When we were children, most of us remember having a cat or a dog around the house. We remember playing with them, chasing them and then laying down in a heap when we finally wore ourselves out. The years passed quickly and soon enough, we were married to the love of our life, going to jobs every day, planning and saving for the future, and thinking we were missing something.
A young couple, married about a year, decided that they would like to get a pet, a dog or a cat, they weren’t sure which. They had good jobs, and a nice ground floor apartment in a good neighborhood. There was a park about two blocks down the street, and a little strip mall across from the park. They weren’t ready for the house, and kids yet, but thought they’d like to have a four-legged, furry friend. But, which pet would best fit their lifestyle?
Since they lived in a small apartment, the husband thought that a cat would be the ideal pet. His wife, however preferred, a dog. So they decided to do some research, and come up with the pro’s and con’s of adopting either a cat or a dog.
Pro’s and Con’s of Getting a Dog
On the Pro Side
- Dogs Bark- can warn of prowlers or other emergency
- Dogs don’t need a lot of extra stuff- like litter boxes, etc.
- Dogs are pack animals- they welcome human company
- Dogs like to run and play- can help with daily exercise
- Dogs can be trained-To stay off the furniture
- Dogs will protect the family in times of crisis
On the Con Side:
- Dogs Bark- They can annoy the neighbors
- Can’t get a large dog-will have to get a little “yapper”
- Dogs can’t be left alone- they’ll tear things up
- Dogs have to be walked-in all kinds of weaher
- Dogs don’t always protect-some are too small or too friendly
- Dogs need a lot of stuff -leashes, collars, crates, dog beds
Pro’s and Con’s of Getting a Cat
On the Pro Side
- Cats don’t bark-They are quiet creatures
- Cats are small creatures-Perfect for small apartments
- Cats are loners- they don’t mind being alone all day
- cats never have to be walked:provide a litter box
On the Con Side
- Cats will get up on counters, no matter how much they have been “trained”
- Cats shed – You’ll have fur all over your furniture and carpets
- Cats swallow a lot of fur- which they regurgitate as hairballs
- Cats will shred your furniture-unless you declaw them
- Cats can’t be around babies- They get in the crib and smother a baby
- Cats sometimes ignore the litter box- and do their busines elsewhere
What’s Right and What’s Wrong about Dogs
Our couple took the time to visit with friends who had both dogs and cats. They got information about both animals that would help them erase some of their pros and cons. They found out how their friends dealt with certain oddities about each pet. They heard how each pet had made their owners lives much richer. They promised each other that they wouldn’t’t make up their minds until all the information was on the table.
First of all, Dogs bark. They can be annoying, if they just bark because they’re bored.
Dogs can be trained to bark if there is an emergency, or if someone is hurt or some other action appears to be
dangerous. There are numerous stories told about how a family was saved because of a brave dog.
Dogs are easier because they don’t need a lot of stuff. But a dog needs a number of things for his care. He needs a good collar; a collar that will not chafe the dog’s neck, but will remain snug. He needs a leash that will give the dog room to walk easily, but still gives his owner control. Dogs like their own bed. Some dogs are trained to go into a crate, when his master is gone. Obviously,the dog needs his own food bowl and water bowl.
The following is true. Dogs are pack animals. They like human activity and are fiercely loyal to their master or family. They look forward to that daily walk- and it can be a great way to get some exercise. Rainy days can be a problem, but most dogs won’t mind a little rain or snow. As far as giving a dog certain boundaries–with kindness and patience, dogs can be trained that some items are off limits. The size and breed, or mix, is up to the prospective owner. Consider the size of your living quarters, and amount of yard when selecting a dog. Use common sense; it probably is not wise to get a great Dane when you live in a two-room apartment with no yard.
What’s Right and What’s Wrong About Cats
Cats are smaller than some dogs and they are quieter. Meows usually do not rise to the deafening barks of some canines. Cats are good for small apartments. They usually sleep mos most of the day. However, be sure to leave them clean water and a bowl of kibbles.
Cats don’t need a lot of paraphernalia. They need a food bowl; actually two food bowls: one for kibbles and one for soft food. Cats need the variety of food, and they need lots of water. Some cats do not drink enough water.
Feeding them canned food gives them extra water. Cats need a litter box. Do’t get one too small.. Cats like to turn around and scratch around when attending to nature calls. Try putting the box in a semi-private place.
Would you want to do your business in public?
Also, separate the food and water bowl from the litter box area. Cats don’t like to eat in the bathroom.
Cats can be trained to stay off some areas. It takes a lot of patience.but they will catch on. Cats can be discouraged from getting on the furniture and scratching the furniture. They don’t have to be declawed. A good scratching post or “Kitty condo” will take care of most of their scratching. Trim their nails periodically.
Cats do have a problem with hair balls. Long-haired cats will cough up hairballs more often. There is a medication that can be given to cats that will dissolve the hairballs. Some cats actually like it so much that they will lick it off your hand.
This last “con” item is an old wives tale. Cats do not get into a baby’s crib to suck away baby’s breath. Actually, cats like milk; babies drink milk, and the cat is attracted to the milk’s smell. That is why they may get into a baby’s crib. They do not intend harm. Keep the cat out of the nursery.
Sometimes a cat will ignore the box. First, have the cat checked out by a vet. Some cats will ignore the box because they are sick. Cats will ignore the box if it is dirty. Scoop the box at least twice a day. Change the litter once a week. Wash the litter box before putting in fresh litter. Just use water. Strong soap and cleanser smells will turn the cat away from the box.
Final Decision on Which pet is best for our lifestyle
The last thing our couple probably will do is go check out some pets, both cats and dogs. Then they can make a decision. Ultimately, it will come down to an emotional decision. The one animal they cannot bear to leave behind will be the one they take home. They still have breed or mix to consider, and,in the case of a dog, the size. Maybe they will get one of each.
Would love to hear from my readers. Did you like the article? Did you get some helpful information? What did I miss?