Having lived with Ray (my first dog) for just over 18 months now, and after having had 5 cats as pets over the course of many years (Tim-Tim, Skeeta, Friday, Scooter & Robinson), I guess it was inevitable that I would start to draw comparisons. I have often heard both cat and dog owners aggressively defending their particular choice of pet so, while not wishing to start a war of words, here goes!
Ease of man-handling
- Tim-Tim, Skeeta, Friday and Robinson: Questionable unless they felt so inclined.
- Scooter: Only a brave man would try.
- Ray: At 75lbs, awkward, and if he is not happy …………… hope you have medical insurance!
- Tim-Tim Skeeta and Friday: Totally fine with the idea.
- Robinson: Maybe.
- Scooter: Not a chance!
- Ray: Absolutely, but if you are watching something on TV, you may as well forget it because if you can even see around him, he will probably step on (and subsequently hide) the tv remote when climbing up!
Enjoys impromptu touching & stroking (without food incentive)
- Skeeta & Friday: Good
- Tim-Tim & Robinson: Questionable. It had to be on their terms.
- Scooter: Don’t even think about it!
- Ray: Absolutely. Usually encourages it.
Indoor toilet habits
- Tim-Tim, Skeeta, Friday & Robinson: Exceptionally clean.
- Scooter: Total rebel.
- Ray: You’ve got to be kidding! Indoor?
Outdoor toilet habits
- Tim-Tim, Skeeta, Friday & Robinson: Difficult because they insisted on covering up the evidence.
- Scooter: OK
- Ray: Perfect. When he has finished, if you can’t find it, he’ll show you where it is!
Ability to communicate
- Tim-Tim, Skeeta, Friday & Robinson: Exceptional if they wanted food. Poor otherwise.
- Scooter: Had real “attitude” which he conveyed exceptionally well.
- Ray: Has to win on this one. He communicates better than some people I have known!
- I have to generalize here because apparently the dog is the only animal that, if you point to something, will look at where you are pointing. Other animals will simply look at your pointing finger. Ray has to win this one.
Adjustment to family life
- Tim-Tim, Skeeta, Friday & Robinson: Very good. They blended in well and were generally happy just doing their own thing.
- Scooter: Made it quite clear that he was at war with the whole world and would tolerate us until the war was over!
- Ray: Wanted to contribute from the day he walked through our front door. He is always near us; will happily supervise whatever we are doing (especially in the kitchen); will vocalize disapproval as necessary; will clean the kitchen floor without any prompting; will sit near us and make eye contact such that we have to pet him, and will help out with any digging required in the garden.
In summary, I am quite happily convinced that either a cat or a dog would make an equally good pet. I would suggest that cats win in the situation where you want a very amiable guest in your home. If you want to extend your family however, then it has to be a dog!