Should I Get A Cat Or A Dog?

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A cat or a dog – which is better?   I was recently asked by a family friend which is better or more to the point should I get a cat or a dog? Ahhhh yes, the age old question of DOG vs CAT rises again!  Today we are focusing on which makes a better pet: a cat or a dog?  And of course where would we be without one of our favorite cat vs dog images:

After seeing this image again I’m going to have to say mark 1 for the cat.

Should I Get A Cat Or A Dog?

If you asked my mother she would not hesitate in her answer.  She prefers cats and currently has three living at her home (I’m sure she’ll have more soon).  On the other hand come talk to me and I’m pretty sure I can convince you that a dog makes the better pet.  Of course, I’m biased after all the name of this blog is PUPPYintraining.com and not KITTYinTraining.com.

Well lucky for us we don’t have to rely on mine or my mother’s biased outlook on dogs and cats.  Instead we came across an article that reveals a scientific approach to determine whether a dog or a cat is the better pet.  Lets visit the results from the Daily Mail website:

In the ‘great pet showdown’ experts compared 11 traits from brain size to environmental impact by looking at research published in scientific journals.

Here are the results of those 11 traits:

  1. Brains – who has bigger brain size in proportion to their body size – Winner= CATS
  2. Time Species Has Been Domesticated – dogs have shared history with humans.  Domesticated at nearly 135,000 years ago – Winner= DOGS
  3. Bonding – Research has shown that even a 4 month old puppy chooses a human companion over another dog – Winner= DOGS
  4. Popularity – 204 millions cats in the top 10 cat owning nations vs 173 millions dogs in the top 10 dog owning nations – Winner= CATS
  5. Ability to Understand Words – One study has shown a Border Collie named Rico has mastered over 200 words – Winner= DOGS
  6. Problem Solving – dogs can follow gestures such as outstretched fingers or the nod of a head – Winner = DOGS
  7. Purr vs Bark – the attention seeking purr wins out against the dogs bark even though a dog can change the frequency, pitch, and range of their bark – Winner = CATS
  8. Ease of Training – dogs are said to be easier to train then cats (I guess the proof there can be my mothers attempts at training her cats) – Winner = DOGS
  9. Senses of Sight, Smell, and Hearing – no contest a cat can see in lower light, have a wider range of hearing, and can smell better than a dog – Winner = CATS
  10. Eco-Friendliness – because a cat is smaller in size they have a smaller ecological footprint.  Less land to farm food…less poop – Winner = CATS

The score is tied at 5 with the final category (the tie breaker): Usefulness -Winner = DOGS

Dogs, studies show, help cut human stress, while taking them for walks keeps their owners fit and helps them meet new people. New Scientist says: ‘Dogs can hunt, herd and guard.

‘They can sniff out drugs and bombs; they guide blind and deaf people, race for sport, pull sledges, find someone buried by an avalanche, help children learn and possibly even predict earthquakes.’

And in a conclusion bound to set tongues wagging, it adds: ‘Cats are good if you have an infestation of rodents.’

There you have it.  The dogs win out by a hair.  As always it really comes down to personal preference and this list of categories is not comprehensive and in reality each category should carry some kind of weighting.  As I scan over the list of traits in this comparison many of the Dog Friendly traits seem to be a result of earlier domestication things like bonding, ability to understand words, problem solving, and ease of training.  While on the other hand the traits more suited for cats seem to be those traits that make them more adapted to living in the wild (less domestication) such as larger brains and better sense of sight, smell, and hearing.

Honestly I love both dogs and cats.  My biggest deterrent for not having a cat right now are allergies.  There seems to be a much higher number of people allergic to cats versus dogs.  So, if you are highly allergic to cats then my answer to the question: Should I Get A Cat Or A Dog? is A DOG!

What do you guys think?  Which is a better pet?  A Cat or A Dog?

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