Generally, when you compare cats to most dogs, they can be considered easier pets, but they’re not really low-maintenance at all – they just have different needs. Let’s have a look at some of the ways cats can be considered easier than dogs and some ways they are not.
Exercise & Food
One of the main things that comes to mind for most when thinking about how cats are easier than dogs it that cats don’t need to be walked. Most dog breeds need 1-2 walks per day unless otherwise advised by your vet. Some are fine with shorter strolls, while others need longer walks and the opportunity to run around more for fun and exercise.
In comparison, indoor cats are happy to stay at home and outdoor cats take themselves out. Because indoor cats spend all their time at home, they need to be stimulated and entertained at home instead though. Things like toys, scratching posts, and climbing trees for cats can help keep them entertained and exercised in the house.
When it comes to food, cats eat comparatively smaller amounts of food. Cats and dogs have very different nutrient requirements though. Both dogs and cats should eat two meals per day, but cats require a more specialised diet than dogs, with higher calorie food that is higher in protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins. Dogs are more adaptable and will generally happily eat different kinds of foods. Cats thrive on routine so it’s a good idea to offer your cat a regular daily feeding schedule that you can stick to as this helps them feel safe and secure.
Dogs need to go out for a wees and poos several times per day. Generally, dogs need at least 3-5 “bathroom breaks” as a minimum so dog owners need to factor this into their daily schedule or hire dog walking services or dog daycare services to cover these needs. All dog poo also needs to be picked up and disposed of properly.
Cats on the other hand take care of most of their toileting needs on their own by using a litter box if they are indoor cats. Cat owners still need to scoop the litter daily and change the litter in the box. It’s not a 5+ times a day kind of job but it’s still time-consuming and costly. Cat poo can also contain the parasite toxoplasmosis which can be especially dangerous for pregnant women (the parasite can pass to a baby during pregnancy) and people with a weakened immune system. This could require extra cleaning and care when dealing with the cat litter.
Dogs are more social animals and cats are more independent than dogs. Dogs love having companionships both with other dogs and with the humans that look after them. The bond between a dog and its owner can be very intense and can be similar to the attachment between a parent and its infant. Cats don’t rely quite so much on their humans but do enjoy socialising both with other cats and humans. For example, most cats love being scratched behind their ears, stroked, or cuddled by their trusted humans – for warmth, protection, and safety.
Other Things to Consider
Other things to consider include how much grooming a pet will need. Cats require frequent grooming. A lot of people think that cats handle most of their grooming themselves, but long-haired breeds especially need daily grooming to look after their coat and prevent knots and tangles. Cats also need their nails trimming regularly. Dogs need a bathe every 4-6 weeks and hair cuts every 3 months or so. Long-haired dog breeds benefit from daily at-home brushing too.
Cats also live about 5-10 years longer than most dogs which means that they are a bigger commitments in terms of food and entertainment costs, responsibility and of course vet and care costs.
So, cats are easier than dogs in some ways, but they are not low-maintenance pets. Though they are more independent, cats require care and attention in their own ways and very much rely on their humans for dedication, care, cuddles and attention.
This blog is edited by a mid-30s mum with over 15 years of professional childcare experience. Now 10 years into motherhood and enthusiastic about finding great products and helpful solutions for busy families to make life more fun and easier too.
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