Animal Advice

Cats or Dogs: Which is Better?

As a contributing writer of Quora, I recently submitted the question “Are dogs better than cats?”  The question received a number of replies but I liked this one from Christine Gilbert.

What do you think?  Do you like cats more than dogs, or the other way around?

Let us know by submitting a post or article to with subject line PET STORY.

Which is best dogs or cats? Great points for each and for both. Let us know which you prefer in the comment section below.

Christine says, “It depends on what sort of company you’re looking for. If you want active socialization, get a dog. Dogs need their pack; they look to their companions for direction and company. The downside to this is that they NEED their pack. They must be actively engaged with or they often become neurotic.

Certain breeds need very intensive interaction.

Huskies, shepherds, and other working breeds need jobs to do and can be very destructive of they don’t have one.

If you prefer passive socialization, cats are better. While most of them can be trained to some extent, they don’t need the intensive training that dogs do. They keep themselves clean, and can generally entertain themselves for hours at a time. They miss you when you’re gone but don’t mind if you leave. They’ll demand affection on their own terms, and often prefer to simply be near the person they like best, hanging out on the back of a chair or on the other end of a couch.

However, cats, especially cats kept indoors, need a lot of mental stimulation. Puzzles for treats, toys they can chase, interesting things to watch. A cat without stimulation is basically a lump. And while most are trainable to an extent, the techniques required are different than you would use for a dog.

A cat must have a concrete reward for its efforts; dogs are often satisfied with praise. Cats also react to stimuli more unpredictably, and their body language is harder for many to read. This can lead to unexpected bites and scratches from otherwise placid animals.

Also, their small size and innate curiosity can get them into trouble, so be prepared to pull them out of vents and coax then from high places.”

Jim Davis, Architect, Musician, Composer, Animal Advocate gives us a comparison of dogs and cats.

I’ve lived with; and currently live with; both.  So objectively quantifying…


Higher maintenance (letting outside to go to make potty, cleaning up said potty, hair dissemination throughout a residence, grooming; -5)
More expensive care (grooming, hair, nails, teeth, many and various vaccinations; -5)
Loud barking can be annoying and/or inconvenient (-3)
Might hump your leg or pillows (even after being “fixed”; -3)
Sometimes chew on things (usually as puppies; -3)

Unconditional love and the visible expression thereof (wagging tail, raised eyebrows, open jaw, jumping, dancing, general “puppy dog eyes”; +10)
Loud barking can deter criminals/home invaders (+5)
When sick they typically attempt to go outside or use the floor (+3)
Big warm furry hugs and wet kisses (+5)
Will let you know if someone isn’t a nice person (terribly effective. always trust your dog when they act weird around a person; +10)
Easy to train (+5)

Total Dog Score: +19


Poops and pees in the house, making house stink (-3)
Love is conditional and judgemental (sometimes not even present; -10)
Also many and various vaccinations (-5)
Throws up on furniture without much, if any, warning (-3)
Finicky about feeding (won’t eat if they can see the bottom of their bowl; I mean seriously?; -3)
Will climb your leg as if it’s a scratching post (Just ouch; -5)
Sandpaper kisses (-3)
Find their way onto every surface in the house (-3)

Easy cleanup (litter boxes are simple and easy to keep fresh; +3)
No grooming required (they bathe themselves; +3)
Quiet (+3)
Generally clean and organized (+5)
Those sandpaper kisses are sometimes sweet and adorable (+3)

Total Cat Score: -18

Plus, I’m simply a dog person. To each his/her own. (Though dogs are obviously better.) Some are cat people, some are dog people. (Though dogs are obviously better.) This argument will continue forever (even though dogs are obviously better). But for me, a dog will love you as much as you love him/her. A cat…….maybe. I’ve had some who did, some who couldn’t have cared less. But it takes all kinds. (Though it would be better if it only took dog people since dogs are obviously better.)  🙂


Raj Gopalakrishna,

I live on a farm and enjoy it with many animals including dogs, cats, geese, ducks, sheeps, chickens, monkeys, donkey, fishes, snakes, all sorts of birds etc. I also grow my own food etc. I don’t have a cow but have sheeps etc

It is not easy for me to say which animal is a better pet. All of them are beautiful in their own way. They respond in their own way. A squirrel can be as graceful as a geese so who is to say which one makes a better pet.

In my opinion there are four things to consider before choosing a pet
1) figure out which animal/bird do you like to be with.

Even within a category there are so many options. Small dogs to large dogs to guard dogs etc. So figuring out what you really like is first and most important.

I wouldn’t worry about the pet liking you. In my experience if you show love to an animal then the animal will always reciprocate the love. So any animal (cow, cat or dog) can be a pet provided you respect and care for it.

Some people fear certain animals like dogs or snakes. So if you have any such fear then clearly that animal cannot be your pet. A relationship filled with fear will not blossom.

2) space consideration.
Larger animals need more space.

Though cows can be housed in a shed but if you can give them more space then free ranging cows will be even happier.

Like many of the families we work with at Animal Human Connection, many have both dogs and cats and often rabbits, turtles, fish etc..  Be sure to leave a comment below or write to us at

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