Cats vs Dogs: Which Is the Best Pet For You?

Are you considering getting a pet? Were the lockdown days too lonely and the feeling has lingered? Maybe you just want something to cuddle when you get home? Maybe it’s time to teach the kids some responsibility? There are a million reasons for wanting a new furry addition to the home, but which one to go for? The debate between cats and dogs is centuries old and isn’t about to be settled for good anytime soon. 

The deciding factor might well be a cat or dog fur allergy, but if you have neither, you’re out of luck and you’ll have to read our guide for deciding between whether you should get a cat or dog.

cats vs dogs: which is the best pet for you?
Close-up of a Belgian Shepherd Dog and a cat

What is your lifestyle like?

You will have to think about how a cat or dog would slot into your lifestyle, since very few people are in a position, or temperament, to adapt to the dog. 

And we’re not about to go brushing broad strokes over a pet owner. They can be a stay-at-home parent, or a career go getter, as long as they have the means of looking after their dog. A dog needs a strict routine, of which you are a big part of, so if there is no one in the house to walk or feed the dog when you’re not there, you shouldn’t get a dog. 

A cat, on the other hand lends itself to a solo pet owner who might be out of the house for long periods of time. They are very independent and enjoy their own company, so they don’t mind being left alone if they have a full bowl, an empty litterbox and and a toy. Though if they’re a little too adventurous, it might be worth taking out some insurance in case they injure themselves, check out the kind of policy you could get by checking the Petsure cat insurance page. 

cats vs dogs: which is the best pet for you?
Tabby striped mixed-breed cat and rottweiler on a blue background looking at camera

What would you like your lifestyle to be like?

On the other hand, if you are thinking about getting a pet for the purpose (or at least the side benefit) of getting in more exercise, a dog is a good way to force that. Depending on the breed getting a dog typically means at least a couple of excursions around the block, which might not be a workout at the gym but it’s a good start. Longer journeys can happen at the weekend where the dog can expel extra energy and you can expel body fat or cholesterol.

However, dogs obviously take a lot of dedication. Those two walks a day might be too much for someone who has to leave their home for 10 or 11 hours a day. Then what is your dog going to do? They might sleep on the sofa the entire day, they might wait patiently by the door, or they might panic. Cats, on the other hand are fine being in their own company. They are fed in the morning and when you get back, and in between they can be left to their own devices. If you want a hands-off pet experience, a cat is the way to go.  

Personal preference

Ultimately, it might just come down to the fact that you are either a dog person or a cat person. This guide is like flipping a coin: it isn’t about whether the coin lands on heads or tails, but while it’s flipping, you realized what you wanted the result to be. 

While you were reading this guide, were you trying to talk yourself into cats when you’d really like a dog? Or vice versa. There’s no point in adopting a pet that you aren’t going to love wholeheartedly, so you might as well go with your gut instinct. 

There are middle grounds after all: small dogs. If you get the right breed with little energy and some independence, you’ve essentially got a cat that needs walked. 

Another middle ground is if you are both a dog person and a cat person. Then you’ve, quite literally, got your pick of the litter. There is no wrong answer. 

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