Which makes a better pet: A dog or a cat? – Part 35

Our choice of pets is one of the most personal long term choices we have to make, second only to our choice of mate in life. As with our choice of mate, our choice of pet is a reflection of ourselves and our personality. As for which makes a better pet, that depends entirely on what your requirements as an individual are and your choice of lifestyle.

Studies show that most single people, men and women alike, tend to lean more towards a cat as the household pet of choice. The independence and intelligence of cats tend to be more in line with the life of a single person. Less needy both emotionally and physically as dogs, cats tend to fair much better in a single person household where they don’t always have a loving owner to rely on for food and other biological requirements. In addition, cats can provide the occasional companionship characters that most single people look for from time to time. Cuddling on the couch watching a movie or purring their owners into blissful sleep, cats fill the emotional gap that singles tend to have when living alone.

Dogs on the other hand are much simpler animals by contrast. Though they can be housebroken it is difficult to have them rely entirely on themselves when it comes to bathroom needs. While I know of a few people who managed to litter box train their dogs, most still rely on the two or three times a day walk or bless themselves for having and enclosed yard in which their beloved pet can avail themselves of. Most social and emotionally needy, dogs make wonderful pets for families that have enough people to devote enough time to the animals. With a much more diverse group of breeds with significantly different personality and behavior traits, dogs make an excellent choice when children are involved as you have a much wider selection of behaviors you can draw on to best suite your families needs.

Outside of the obvious compatibility points that I mention above there is the practical purposes for dogs. Very few households rely on guard cats for safety and security. Even the smallest and least aggressive of dog breeds can serve as ample security simply by alerting their owner of any danger. So putting aside the “pet” aspect of socializing with the animal, dogs can serve a real and vital purpose in the house.

Being a family man myself with small children and also having lived with both cats and dogs, my preference leans strongly towards having a dog rather than a cat. While the maintenance level on dogs tends to be significantly higher than with a cat, I believe the benefits of dogs versus cats far outweighs the detriments. Of course my opinion is a bit biased as I am also allergic to cats, so take my argument with a grain of salt at best.

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