Cats or Dogs?

Are you a cat or a dog person? Or, are you both a cat and a dog person? For those of us who love having a furry family member in our homes, nothing can replace the companionship our dog or cat offers. There’s just something therapeutic about owning a pet. Let’s look at the characteristics of the two most popular types of pets.

According to CatsInfo.com, cats have been pets for about 4,000 years ever since the Ancient Egyptians used them to control vermin. People who own cats are attracted to their independent spirit. As I am writing this article, my calico cat is sitting on my lap, purring and biting my chin so I will pet her! Cats can be very loving animals (when they want to be). They can also be very curious and comical, especially when they are young. They are still great hunters and will hunt small prey if given the chance. They make ideal pets for people who live in apartments or don’t have the time to walk a dog throughout the day. Since they are independent, they can be left alone while you are at work as long as they have food, water and a clean litter box. There’s something very comforting about holding and petting a cat, especially on a cold winter night. They are fun to cuddle with (if they will let you)! To love a cat, you have to love their independent nature and understand that affection is usually on their terms, not yours.

Dogs, on the other hand, crave our attention. They are very social animals that love us unconditionally. They have been used as pets for much longer than cats. It appears that as early as 10,000 B.C. dogs became domesticated (http://www.loveofbreeds.com/HistoryOfDogs.html). Humans have used dogs to hunt, herd, and guard for centuries. Dogs have helped us work and kept us company, hence the old phrase that dogs are “man’s best friend.” Dogs are pack animals and therefore, have a need to socialize. When we have them as pets, they become a part of our family/pack. There’s nothing quite like having your dog looking up at you with those bright eyes, living for your attention. Besides having my calico cat on my lap as I write this, one of my German Shepherd Dogs is lying at my feet. Unlike a cat, a dog wants to be by your side 24/7. Dogs are very loving, loyal companions who depend on us on a daily basis. They do require more attention than cats, so owning a dog is more demanding of our time. To love a dog, you have to be willing to spend time with them, but the reward they give you in return is worth it.

So, which is better, a cat or a dog? That depends on the person and what they are looking for in a pet. Statistics show that more people own cats than dogs. According to the Humane Society, over 93 million people in the US own cats compared to just over 77 million who own dogs (http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/pet_ownership_statistics.html). There are those of us who love the characteristics of both and enjoy owning cats and dogs. Whatever your choice may be, just make sure you love them and care for them. As one wise person once said, ” In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him. “