Quote Originally Posted by Gabora View Post
The fact that you are asking this question means you do not know much about either. So, the first thing I would suggest is for you to consider whether you are willing to commit irrevocably for at least 15 years of devotion to your pet. Too many people “feel like” acquiring a pet without realising that this is a very solemn commitment that cannot and should not be abandoned midway when you no longer “feel like” having a pet. Think, 15 years! Do you feel it is possible for you? Only if your answer is YES, 100% proceed to choose between a dog and cat.

I have 25 cats (all rescues) and 1 dog; the dog is a rescue, too. I have always had cas around me, so I can say without hesitation that cats are the least maintenance pet between the two. Let me give you the pros and cons of the two:


Hugely lovable - I have not ever found a cat that will not melt your heart. They are beautiful, majestic, serene and adorable at any age.
Lowest cost - other than the food and litter, cats do not need much. Of course, there are exceptions when they fall sick, but normally - and I am talking as one who has 25 cats ore or less for the past 10 years - they are tough and healthy.
Lowest maintenance - They do not need to be bathed and still smell so wonderful. They do not need walks. They are generally very clean - and unless they are spooked or have a personality disorder, which is rare - you will never have “accidents” in the house with cats. They are easily trained for litter and once they learn it, it is for life.
Huge amount of quiet love - cats are extremely loving. They care and you will feel it. They literally tune in to your moods. However, they are not effusive; they will not jump all over you, they will not be loud, and they will not demand that you indulge them. Cat lovers enjoy the quiet camaraderieship cats normally extend.
Minimum noise - once neutered/ spayed, cats will not make much noise. They will “talk” with you and some are quite vocal, but your neighbors will never know about it. They are quiet usually; they will meow only when they want something specific like food, go somewhere (out or next room), or if you are too late and they are upset about it.
Long life - it’s heartbreaking to lose a pet. In spite of having so many during my life, I still cannot manage the pain that is gut-wrenching when a pet dies. If the pet dies of sickness, it is even worse. So, the fact that cats can live up to 30+ years is a huge bonus. They become part of your being; an interdependency that you will love and give you great comfort.
Hugely trainable - they’ll not walk on two legs or do tumbles for you, but they will learn quickly what you want of them and obey. Sometimes, though- and that would be often enough - they would ignore or do it differently just to show you they can. I have taught my cats to eat in line and wait for their turn to be fed. I taught them to wait in separate places for their food. I taught them to go to bathroom and do their business if the litter is not there. I taught them not to enter the kitchen unless called, and so on. They usually learn new things in matter of days - at any age.
They keep you humble - to enjoy your cat’s love, you have to work at it. There is nothing for granted with her. You need to earn her respect and love and work at maintaining it. She doesn't like something, she will tell you very clearly. If your behaviour is not acceptable, she will have you know. Indeed, cats need slaves to their wishes and they are tough task-masters. The fact that you need to keep working for their acceptance will keep you a humble human - and you will find that this is a great contribution to your personality.
They transfer inner peace - anyone who watched a cat sleeping, will know what I mean. There is such immense peace in them just being there sleeping that it envelopes your soul and mind and fills your heart with it. When they are awake, you will observe the majestic grace in every movement - whether they play, run, climb, even fight. There is immense beauty in everything a cat does; beauty that makes you smile, whether you are in the mood for it or not.
They alert against “bad ghosts” - this is something not proven by science, but what I believe and observed from my own perspective and stories of others. Cats see ghosts/ spirits/ souls (whatever you would like to call the ethereal beings) and will not react to them (even if you can see that they are watching something not visible to you) unless they are potentially harmful to you. If a cat suddenly starts spitting, hissing, doing stuff that expresses aggression and annoyance, there is an ethereal entity around you which means harm. It is an amazing gift and one that saved my daughter’s life a couple of times.
They can stay alone for a few days - though not recommended, in times of emergency you could walk away and leave your cat(s) for a few days in your home without any supervision. My cats, when left over weekend, sleep a lot and when I come back home, I have them meow for almost a day in complaint. I indulge them with some lovely wet food and they graciously forgive me. :)

They need scratch posts - cats need to sharpen their nails. If there is no scratch post, they will do it on your furniture, couch, bedsheet, door mat, and anywhere else they find suitable. To protect your indoors possessions, you will need to have multiple scratch posts all over your home. Even then, there is no guarantee they will not take to scratching a few other things.
They have a temper - cats, no matter how cute and cuddly they are, they have very unique and assertive personality and they will not shy away to indicate that they are pissed off. When you cross your limits, you will get scratched and nipped. Rest assured, it is nothing to worry about. And you can reduce the scratch incidents by clipping their nails to keep them blunt. But be ready to be hissed at, whacked, jumped upon, attacked, and so on.
They hate medicines - this is one of the most horrible let downs in my opinion. Giving cats food should be listed in “most dangerous and frustrating” tasks. They will spit it out, manage to get most froth at the mouth, cry, clamp their mouth, hide, run away, hiss - and what not. Giving medicine to cats is a horror.

They will love you to bits - I read somewhere, “The only being that will love you more than themselves is a DOG”. Maybe there are more than the dog - but it goes to say that these animals are capable of immense love. You will feel idolised and adored and that feeling is hugely addictive.
The house will be alive with a dog - while cats are passive in showing their love, dogs are overly effusive. They will jump on you, play with you, stick to you, bark at you, and so on - you will have a constantly moving animal with a dog. Of course there are quieter breeds, but generally a dog will make himself felt at home.
You will have daily exercise - you will need to take your dog for a walk every day. At least once a day - but normally twice a day, i.e. once morning, once night. So, you will get the opportunity to exercise - and it would become a routine for you. YOu will be the healthier for it.
It’s easy to medicate a dog - much easier that medicating a cat anyday. You can hide the medicine in a meat sandwich and it will be swallowed in a jiffy. No problem at all.
They can protect/ guard you - the majority of dogs, even the mildest ones will charge someone if you are attacked. They will bark if there is an intruder alerting you and generally, you will feel safer because of your dog.
They will make you feel 10 ft tall - a dog’s adoration and love is most amazing. The sun and moon rises and sets with you. They will happily die for you and they will make you feel and know that. It is a wonderful feeling!!

Barking may become a problem - there are some dogs who would bark at anything and everything. If the bark is loud, you might get complaints from your neighbors.
You cannot leave them alone for long - some breeds you can, but most when left alone, will develop anxiety and would either howl and bark until you come, or turn into destroying your home.
Willy-nilly you will have to take him out - While you could train your dog use your toilet at home to do his business, he will still need the exercise. So come rain or storm, you will have to take your buddy for a walk to do his business.
They need space - even small dogs needs space. Too small and they get restless.
They live only 15 years - their life is too short. When they die after 15 years, you will feel it is too soon. It breaks your heart.
There may be a few I missed. But more or less these are the things which you should consider. I would advise you to take your time and research about your feelings and the right match.

In the end, I would earnestly request you to please not buy a dog or cat, but adopt one from a shelter. These animals, rejected for various reasons, are languishing in these shelters longing for love. Most are heartbroken by the betrayal from their humans and so much deserve a second chance at being loved and pampered. <3
I totally agree with getting a pet from a shelter and I have got to say, you really know you cats and dogs, thank you for this post.