There has been a long-standing debate among animal lovers as to which make the better household pet

There has been a long-standing debate among animal lovers as to which make the better household pet. Many people have preconceived notions about one species or the other…especially if they have been awakened in the middle of the night to the high-pitched barking of your neighbors’ pit bull. Have anyone ever asked, “Are you a cat person or a dog person?” How these questions are responded to probably depend on a variety of factors. Whether we are simply comparing and contrasting felines to canines, or possibly we are thinking about them in terms of pet ownership, it is worth identifying the following characteristics for each: physical features, nature, and character. A person’s pet choice will also be influenced by his/ her lifestyle, financial status, and living conditions.
There are many distinct breeds of cats. The Cat Fanciers’ Association, which is the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, has identified approximately “orty different types”. Cats differ in looks, coat length, among other characteristics; however, the smallest and the largest varieties only differ between 5-10 pounds. On the other hand, there are about 340 breeds of dogs identified by the Federation Cynologique International (World Canine Organization), but the American Kennel Club only recognizes 167 breeds. The smallest dogs can weigh between 5-10 pounds, yet some can exceed 200 pounds. Cats share the same fast metabolism that dogs have, which leads to higher heart and respiratory rates. With regard to mortality, cats tend to outlive dogs. Cats have been known to live more than 20 years. While the actual life span of a dog depends on health and size, with small breeds generally outliving larger ones. Because they are generally smaller in size, cats are better at conserving heat and cooling themselves. Cats have extremely sharp vision as compared to dogs, yet both have a nictitating membrane (third eyelid) as a form of protection against scratches and as a response to inflammation. Cats are extremely sensitive to sound; more than dogs and humans. Their inner ears are filled with fluid that assists with maintaining balance. Have anyone ever heard the expression, “Cats always land on their feet”. Their muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and spines are quite flexible. Because of this, cats can run, leap, twist, climb, and even roll into a ball. They have retractable claws that stay sharp as they are protected inside their toes. Cats creep up on their prey and catch them by surprise. Dogs on the other hand have a “fight or flight” response and are more likely to react with aggression. Dogs’ claws are always extended and become blunt with constant contact with the ground. Cats do not rely on the sense of smell as much as dogs do, but odor is important when it comes to food. In contrast, Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell that is highly sensitive. Dogs are able to sniff out drugs and explosives, search for victims, as well as (The Cats Francier’s Assosiation)criminals; they are often used in law enforcement. Cats are strict carnivores with 30 adult teeth available, while dogs are primarily carnivores (like their wolf ancestors) with 42 adult teeth, but if necessary, will eat plants.
Most people prefer the sound of a “purr” and or “meow.” Cats sometimes get a bad reputation and are referred to as snobby and aloof. Most people are familiar with the cartoon “Garfield” who is depicted as fat, lazy, moody, and treats his owner Jon like an idiot. Contrary to what is depicted in the cartoon, cats do not and cannot eat lasagna. It is true that cats are definitely more independent than dogs, they certainly like to make sure their needs are being met: by roaming around freely, sleeping wherever they want, grooming themselves for extended periods of time, and hiding when they do not want to be bothered. Cats will approach with their purr and or meow, and seek out affection by allowing it owner to scratch behind their ears or under their chins. Some like to crawl into laps and prefer to stay there indefinitely. Cats can be left alone for extended periods of time, provided food and water is left behind. They are happy in small spaces, such as sitting in a laundry basket or in a closet on top of a pair of shoes. It is quite difficult to train cats to respond to directions; however, they will usually instinctively respond to a litter box. Being a solitary creature is not necessarily a bad thing.
Dogs bark, growl, woof, and are considered “Man’s Best Friend” … women, also. They are described as loyal, obedient, and protective. Historically, they have been identified as pack animals; they are extremely social creatures that require a lot of space to run around. When a dog sees you, it makes his/her excitement quite obvious by wagging its tail and body. Dogs will jump on its owner, pant, and bark loudly until you respond back affectionately. Dogs are happy if you wake them from sleeping, on the other hand, cats do not appreciate this at all. Dogs wish to please their owners, sometimes bringing an unexpected surprise of a dead rodent; they also try to scare intruders away by barking if someone approaches you or your home. Unlike cats, dogs can be trained quickly; dogs do tend to take longer than cats to housebreak. Accidents happen on the carpet, the floor, the furniture, etc.… You must wash and groom dogs as well as put them in kennels if you are going to be gone for an extended period of time.
As we can see, cats make less of an impact on a person’s lifestyle. They do not have to be watched twenty-four hours a day and seven days per week. It tends to be easier to get a neighbor who is willing to check in on your feline once per week. Dogs should not be left alone under any circumstances, unless you want to come home to a total disaster area. Dogs must be walked several times per day, and most places require that you pick up solid waste from the sidewalk and dispose of it. Many people have been victims of stepping in a soft brown smelly substance, definitely not a pleasant experience. Even if you are lucky enough to have a backyard of your own, there would still be the need to pick up after them. Dogs also take a lot of extra time in the day to do these walks in any kind of weather. If you are someone with a tight schedule and or always running late, this could present quite a challenge.
With regard to finances, think of this new male and or female addition to your life as a dependent child. They are relying on you to provide all of their basic needs…and then some. Consider the following expenses associated with animal care: veterinarian bills, food and supplies, grooming and training, licenses, and health insurance. Some of these items will be less costly for cats than dogs. Some animal hospitals have plans that charge you monthly, but you have to read the fine print because not every service and or medication is covered. You may have expenses that you did not anticipate or budget for.
Both cats and dogs provide challenges because they represent another resident in a home. Just like children, they grow. As we have mentioned, cats are less intrusive (depending on your perspective). In general, they don’t require a substantial amount of space. While with dogs they do need space to run around. If there is not a fence in your yard then you will have to purchase one or an enclosure. In contrast, cats will not incorporate that expense. Both cats and dogs tend to shed fur for a variety of reasons; even though cats tend to shed a bit more than dogs, they both do.
So back to the age-old question, “Cats or Dogs?” some people will have an immediate and definitive response. Some may not have thought about the big picture. Being one of those people, who went to the Humane Society and fell in love at first sight with a furry feline and wanted to act on impulse. It certainly makes sense to consider all