Did you know there are about 76 million dogs and 58 million cats in the United States?
Although there are many options for house pets, dogs and cats are the most common. If you’re a fan of both cats and dogs, you might have to do your research before making the right decision.
If you’re ready to decide between a puppy vs. kitten, this guide will help you decide. Read on to get started.
Kittens and Puppies Have Different Needs
Deciding to bring a puppy or a kitten home is a life long commitment. Although they’re both adorable and lovable, kittens and puppies have different needs.
How to Prepare the House for a Kitten
While many people might summarize that cats only need a litter box, toys, scratching posts, and a bed, they actually have more needs.
Before you bring a kitten home, you must do a walkthrough and kitten-proof the house. Unlike puppies, kittens are climbers and can get to a lot more places.
Start by finding a way to secure electrical wires and covering outlets. Ensure you remove any traps you might have set to get rid of mice, ants, and other pests.
Because kittens are curious climbers, you should also remove fragile items from tabletops and counters.
Once the home has been secured, the next thing you do is make a kitten shopping list.
Before getting a new kitten, it’s important to find them the best place to sleep. Unlike dogs, cats usually don’t stay in a crate. Kittens are quite simple and just like a nice cozy corner to sleep.
While you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a kitten bed, ensure it’s fully washable, or the cover can get removed.
Kitten Food and Litter
Because the early stages in a kitten’s life are essential for them to grow into happy and healthy cats, you need to choose a food that provides the right nutrients.
Talk to your veterinarian about the best foods for your kitten. Make sure you continue to give them the food they’re used to eating and slowly add the new food to avoid an upset stomach.
To keep things familiar for your kitten, ask the shelter, or breeder what type of litter they use. Once the kitten feels more familiar, you can start to switch to the litter of your choice.
There’s no doubt cats have sharp claws that need scratching and exercise. If you bring a kitten home, it’s important to start them off to good habits, so getting a scratcher is a must.
The right scratcher will teach kittens where they should scratch and keep them off your furniture and carpets.
The last thing you want is to have a bored kitten in your hands, so you must add toys to your shopping list.
Playing with your kitten will help you form a special bond. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on kitten toys, but make sure you get quality ones to prevent them from detaching.
How to Prepare the House for a Puppy
If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, you must keep realistic expectations because raising a puppy is time-consuming. However, you need to do your research before you buy a puppy.
Because many pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills, you need to find a trustworthy place to purchase a puppy.
Unlike cats, dogs come in all different sizes, from teacups to the size of small horses. Before you start looking for puppies, you need to consider your space restrictions.
Get Down to Puppy-Eye Level
Although puppies might not climb on your counters, they’re still curious beings. To ensure their surroundings are safe, you need to get down to their level.
Electrical cables are big hazards for curious little puppies, so you should keep them out of sight as much as possible.
Young puppies are big chewers, so you should put away anything they might chew on, such as shoes, laundry, etc. If you have house plants with low hanging leaves, you should prop them up on a higher surface.
You should also ensure you lock in a cabinet chemical, cleaners, and medication that might be toxic to your dog.
Many puppy accessories are optional, but there are a few essential things when you bring a puppy home.
- Dog leash, collar, or harness
- ID tag
- Durable food and water bowls
- Dog crate if you plan to crate train
- Grooming supplies such as brush, comb, nail trimmer
- Dog bed
- Food and treats
Who Needs More Stuff?
Although it’s a common belief that cats don’t need as much stuff as dogs, they do require a decent amount of stuff. While cats are more independent, puppies require more around the clock care.
However, you can expect to buy about the same amount of basic items when it comes to supplies.
The feeding patterns and schedules of cats and dogs vary because dogs tend to come in larger sizes. The best way to be sure how much food you should feed your dog or cat is by asking your veterinarian.
As a general rule, cats should get fed about one to two times of day following the directions indicated on their food.
On the other hand, Puppies have more dietary requirements, and they tend to eat about 3 to 4 times a day, depending on their size.
Because cats eat less time as day and eat smaller portions, you will spend less on food in the long run.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time grooming your pet, cats might be the way to go. Cats are known for being some of the easiest to maintain because they groom themselves.
However, if you get a long-haired cat, you will spend a lot more time brushing and grooming out the knots. You would also need to give long-haired cats baths more often to keep their coats shiny and protect their skin.
Cats also require consistent nail trimming and occasional hairball medication.
