful in keeping the litter box clean and fresh with high quality litter chances are, nobody will ever now you share your roof with a feline.
4) Cats are lazy. Well, some are really not much. There are some hyperactive breeds such as Bengals and Siamese, but most cats are pretty lazy pillow warmers that sleep up to 16 hours a day. No need to walk them every day to keep their energy levels low, a ball tossed about the room will suffice.
5) Cats are litter box trained. Cats do not need to be walked at 5 in the morning in the dead of the winter with Subarctic temperatures. They will do their business in their litter box while you can sleep in after a late evening. All they need is a litter and a litter box and a 5 second daily scoop.
Cons of Owning a Cat
1) Cats are standoffish. While this may be true, I have encountered a few individuals that were sort of "doggy cats" really eager to stay near their owners and happy as can be to greet them. However, the majority of cats I have owned decided when to give and get affection on their own terms. They also decide when they had enough, and if you own a cat with bad temper he/she may let you know with some teeth marks.
2) Cats have nails. Yes, those claws can do their fair share of damage to your Lazy boy sofa and recliner. If not redirected to a nice scratching post, your home may be quickly destroyed. While declawing should be out of question, luckily, frequent nail trimmings may save some of your furniture and upholstery.
3) Cats do not like to travel. Cats are very territorial, they feel calm when they are in their territory and their scent is over their favorite objects and people. If you plan to travel a lot or go on vacation, your cat may not be a happy camper. However, there are always exclusions and some cats that traveled a lot as kittens are quite comfortable being moved about cross country.
4) Cats may cause allergies. Their fur carries dander and their saliva is a known culprit in causing allergies. There are a lot of people suffering from allergies. If you are allergic to cats but do not care much about appearance, a hairless cat breed like the Sphinx or Devon Rex may be a solution.
5) Cats are not too easy to train. While your dog may go to obedience classes, your cat may have a hard time learning things like walking politely on a leash. It is hard to tell if the cat is really acting dumb like he has no clue what you want or if it is just a smart strategy to make humans give up on training them. Telling a cat not to climb on your kitchen counter or not to steal your steak from the table may be a challenge that will require some good thinking and special strategies.
Pros of Owning a Dog
1) Dogs are fairly easy to train. Ask a dog to sit, stay, come, roll over, give paw and your dog, given the right incentive, will make you happy. Dogs have lived for centuries with humans and it is deep in their genes to have a job and carry out tasks either out of instinct of because of incentives we offer them (treats, praise, petting) Whether, your dog must pull a sleigh or gather sheep, the dog will do it and even promptly.
2) Dogs are social. You can take your dog easily on vacation with you and as long as they are with their owners they are fine. Territory is not a big deal for them and they can move to a different place each day with not much fuss. In nature, dogs tend to move a lot in search of food and they are used to changing their habitat quite often. Living with their families is what mostly counts.
3) Dogs promote healthy lifestyles. Dog owners are kept healthy because dogs need walked. Dog owners lead a healthy lifestyle when exposed to fresh air everyday as they walk their dog vigorously in the morning. Dogs also unlike exercise programs ensure consistency because owners must always walk their dogs cutting off the risk of procrastinating.
4) Dogs are fun. A dog can learn many games and they can keep a family entertained. Dogs may fetch and play hide and seek. They can be enrolled in agility classes or pull carts. They can learn a lot of tricks and they can go swimming in lakes or run in the sand on the beach. There are many fun activities owners can share with their dogs.
5) Dogs are loyal. Dogs are very devoted to their owners. Some have even died from the sorrow following their owner's death. Dogs will follow their owners everywhere and have a strong desire to be with them. Not many humans offer the unconditional love that dogs are able to offer.
Cons of Owning a Dog
1) Dogs need maintenance. Yes, some need their anal glands expressed others need frequent baths because they may be smelly.. They need chew toys and bones to keep their teeth in good condition and grooming sessions to keep their fur nice and tidy. They need to obediencetrained and they must learn leash manners. Dogs are more costly than cats and require more care.
2) Dogs depend on humans. Some dogs suffer from great separation anxiety when left alone and this may lead to destructive behaviors. Others may bare with their owner's absence but cannot be left alone too long because they need to be fed, sent out to potty and because they tend to feel lonely. Dogs require to be boarded or brought along when owners must leave from several hours to a week end. It is a sad fact that dogs are often abandoned because of this. Not everybody is willing to deal with dogs destroying things because they are bored or suffering from separation anxiety when being left alone.
3) Dogs chew. A puppy's teething may turn into a nightmarish even. If not redirected to chew toys and bones most dogs will try to gnaw on the attractive dining room's table legs or even through the drywall. Some dogs still will chew for the rest of their lives if not trained early on what behaviors are acceptable and which are not. However, most dogs will learn their boundaries and will learn to leave your furniture alone.
4) Dogs need to be walked. That nippy morning walk may feel like a chore to some dog owners. Truth is, your dog will need to be walked 365 days a years because they need to have their bowel movements. Hiring a dog walker may be costly and procastrinating may mean ruining your well housebroken dog. It is a fact that like it or not your dog must be walked rain or shine and even snow.
5) Dogs are bulky. Large dogs may not be permitted in apartment complexes and some breeds are even banned lately from communities. If you are planning to move, you must do your research well as some places will not allow dogs over a certain weight. An 80 pound dog may also feel like a cow in a china store once it grows up to its potential and it may tug at leash in such a manner of making its owner fall.
So here are the biggest pros and cons of owning cats and dogs. There may be a lot of homework required before making a choice, however, whether you decide a purring kitten or a fluffy puppy, enjoy your pet to the fullest and best of luck!
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© 2009 Adrienne Janet Farricelli