Cats and dogs living together is not necessarily a sign of the end of times.
These two species can actually get along quite well despite their significant differences.
But how might those differences impact your relationship with your pet or your decision to adopt a companion if you can choose only one?
Here’s the scoop on the cat vs. dog dilemma to help you answer the question, “Which is the best pet for me?”
Dogs Are Pack Animals
In the wild, dogs form packs in which each member cooperates to find food and provide protection.
The pack usually has an “alpha dog” that the other dogs look up to for leadership. Domestic pups are hardwired with this pack instinct that generally makes them social, friendly, and all too happy to belong to a family or even a single person who can provide him with food and leadership.
Cats Are Lone Hunters
By contrast, with the exception of lions, most cats in the wild are solitary hunters. Unlike dogs, cats are able to jump and climb, which aids them in hunting and makes it easier to flee from danger. Because of this, cats have no need to work together to care for themselves. It also makes them territorial.
For domestic cats, these instincts make them much more independent than dogs. This independence may make them seem aloof. They often sleep during the day and like to roam the house at night.
Pet Training: Cat vs. Dog
When it comes to training, dogs are generally the easier of the two to train. A dog’s pack mentality makes him ready to follow a leader and makes him generally more obedient by nature.
However every dog is different, and some breeds have temperaments and learning aptitudes that take more readily to training than others.
Cats can be trained, but not as thoroughly as dogs. It requires a lot of patience and consistent practice to get past their willful nature.
When it comes to house training, cats have the advantage over dogs. Cats use the litter box instinctively. It may only take showing them where the box is one time.
Dogs, on the other hand, can be a lot tougher to potty train, especially puppies. Teaching them where it is and isn’t acceptable to go usually takes a lot of repetition and positive reinforcement.
While dogs can be perfectly happy living in a small apartment, they still need their outdoor exercise. If you lead an active lifestyle and can take your dog on walks or let him out in the backyard to run around and play, a dog can be a great fit.
Cats generally get their exercise through play and through their general hunting nature where they will stalk prey (toys in this case) and leap up high in trees. Because of this, cats don’t usually need as much area to roam around. In fact, in a large house, you might lose your cat for a while as they can be excellent hide-and-seek players.
Whether your personality more closely aligns with that of the typical dog person or the typical cat person, the main thing to keep in mind is that a dog will likely require quite a bit more of your time and attention than a cat. /rcg