Cat or Dog? Please help me decide...(18 Posts)
I love cats. My youngest wants a dog, my oldest wants an animal.
Our next door neighbour is a dog sitter, there are always dogs around.
Our garden is currently the stomping ground for 3-4 neighbourhood cats, of the big, burly and long-furried variety. In addition to squirrels and a resident fox under our shed.
(Maybe we dont need our own pet)
If we get a cat, will it be mauled by the other cats?
If we get a dog, will it be disturbed and just bark at the presence of all the other dogs?
I am keen for my pet to "fit in" with our neighbourhood. Am I insane to consider this?
Can I put cats in kennels when we go on holiday in the same way as I could with a dog? How does this affect the cat/dog psyche?
You can kennel cats (except they are called catteries). With any dog or cat though, some are fine with it and some aren't.
Why don't you ask your neighbour's advice on what she thinks would be most compatible with her crowd?
Having had cats as a child and dogs as an adult, my biased opinion is you get a lot more love from a dog. I liked our cats - DD and the rest of us love the dog.
I dont think a dog would be all that bothered by other dogs as it will be brought up around them iyswim.
But IMO there are lots of other things to consider before getting a dog.
They are one hell of a responsibility and take alot of looking after.
Its a bit like having a new baby again in some ways.
depends how much time you want to spend looking after it.
Cats are largely self sufficient. As long as you feed them regularly, give strokes when they require, they will be happy to come and go as they please. You can put them into catteries when you go on holiday or alternatively you could get a neighbour to come in and feed them. The downside to cats is that they are independent. Attention will happen largely on their terms, so there are no guarantees that you will get a lap cat, even if it ss such as a kitten. Also, cats kill things. birds, mice etc, and it's likely they will bring home these gifts and dismember them either on your livingroom carpet, or if you're lucky, in the garden. And cats will scratch your furniture/climb your curtains.
Dogs are affectionate, more interactive than cats, you can play with them, they're generally very loyal, will be pleased to see you when you get home, and what you put in you will get back. But dogs need to be walked, twice a day if it's a big dog, come rain or shine, in sickness and in health , and puppies are hard work as they need training/socializing, and unless you shut them in a crate they will chew, shoes/toys/furniture. And dogs also shouldn't be left alone for more than a couple of hours a day, so if you all work full-time it really wouldn't be fair to have one.
We had cats through my entire childhood. I loved my cat, but I cannot compare this love to the kind of love I might have felt for a dog. I felt had I had a very special bond with my cat. And I wouldnt have to walk it, which might be good and bad (seing as I need an excuse to get out in fresh air more).
Cats are quite easy to look after, arent they?
My neighbour is looking after a very mixed clientele of dogs, from little spaniels, to a huge dog that looks like a polar bear.
I work from home.
Would a dog disturb me? Or would it be quite happy to entertain itself while I work?
How old are your kids? I think very small kids and a new dog would be extremely challenging, regardless of age or breed.
If you get a cat first (easier) you can always get a dog too if it works out well?
That depends on the dog but most dogs crave attention and interaction so you would need to find at least a couple of hours a day, especially for younger or more brainy dogs.
We only put our cats in a cattery once and it was an absolute disaster. One had a raw patch on its nose where it rubbed on the bars as it wasn't used to being kept in a designated area. The other pinned and refused to eat so was very thin. We just leave a key with the neighbour who pops in twice a day to feed them and they enjoy a 2 week period of peace from 2 small children . If you get a dog you need to be commited as they require a lot more time and attention compared to cats and it is unfair on them if they don't get it. If you leave them for long periods of time they often get destructive, they need walking daily whatever the weather and no way could you leave them overnight without someone in the house (or that is my experience anyway).
I would have to get a cat flap on my door, wouldnt I?
My kids are 5 1/2 and 2 1/2.
I would get a cat, TBH. You don't need a cat flap (we just have an emergency litter tray and make infuriatingly frequent trips to the back door to let the little bugger in and out, and in, and out, and in ... ad nauseum!).
Personally I think I would wait until your youngest is a bit older before emnarking on the pleasures and challenges of dog ownership.
I work from home and I love having my dog around. He's keeping my knees warm right now.
But what about taking a cat/dog travelling?
We travel to see my parents twice a year, two flights and international transfer. WOuld either animal cope with this? (not even beginning to think about what my parents would think about this.....)
Personally, I wouldn't take either animal on those trips. It's doable but wouln't be fun for them. Friendly neighbours/kennels much better option.
My sister lives in Spain, her neighbour feeds her cat. I guess that could work here too.
Just seconding Emsmum about the loveliness of working from home with a dog around. Mine is lying at my feet. Both dog and human get a lot out of just being together even when nothing much is happening between them.
Some dogs (and all puppies) will be more demanding of your attention than mine is. My old Spinone used to take my fixed concentration on the computer as a sign that he should steal DSs, underpants from their bedroom floor and prance about in front of me until I reacted.
I hav just seen this thread so don't know if you're still watching it Quintessentialshadow. We have both dog & cat (3 at the moment!) I love my dog but am more of a cat person myself. Our cat got pregnant in the summer before we had her spayed & went on to have 3 gorgeous kittens. One has gone to a friend & has a lovely home. We are keeping one so are looking for a nice home for the little girl that is left. I would love to keep her but dh says no She is ready to go now (sniff ) if you are interested? We are in Gloucestershire.
Well I like cats (I have one as well and he is very friendly, not at all scratchy or bitey which is good!) but I do think dogs are top pets, especially for children, they can have great fun playing with a dog and doing the rough and tumble stuff like football and wrestling that you can't do with a cat. If you got a cat-tested retired greyhound that would be very quiet and doesn't need a lot of exersize, only about an hour a day. however they are quite easy to cut so you're kids would have to be careful about how rough they played! (they have very thin skin) staffies, labs, collies, alsatians etc are also lovely dogs for children as they are energetic and playful but also generally naturally good tempered. (although any dog does need socializing and training properly) spaniels are also very playful and cheerful dogs but need a huge amount of exersize. (family have 2 and need daily runs on the beach and swimming!) terriers are great little dogs but can be a bit prone to wanting to be left alone and are very independant so maybe more of a teens/adult dog.
basically you want something playful and good tempered, right?
If dog has plenty of exersize he should be quite happy to snuggle up for a nap while you're working and you could also give him treats like a Kong to keep him occupied. (that's a container that you stuff with food and it's quite difficult for a dog to get the food out so takes them a while thus keeping them occupied!)
dogs are also easy to take abroad on hols now with the new pet passport scheme which just requires you getting the dog microchipped and vaccinated afaik.
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