For the most part, dogs require more grooming, but it depends on their coat and how much time they spend outside. Even so, you will have to spend more time grooming, bathing, and trimming their nails.
Also, both cats and dogs need you to clean their ears to prevent ear infections.
Who Is the Neediest?
Although this depends on the breed and personality of the animal, cats tend to be more independent and don’t cling to their owners 24/7. For the most part, cats only need their litter box and food to take care of themselves.
Cats might have an independent personality, but this doesn’t mean they don’t want your company. If you leave your cat alone for too long, they might develop separation anxiety.
Dogs have a clingy reputation, and this is in part because they require more attention. Unlike cats, dogs require daily walking and exercise, so they get used to spending more time with you.
Depending on the breed, they might love to lounge around and be couch potatoes, but more active breeds can cause havoc if they get bored.
Before choosing one of the other, ensure you take a look at your lifestyle. If you work long hours, you might not have the time to take care of a dog that needs a lot of exercise.
A cat might be a better option for busy people because they are overall more low maintenance.
As much as we desire our furry friends to live forever, this is not the case. If life expectancy is a factor in your decision between getting a dog or a cat, you need to learn about what to expect.
On average, the life expectancy of a healthy cat is between 12 and 19 years. This number depends on the breed and their overall health.
With dogs, life expectancy is a bit more complicated. Dogs can live anywhere from 8 to 15 years, but it mostly depends on the breed.
For example, large dogs tend to have a shorter life expectancy of fewer than 10 years. Small dogs, such as Chihuahuas, can live as long as 15 years.
These numbers, of course, refer to house pets and not outdoor or stray cats or dogs.
When it comes to space, the short answer is that cats take up less space, which makes them better apartment pets.
However, some dogs also don’t take up a lot of space, or their breed is less active. Some larger dogs do well in an apartment because they’re couch potatoes and don’t need a lot of exercise.
Better with Children and Babies
If you plan to have a family in the near future, then you probably want to research which species will get along better with your children.
While this answer is all about personal preference, breed, and personality of the animal, there are pros and cons to cats and dogs.
Pros of Cats
Having a baby means they will require your attention 24/7, and you will have to change diapers, clothes, feed them, and put them to sleep. Because cats clean themselves and are more independent, you won’t have to worry about walking them multiple times a day.
While there are some really small dog breeds, cats are smaller for the most part and will take up less space.
Cons of Cats
Although there are many pros to having a cat around children, there are also a few cons. For starters, cats sometimes act like they’re the kings of the house and might get a little jealous. Cat hair might also be a lot to handle for a new parent.
Pros of Dogs
Because cats are picky and independent, they might not allow children to play with them. On the other hand, dogs tend to be more patient and even put up with a little rough play. However, it’s important to teach your children to be gentle and respectful of them.
A lot of dogs are bred to be watchdogs and protectors, so they’re great when it comes to looking after the little ones. Dogs will also love to participate in family activities, so this is a better option for active families.
Cons of Dogs
While some dogs are great with children, there are some aggressive breeds that are not recommended for families with children. Also, because dogs bark, that’s the last thing parents want when they’re putting their children to sleep.
Tired and busy parents might also not enjoy having to walk dogs multiple times of the day.
Are Cat Or Dogs Easier to Train?
When you think about teaching a pet a few tricks, you usually don’t think about cats. However, cats can learn a few tricks if they decide they’re willing to learn.
Cats have the reputation of being stubborn and independent, but you can still teach them a few tricks. If your cat is willing to learn a trick, you will find out they’re easy to train because they have long memories and tend to be smarter.
Dogs overall are easier to teach because they’re pack animals, and they tend to follow their leader. However, not all breeds are willing to learn a lot of tricks.
Some of the smarter dog breeds include Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Labrador Retriever, and Poodles.
The last thing any pet owner wants to do is clean up after their pet every time they have an accident.
If you want a pet that is easy to house train and will have the least amount of accidents, a kitten is the way to go. Cats learn to use the litter box right away because it’s their instinct.
Housebreaking a dog might take you a little longer and might take some experimenting.
Are You Ready to Decide Between a Puppy Vs. Kitten?
When it comes to a puppy vs. kitten, it all depends on your personal preference, space, and lifestyle.
If you’re in the process of deciding between a kitten or a puppy, you have to keep in mind the maintenance, house training, life expectancy, and their overall needs.
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