Dog or cat: which one is for you?

By Sophie Milligan

For eons, people have argued whether dogs or cats are better. But, when it comes to finding a pet, the real question is: which one is better suited to you?

Having a fur baby mostly ensures you have some company and attention every day. A cat or dog will both show and need engaging recognition, and if you are so inclined, this will improve your quality of life.

The maxim ‘dogs are a man’s best friend’ is well known for a reason. Having a dog around creates a special and powerful bond between two beings. The canine species improves social interaction and people’s self-esteem. Dogs provide owners with the opportunity to exercise and get fresh air. Walkies keep human owners moving, which can only help their physical fitness.

Through their need for companionship, these creatures also have the ability to reduce the effects of a person’s social isolation. They have powerful senses, including empathy, and most of them desire to please the leader of the pack … that’s you.

The downside to being a doggie parent is that their food bills are higher because they eat more than cats, and whether they ‘do their business’ out on a walk or in the backyard, there is more smelly cleaning up to do than with cats.

But if being active isn’t your priority, a cat may be the pet which fits your lifestyle best.

If you want a toilet-trained animal you don’t have to clean up after, then a cat is the perfect pet for you.

Once mature, felines that are deprived of kitty litter trays will relieve themselves outside, often in your neighbour’s garden, so there is no cleaning up to do for you.

Just like dogs, most cats can calm and soothe humans who welcome affection from the animal kingdom.

Cat’s purrs are one of the most comforting and relaxing sounds, and can pacify a human’s behaviour.

But cats are more independent than dogs, which mostly demand more attention.

The cons of owning a cat include less interaction and often ignoring your commands or attention. Cats are extremely independent and many are downright wilful.

But the pros of having either variety of pet can improve your happiness. Dogs and cats can act as therapists. In fact, scientific studies have shown that pet therapy has been linked to  reduced depression, anxiety and pain. Apart from service dogs trained to help the blind, the deaf, epileptic sufferers, some are also taught to ease the anxiety of  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder victims.

Having a pet comes with big responsibilities but it is worth it when you gain not just a friend  but a caring member of the family.

Are you a dog or cat person? How has your pet improved your life?

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