Choosing a Pet


Choosing between a dog or a cat

Q: I'm doing this research paper on the choosing between and dog or a cat for a pet. I've been searching the net for hours now, and still I have found nothing in reference to the cat vs. dog debate. I was wodering if you might have any suggestions. It's not a real serious paper, in fact, I was hoping to make it humorous. If you know of anything I would appreciate your input. Thanks

A: I think that the choice of a dog vs. a cat boils down to personal preference and am not aware of much research done on why people chose one over the other.

There are more families with dogs but there are more cats kept as pets. This would seem to indicate that people are more likely to own a single dog but that cat owners are more prone to owning more than one cat.

A survey of owner's opinions about their pets revealed that people with spayed female dogs and neutered male cats were most content with their choice of pets.

Dogs are generally a little more difficult to care for since they do not use litterpans and often will not adapt to free choice feeding successfully. This seems to be driving the trend towards cat ownership since they can be left alone during the day or over the weekend with someone to check on them once a day or so. This makes them a better choice for homes with a single working adult or where both adults work. Being late coming home one day won't result in having to clean up after a dog that didn't get to go outside. Taking a quick weekend vacation is easier to arrange when cats are the sole pet.

Cats are not as social as dogs in many instances, though. A number of people want to be greeted at the door by their pet and need to be needed by their pet. These people generally choose dogs. It is more fun in most cases to buy a toy for a dog since they tend to get more excited about it. They also take treats with more enthusiasm in many instances -- but definitely not in all instances. For people who need a high level of interaction with a pet, dogs seem to be more likely to fulfill that need.

Hope this helps some.

Mike Richards, DVM


Michael Richards, D.V.M. co-owns a small animal general veterinary practice in rural tidewater Virginia. Dr. Richards graduated from Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979, and has been in private practice ever since. Dr. Richards has been the director of the PetCare Forum...