A cat and a dog in the same house? This is not the end of the world. The two species can quickly get along, despite the significant differences between them. But what to do when you have to choose between them? This article will help you solve the cat-or-dog dilemma and answer the question 'which pet should I take?'.
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Dogs are Gregarious Animals
In the wild, dogs flock into packs, where everyone becomes part of a common cause to find food and provide protection. The pack usually has an alpha dog, which other pack members perceive as the leader. In pets, this instinct is also present - it generally makes the dog sociable, friendly and determines its desire to be part of the family or belong to one person who will provide it with food and direct its actions. Animals instinctively follow their pack, so they take great joy in events such as travel or moving. This same gang mentality makes it difficult for dogs to be alone, especially for a long time. They need closeness and attention. Having a puppy can be compared to the birth of a small child.
Cats are lone hunters
By comparison, most felines in the wild (except for lions) are solitary nocturnal hunters. Unlike dogs, cats can jump and climb trees, which helps them hunt. It is also much easier to escape from danger for felines. Their sharp claws, which they can release and hide, provide them with a distinct advantage in catching prey and defending against larger predators. Therefore, cats do not need to form packs to take care of themselves. Because of this, they have highly developed possessive instincts.
All this makes domestic cats much more independent than dogs. However, this independence creates the impression of detachment. They often sleep during the day and love to roam the house at night. Cats not only tend to have their territory, but they can also mark it by spraying urine outside the litter box. These possessive instincts lead to significant changes such as moving or even simply rearranging furniture, becoming a source of stress for them.
While cats are more likely to be alone than dogs due to their independent nature, it is essential to remember that they are all different. Some breeds are more outgoing than others. These animals are capable of forming powerful bonds with their masters. When a loved one disappears, a cat may develop separation anxiety, especially if passed on to another owner.
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Cats are also extremely intelligent, and despite the hunter mentality in their DNA, they know who feeds them and plays with them. And although at first, they may not be as affectionate as dogs, over time, they can develop such an affection for their owner that they can lie for hours, purring, at his side. Cats also tend to live longer than dogs, which sometimes becomes one determining factor when choosing a furry pet.
The number of upcoming expenses must be taken into account when choosing a pet. A dog is generally more expensive than a cat when you factor in the costs of food, toys, training sessions, daycare, and veterinarian bills. Owners can also choose the perfect food option via a useful online tool like Pet Food Finder, though it is still much more expensive to feed dogs. Because cats are inherently more independent, they know how to take care of themselves and tend to rely on their master only for food. Even stimulating the game can be simple and cheap: a flashlight or a feather on a stick, for example, will suffice.
Pet Training: Cat or Dog
When it comes to trainability in dogs and cats, dogs tend to be easier to train. This is because the dog's pack mentality makes it willing to follow the leader and is generally more obedient.
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As a rule, puppy training is the process of practicing and reinforcing commands that help you convey your wishes to the pet. And dogs want to please you so severely that they gladly satisfy those desires. However, they are all different, and some breeds have a temperament and training ability that allows them to be more willing to train than others.
Cats can also be trained, but not as successfully as dogs. It takes a lot of patience and consistent practice to overcome their wayward nature. Cats can be trained to understand boundaries, though.
When it comes to keeping the house clean, cats have an advantage over dogs. They use the litter box on an intuitive level. In some cases, it is enough to show the kitten where the tray is. However, if the cat does not immediately learn how to use the litter box or eventually forgets about it, this often indicates possible health problems. In this case, you should consult your veterinarian.
Teaching a dog, especially a young one, to go to the toilet in the right place can be much more difficult. Training a puppy to understand where it can and cannot be done usually requires repetition and positive reinforcement.
Think about your living conditions before getting a pet. For example, while dogs can be delighted living in a small apartment, they still need outdoor exercise. If you are active and can take your dog for walks or let it run in your backyard, a dog is perfect for you.
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However, if you live in a small apartment, a cat can be an excellent companion for you. Cats tend to get the physical activity they need through play (a perfect opportunity for bonding between you and your pet), as well as through their hunting nature: when they chase prey (in our case, toys) and jump on trees (in your case on cat furniture and trees for cats). Therefore, cats usually do not need a lot of space. In fact, in a large house, you may even lose sight of the cat for a while, as they are great at hiding.
Which Animal is better to have?
Temperament and character traits differ not only in cats and dogs. Owners of dogs and cats also vary significantly in these parameters. Most people who only keep cats tend to be more withdrawn, less friendly, and more self-sufficient, while dog owners are more outgoing, interactive, and open to new experiences.
Regardless of how much closer your personality is to the typical dog lover or the typical cat lover, the main thing to remember is that the dog is likely to need a little more time and attention than the cat.
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If you are looking for a companion who will always sit by your side, then a puppy is your best choice. Cats can also be quite affectionate and attentive, but only up to a certain point. They tend to get bored or over excited much faster than dogs, in which case they will want to run away from you for a while. Accordingly, if you prefer to have a pet to keep you company, but do not need you, think of a cat.
Again, these are all generalizations. Remember that cats and dogs are different types of animals and individual characters, and some of the stereotypes described may not apply to specific animals. Factors such as genetics, breed, temperament, and life history of an animal play a role in how friendly, sociable, and learnable it will be. Whichever side you support in the dog and cat debate, it is essential to explore your options before taking your pet into your home.
Consider hiring a friend's or relative's cat or dog for a short time to understand which animal is closest to you. Then, be sure to spend some time at your local animal shelter before making your final decision. You may find that it is not the sight of the animal that will help you make this decision but the attachment to a particular pet. Whichever type of pets you prefer, you will find yourself a bosom four-legged friend with enough love and affection.