Cat versus dog - it’s a widely discussed topic. Two very different animals that both make perfect pets. People are often referred to as a dog person or a cat person, but what about if you like both and you’re not sure which pet to welcome into your family? Our first thought would be to get both, as cats and dogs can live very happily together, but this isn’t always a viable option. So how do you pick between a cat and a dog? This article will discuss the differences between living with and taking care of a cat as opposed to a dog, to help you make your decision.
What is your current lifestyle like?
Cats and dogs require different care. Exercise, attention, how long you spend away from them can all vary between the two animals, so it’s a good idea to think about your current lifestyle and how your new pet will fit into it. Do you have a busy work schedule where you are out of the house for long periods of the day without returning home? Cats will handle this better than dogs, as long as they have everything they need to be comfortable and entertained. Also, how mobile are you? Dogs, especially larger and more energetic breeds, will require a lot of exercise. Can you take them out for long walks every day? Smaller dogs are easier to walk as they will tire more quickly, but nevertheless, they still need walking. Think about your health, lifestyle and schedule and how this will impact the care of your pet.
What sort of care does a cat require?
Cats are fairly self-sufficient. They will clean themselves and require little grooming depending on their breed. You will need to make sure they have items in the house that they can play with, as well as scratching posts and a comfy bed for their extensive napping. Cats will nap for a long time and don’t require you to exercise them, so they are very low maintenance in that sense. Indoor cats will need a kitty litter tray, which will need cleaning each day. You will need to train your cat to use the tray when they need the bathroom. And to keep your kitty-cat healthy, you will need to keep them up-to-date with their shots and their flea medication.
What sort of care does a dog require?
Dogs will need regular exercise and grooming. You will need to train them to use the bathroom outside and may experience some accidents in your home when potty training. You shouldn’t leave your pooch home alone for more than four hours a day, so if you work it’s a good idea to pop back at lunchtime to take them for a little walk and for some attention. Like cats, you will need to keep up-to-date with shots and flea medication. Dogs sleep less than cats, but will generally have short naps in the day and sleep through the night.
The implications of a new cat on your lifestyle
There are costs associated with welcoming a cat into your family. You will need to pay for medical bills, food, toys, a bed, grooming equipment, and kitty litter supplies. If you let your cat outside to use the bathroom, they may wake you up in the night to let you know that they need to go. This, of course, isn’t their fault but it may disturb your sleep. You are also responsible for them completely, so you need to make sure they are fed every day or you have someone to care for your cat if you are going out of town. You can’t just go away and leave them at home alone, this can be dangerous and distressing for a pet to be left alone for a long period of time. Cats can live up to 20 years, which is a long commitment. Also, if your cat has sharp claws and you don’t train them to use the scratching post, they may end up ruining your furniture.
The implications of a new dog on your lifestyle
Dogs can live anywhere up to 15 years or more. This is a long commitment and you need to make sure you are ready for it. You won’t be able to just head off on holiday or stay late after work for drinks. Your dog can’t be left for longer than four hours, as they can become distressed and they need a certain amount of exercise and human interaction during the day. Your pooch may howl or bark a lot too, which may disturb neighbors or your children if you have a family. You will also need to be prepared to clean up after their mess when you take them out for walks and there will be a lot of training involved to ensure they are safe and well-behaved. Having a dog in the family can also be an additional cost when you consider vet bills, food, and grooming.
The benefits of having a cat or a dog
It may sound like we’re trying to put you off getting a cat or a dog, but that’s really not the case. It’s important to understand the responsibilities of welcoming a four-legged friend into the family and which animal is more suited to your lifestyle. It’s unfair to take on a pet when you don’t have the right lifestyle to take care of them in the way that they need you to. There are so many benefits to being a pet parent. They will give you years of love and companionship, they will always entertain you and they can make you feel safer in your home. It’s difficult to separate cats and dogs here, as they will both provide you with happiness, will greet you when you come home and comfort you when you feel upset. Perhaps one of the benefits that separate them is that canine companions can help you get more exercise and fresh air too; but hey, plenty of pet parents take their cats out for a walk around the block too.
In summary, it is down to you and your lifestyle. Do you think you will better accommodate a cat or a dog? Do you need more exercise in your life or would you rather have a pet that you can leave to their own devices for a while? It’s important to make the right call to ensure your fur baby has a happy and healthy life, but either way, your life will be changed for the better on your new journey with your cat or dog. Whether you get a dog or a cat, make sure they recieve the best care by scheduling an appointment at FetchMyVet.com.