The idea of keeping pets is not restricted to dogs and cats. One can also keep turtles, birds and pigeons as pets; however, due to a long existing trend, cats and dogs rank among the most popular pets in the world.
The actual reasons of keeping mostly dogs and cats as pets might not be very straightforward, however, we can surely look into individual factors that you can consider when making up your mind as to whether to keep a dog or cat.
All pets require the owner’s efforts to give them time and keep them maintained. However, cats are usually more self-sufficient and less needy for attention than dogs. You can imagine this by comparing the number of times you would go on a walk with your cat as compared to a dog. Dogs, unlike cats, require more physical attention, daily walk and time out in fresh, open air. Also, dogs often also don’t like to be left alone in home whereas cats can be left on their own for an entire day.
There is not a substantial difference between the life span of dogs and cats, however, specifically speaking, a cat would live for an average 12-25 years while the dog’s life can span from 7 to 20 years. These are the extreme averages considered and the actual life of your pet may well be within this range.
Keeping a dog is costlier than a cat, not in just terms of purchase cost, but also due to the fact that a lot more is spent on a dog’s grooming, vaccination and food. Also in terms of medical costs, medical costs of a cat are lesser ($160 per year) than the dogs ($210-$250 per year).
You need relatively more space to keep a dog as dogs are bigger creatures and need adequate space to run and roam around. Cats, on the other hands, can live in smaller areas and be kept indoors.
Responsiveness to training:
Dogs can learn basic commands, such as ‘sit’, ‘come’ and ‘go’ in a matter of minutes whereas most cats are non-responsive and are extremely difficult to train. So, if you want a pet who you would want to obey your instructions and listen to what you say, dogs are a preferred choice.
Making up your mind:
Once you have decided whether to keep a cat or a dog, you should then consider each breed of dogs and categories of cats separately as there are different characteristics associated with each different breed / category.
If you have decided to go for a cat, you need to make up your mind as to whether you need a cat from a breeder or rescue one from animal shelter. Similarly, with dogs, the choice is between large and small breeds as this choice will dictate how each of the above factors behaves.
In the end, always remember that dogs are grateful in what you give them while cats simply expect to be taken good care of and you should not expect much loyalty and thankfulness from them.