Cat vs. Dog - Better Pet?

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It's kind of generalized, but a lot of single women like cats---

and just about every town has at least one story about some 'cat lady'
 

turbo

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Veal from lambs? You have some funny farms in your area.
I always thought it came from baby lamb. Well I guess you learn something new every day!
 

Ivan Seeking

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Would you mind telling this to my cat? My cat tears up the carpet, eats the household plants (both fake and real), chews through wires, knocks cereal boxes off of the refrigerator and rips them open, chews shoes, knocks magnets off the refrigerator and hides them, and has even eaten my wallet. He is very loving whenever I'm around, but when I am gone or asleep, madness ensues. It is not fun to come home and find that your television is no longer working because your cat ate completely through some cords.
We've had about ten cats and none were cord chewers, but I know that can be a real issue. The biggest problem that we've had is that the older males will sometimes start to spray in the house. We also set ourselves up for this with new cats by taking in strays who immediately want to start marking their new territory. We are currently having a problem with Isaac, who is an older cat that was also taken in as a stray last year.

Tsu just bought a thingy from the vet that is supposed to stop the spraying. It plugs into an outlet and then releases a pheromone odor, or something like that. I haven't even seen it yet but the vet has had very good reports from other people who have tried it.

My dog, on the other hand, has never chewed on anything in her entire life. The cat is the one who will even take her toys and rip them up. My dog is a sweetie and my cat is a menace, but I suppose I will allow him to live and continue to try and cat-proof my house, which is extremely difficult, given that cats can get anywhere that is not behind a closed door (not even cabinets are good enough sometimes).
That may be, but dogs are notoriously destructive compared to cats. There is also a real issue with liability as a dog can be a dangerous animal - esp large dogs. This is not to be taken lightly. If a dog is startled, it may attack. This happened to a friend of my brother who went to pet a dog that was sleeping. He knew the dog well, but the dog was startled and bit him in the face, scarring him for life. He had to be rushed to the hospital and it was a very serious situation. There was also a girl whom my mother would babysit a few days a week, who was attacked by a dog that was tied up outside of a neighborhood market. She was also bit in the face and required corrective surgery - several of them. There was an elderly couple who lived near an uncle of mine, who were killed by their own two dobermans. Their bodies were found by neighbors several days later. Finally, I was nearly mauled by three Great Danes who were playing one minute and suddenly got out of control. When the owner went into the house for a moment, the family pets turned into a wild pack! I had over three-hundred pounds of dog coming at me from three directions. Had the owner not come back outside when he did it could have been very bad. Had I not been in top physical condition, I wouldn't have been able to fend off the attacks until help arrived.

If you want to compare cats and dogs, esp large dogs, this is probably the biggest distinction: A Dog can be a dangerous animal. Under the right circumstances, even a loving family pet can turn on you or your family's friends.
 
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rhody

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Would you mind telling this to my cat? My cat tears up the carpet, eats the household plants (both fake and real), chews through wires, knocks cereal boxes off of the refrigerator and rips them open, chews shoes, knocks magnets off the refrigerator and hides them, and has even eaten my wallet. He is very loving whenever I'm around, but when I am gone or asleep, madness ensues. It is not fun to come home and find that your television is no longer working because your cat ate completely through some cords.
Penumbra:

I feel lucky having read some of these posts, maybe it is the Siamese temperment. The only time I get cat craziness is when I don't pay attention to her and she tears through the house at 1000 miles an hour. She doesn't have a mean or vindictive bone in her body. She sits at the kitchen table on a chair watching us as we eat, never meows or acts up, and is grateful if and when she gets (cat approved) table scraps...

Rhody...:devil:
 

EnumaElish

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Verdict: CATS 5 - 6 DOGS (This article does not seem to consider costs, only benefits.)

http://www.helium.com/items/1330732-does-having-pets-in-the-home-create-or-relieve-stress [Broken] says all pets relieve stress, but only if you know "when to say when." If you don't, they can raise your stress.
 
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EnumaElish

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My wife works with Dr. David Dosa at Brown University, and Oscar the cat, IMHO performs a very special service that comforts family members, see: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/25/health/webmd/main3097899.shtml"
A cat we used to cat sit would find the sad (saddest?) person in the room and sit by him/her.

If someone started to feel sad for some reason, she would get up and move closer.

Somewhat related, I remember seeing a video (could be You Tube, or the TV) of a couple of wild deers encountering a cat who was sick (and apparently died within hours), and trying to comfort it by licking it.
 
