Deciding if a Cat or Dog is Right for Your Family

For pet lovers, both cats and dogs offer unconditional love, affection, friendship, and as well as other therapeutic benefits for the whole family such as improved general health and wellbeing. Therefore, choosing between getting a cat or dog can be a challenging decision.

Cats and dogs have different needs and characteristics that’s why your decision will be influenced as much by the type of lifestyle that your family has. So, it’s not really about dog vs. cat but about which animal would best suit your lifestyle. You need to consider your family’s activity levels, space you have at home, whether you have kids or not, and how much time you can offer to a pet.

If your family wants to have a pet at home but can’t decide whether to get a cat or dog, we are here to help you. We are going to give you some of the things you should consider to be able to decide which pet suits your family and home better.

The Pros and Cons of Cats and Dogs

Let’s start first by knowing the advantages and disadvantages of owning each pet. This way, you will be able to see which one of them would work better for your family.


Pros of Having a Cat

  • They are self-sufficient.

Cats are self-sufficient pets. First, they use a litter box instead of going outside to use the bathroom, therefore, even when you’re not at home. You just need to make sure that their litter box is clean for your cat to do his business. Aside from that, cats are also self-cleaning machines and they rarely need a trip to the groomer which can save you a lot of money.

  • Cats can keep pests at bay.

When you have a pet cat at home, you probably won’t see any pests such as mice, roaches, ants, or beetles around because your pet will instinctively hunt for them and keep your home pest-free.

Cons of Having a Cat

  • They are always curious.

Cats love to get into everything, including leftover foods, purses, and shopping bags. If you have an open beverage on the table, you have to be careful because it can fall victim to wayward paws.

  • They have claws.

Cats have claws and some of them tend to use these claws by fraying the bottom of your couch at home. But giving them a scratching post and a little redirection can help them learn where they can and cannot scratch.

  • They have stoic personalities.

Not all cats but a majority of them have stoic personalities. Unlike dogs, cats will not come running over to see you when you walk into a room. There are some cats that are very aloof and does not look for affection that much.

Pros of Having a Dog


  • They are always excited to see you.

Unlike most cats, dogs will often greet you at the door with excitement every time you come home. Dogs love getting attention and affection and they are always eager to please.

  • They can protect your home.

Aside from being affectionate pets, dogs can also act as guards for your home. In fact, most people choose to adopt a dog as a safeguard against home invasion. They can increase your family’s sense of security because they will bark whenever someone or some people approach your house.

Cons of Having a Dog

  • They require bathroom breaks.

Dogs need to go outside to use the bathroom multiple times a day unless you will litter train them. This means that one of the family members will need to take the dog for a walk or you can also install a doggy door that leads into a fenced-in yard.

  • They need discipline.

Dogs are more playful compared to cats that’s why when you bring a new dog into your home, it will need some time to be able to understand your family’s house rules. You also need to train dogs or sign them up for obedience classes but this depends on the dog breed you will be getting.

  • They need regular exercise.

Dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy, happy, and fit. It means that you need to regularly take them on a walk or run. It’s great if you have a large fenced-in yard where they can play and run easily. However, if you live in an apartment or you don’t have a yard, taking them on regular walks outside is needed.

Things to Consider When Choosing Between a Cat or Dog

Now that you know the pros and cons of having a cat and dog, there are also other things you should look into before you decide which pet to get. Here are some of those.

  • Your Family’s Activity Level: When choosing between a cat or dog, it’s best to consider your family’s activity level and as well as how much time you can give to your pet. Between the two animals, dogs are obviously the ones who need more attention from their owners compared to cats.
  • Your Space: Another thing to consider is the space you have at home. If you live in a larger house, a dog might work well for you. But if you live in a small apartment, a cat is an excellent companion.
  • Costs: This is also an important thing to look into when choosing to adopt a pet. When you compare the two animals, dogs often tend to be more expensive to care for than a cat between toys, foods, training classes, and vet bills. It’s because cats are more independent pets and they can take care of themselves. They just need their human for food.

Which is the Best Pet for Your Family?

So, have you decided which pet to get for your family? If you’re still contemplating, here are some tell-tale signs that dogs or cats are for you.

  • Tell-tale signs that dogs are right for your family: If your family is composed of energetic and outgoing people who love adventures and keeping an active lifestyle, then a dog may be the perfect pet for you. Dogs are the best pets to take on trips, outdoor activities, and vacations. Dogs are very affectionate pets and they really are a man’s best friend. If your family can give full attention to a pet, then a dog is the right pet for your family.
  • Tell-tale signs that cats are right for your family: If your family lives in a home with limited indoor space and you all have a busy lifestyle, or you simply want to have a more independent pet, then a cat is perfect for you. Cats can be left alone at home for hours and they can just sleep and entertain themselves most of the day. They also need social interaction and play times, but not as much as dogs do. Cats may not be as energetic as dogs are, but they are also loving, affectionate, relaxing, and entertaining pets.

No matter which species your family choose to have as a pet, with enough love and affection, you will definitely find a forever friend in them. We hope the information we shared will help you decide which between a cat or dog is right for your family.