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That may be, but dogs are notoriously destructive compared to cats. There is also a real issue with liability as a dog can be a dangerous animal - esp large dogs. This is not to be taken lightly. If a dog is startled, it may attack.
There is a lot of truth in this, and even if the damage cause by dog is small, there can follow a lot of legal trouble.

But IMO this shouldn't stop anyone from owning a dog. It may however have impact on the race you choose. Some dogs are inherently more aggressive then others. Various races have different behaviors. Not every dog is perfect for all owners and locations. Many work breeds are very energetic and powerful and they require owners which can handle them. Dont get an energetic dog if you are a laid back, low energy person, you wont own it, he will own you. You'll probably become fed up very quickly, and you'll want to give it away, which is painful for the dog (and maybe for you too, despite all the pain he caused you :P)

Also, many owners do not properly train their dogs. Training the dog is very important, and for many breeds training is required to make them more docile and less prone to attack. Proper training may be a bit expensive if you dont know how to handle it yourself, but totally worth it.

If you plan on getting a dog, write down the races which appeal to you, and do a lot of research on them. See which one fits best with your situation. i.e , your psychology profile, activity levels, if you have children (or plan to have soon), whatever you live in an apartment building or you have a house somewhere. See how much money you have available for it's future: health, training , food. Some dogs barely eat anything, while others can rival an adult man appetite. The costs of owning may be much larger than what ppl think at first sight.

Make your choice only when you are sure of what fits you, and you are prepared to commit to its care. Make sure you know what you are getting into.

Dogs owns tbh, you can do a lot of great things with them. Much more fun things than with a cat :P
 

Ivan Seeking

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There is a lot of truth in this, and even if the damage cause by dog is small, there can follow a lot of legal trouble.

But IMO this shouldn't stop anyone from owning a dog. It may however have impact on the race you choose. Some dogs are inherently more aggressive then others. Various races have different behaviors. Not every dog is perfect for all owners and locations...
That is also true. We had a border collie, which is really a bad choice for a pet. They are great dogs and they are super-intelligent [generally considered to be the smartest breed], but they NEED to be worked, constantly! Being doomed to a life as an average pet isn't fair to the dog. In our case, we compensated with endless rounds of fetch [which ultimately caused me to ruin my throwing arm. :biggrin:], many complex commands, and lots of attention. But it was still obvious that she was desperate to entertain herself. She finally learned to play fetch by herself, by dropping a ball from the top of a hill, fetching, and running back to the top again [we have some acreage]. Having the other two dogs helped as well, but the collie was still a bit of a loner.

Dogs are wonderful. I got my first dog when I was a one-year old and had one well into my twenties; and then we had 3 dogs for another thirteen years or so after we moved here. I loved them all like family. They WERE family. But, as you pointed out, not all dogs are good for all people. Also, one should never underestimate the responsiblity that comes with having a dog. No dog can ever be completely trusted. They are still an animal that can revert to basic instincts very quickly [as can we]. In order to be a responsible dog owner, it is important to understand that.

Cat owners have a bit of concern about getting an eye or face scratched. Also, cats peeing in the house can do so serious damage. But, all in all, the liability, both personal and public, and level of responsiblility that comes with cat ownership, are negligible compared to dog ownership.
 
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We had a border collie, which is really a bad choice for a pet. They are great dogs and they are super-intelligent [generally considered to be the smartest breed], but they NEED to be worked, constantly!
I never seen a border collie in flesh, but Ive heard that they are one of the fines shepherds in the world. And they really do look great in pictures I seen. Im happy when I meet ppl , even online, which share my love for dogs, like you seem to do.

You know what aggravates me ? Ppl who get a dog only to pride with it at canine contests.
They become obsessed with "winning" those stupid pageants. It's low IMO. I really don't like those ppl.
 

DaveC426913

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You know what aggravates me ? Ppl who get a dog only to pride with it at canine contests.
They become obsessed with "winning" those stupid pageants. It's low IMO. I really don't like those ppl.
I used to think that these pageants were stupid too. I've since changed my mind. They are necessary. Regardless of the pomp and circumstance of the show, the purpose of dog shows is to ensure the continued quality of the breeds and protect them from drifting or from dilution through uncontrolled inter-breeding.

Awards are given to owners who continue to breed their animals true and to the specs laid down for that breed centuries ago. This encourages these owners to keep breeding those animals.

If we didn't so this, a century from now, breeds would be blended and unrecognizable. These pageants are very important to the big picture of animal husbandry.
 

BobG

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You know what aggravates me ? Ppl who get a dog only to pride with it at canine contests.
They become obsessed with "winning" those stupid pageants. It's low IMO. I really don't like those ppl.
Which type of contest?

I admit I don't have much interest in the dog shows that seem to just be based on quality of appearance, etc.

The "working" contests, such as obedience competition, agility competition, dancing competition, etc are just too cool. Or the real herding contests such as the one in the movie about sheepherding pig. The contests that take a lot of teamwork between the owner and the dog.

None the less, I can see where some might appreciate the "quality of breed" contests - especially breeders. Mind you, they have the same type of "quality of breed" contests for cats, as well.
 
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Ragdoll cats are bred especially to be friendly and affectionate. Supposedly they follow you around just like a dog would:

 
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Pythagorean

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I used to think that these pageants were stupid too. I've since changed my mind. They are necessary. Regardless of the pomp and circumstance of the show, the purpose of dog shows is to ensure the continued quality of the breeds and protect them from drifting or from dilution through uncontrolled inter-breeding.
(emphasis added)

I always wondered whether that significantly increased the chances of inbreeding or not and lowered the genetic versatility of the dogs. I mean, aren't mixed species generally more "fit"?

Of course, dogs have plunged deep into human society, so their survivability has a large social element to it.
 
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I'm not sure I entirely understand or appreciate maintaining the "purity" of specific breeds of dogs (or cats for that matter) either. And especially given that specific characteristics have been designated "desirable" for certain breeds, and that's caused all sorts of problems with animals bred especially to perpetuate those traits. Such as the thin skull issue with chihuahuas and the sloping spine/falling back haunches with German Shepherds. If a cross -breed produces a much more successful animal, what's the value in in maintaining "purity" for its own sake? I don't comprehend that in animals or people. (Hah! Lucien Bouchard reference for the Taranna fellow.)

Anyway. I love my cat, Bean, more than just about any creature who's ever lived with me. And I've lived with cats and dogs and parrots and rodents and fish and all sorts of critters. It comes down to the character of the particular animal to me. I don't "own" her; she lives with me. She's a cat, yes, but every day she's at the front door waiting for me when I arrive home. When I arrive at an unexpected time, I can hear her race to the door to greet me. She wakes me every morning at approximately the same time. She's never far off between 6:30 and 6:55. (My alarm goes off at 7) So every morning the first thing the first thing I see is her darling little face and hear her purring with her lying on my chest. We spend time cuddling, and I rub her face and head, and she head-bumps my cheek and licks my chin, (okay that part is icky) and I can't imagine a world where I'll have to wake up without her to make my world a friendly place from the moment I open my eyes.

While I don't have to walk her -- so she doesn't require that kind of maintenance -- I do specifically stay home on weekends and evenings and make time to spend with her and be with her so she's not always alone. And we actually spend time interacting with each other and just plain hanging out. Granted, she's not the best company -- her conversational skills are pretty limited -- but she flourishes as a result of my taking the time to be with her.

She knows who I am. She recognises me by voice alone. She actually gets physically ill if she's away from me for too long. She has goofy facial expressions. She makes me laugh. She makes me feel wanted. The fact of my existence matters to her. The fact of her existence matters a great deal to me. She's not aloof. She's intensely interested in me. She comes when I call her. She responds to specific words that mean different things.

Of all of the animals I've had the privilege to share my home with, my little cat has been the most noteworthy. Is she "better" than a dog? All I can do is shrug my shoulders. It's a different thing. We have a fantastic relationship. That's what counts.
 
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I'm not sure I entirely understand or appreciate maintaining the "purity" of specific breeds of dogs (or cats for that matter) either. And especially given that specific characteristics have been designated "desirable" for certain breeds, and that's caused all sorts of problems with animals bred especially to perpetuate those traits.
Well, purity of race is important IMO. Much less important for company pets, but pretty important for work dogs who where selected for work or hunting for several hundred years.

However I think you are right about the fact that many breeders seem to go overboard with what they perceive as "desirable traits". Take the German shepherd you mention, von Stephanitz's selection created this dog breed for work, and not for "looks". Ive been told that defects where quickly breed out of the race in his time.

Nowadays, the race is plagued with problems like the hip displasia you mentioned. In many breeding programs, the need that the dog strictly conforms some anthropometric standard considered ideal seems to be more important then the primary function of the race. It seems (may not be true, but it seems) that many breeders will resort to extensive in-breeding to fix and enhance the trademark "looks" traits of the race, in spite of more important traits. This not only results many times in dogs with genetic issues, but also result in dogs less and less suitable to do the functions they where initially designed to.
 

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