We live in a fast-paced world, which demands our attention and can easily wear us out. There are many ways to reduce the stress that daily life brings, and one of the best ways is to own a pet. A pet constantly gives love and gratitude, they can provide entertainment, and they’re happy just being in your presence.

With so many different types of pets to choose from – whether its fish, birds, rabbits, or gerbils – the decision could be overwhelming, but today we’re going to focus on the two most beloved domesticated animals on the planet, in this episode of the The Infographics Show: Dogs vs Cats.

According to a 2013 Live Science report, freshwater fish are the most common pet with 142 million freshwater fish owned as pets around the world. Cats come in second at 88.3 million, and dogs close behind at 74.8 million. But let’s face it; if your reason for wanting a pet is fun and companionship, then you’re likely looking for either a cat or dog. Which you chose will come down to your personality, the time you have to dedicate to your new friend, and the space you have to house your pet. Cats are more independent and generally less demanding, whereas dogs are loyal and obedient but require more attention and exercise, including regular walks.

Dogs live between 12 to 18 years and cats can live as old as 25. That’s 25 human years, but in cat years that’s the grand old age of 116! Looking back in time at these canine and feline rivals, British newspaper, The Independent, published information from a groundbreaking study of 2,000 ancient fossils of dogs and cats. The study revealed that the cat family has historically been much better at surviving than the dog clan, and often at the latter’s expense.

The study showed that cats have played a major role in making 40 dog species extinct, outcompeting them for scarce food supplies because they are generally more effective hunters. And there was no evidence that dogs have wiped out a single cat species. That’s sure to anger you dog lovers, but that was long in the past and nearly all of todays dogs and cats are domesticated, which is why we love to spend time with them. So if you’re in the market for a pet, how do you choose between a feline friend or canine companion? Let’s see if we can help.  

First, it’s good to consider how much time you can dedicate to your pet. Dogs require more time than cats, and they don’t like to be left home alone. Both come with different price tags. Dogs are more expensive than cats, but there’s always the option of visiting the pound and taking on a rescue animal. Some cats live their life indoors and require a litter tray, whereas others will stay out, only coming in for food. When choosing a dog, consider its size. Larger dogs, like German Shepherds or Labradors, need more space and cost more to feed.

And when it comes to mood, dogs are more needy and affectionate. Cats on the other hand are more independent, though it varies by breed. For example, Siamese cats are intelligent and playful, but can be noisy, while longhaired cats are laid back and shorthaired cats are generally affectionate. And as individuals, both cats and dogs have different personalities, so interact with them before taking them home to see if you can be buddies. That might help you choose, but there’s more to take in to account when your pet joins you at home. What about other considerations of day-to-day life with your new dog or cat?

Feeding – Animals all need feeding and because you’ll be feeding them, they’ll be your BFF. The amount a cat needs to eat varies depending on its size, but cats require less food than pretty much all dogs, unless you’re shopping for one of those tiny little toy dogs, that some folks carry around in their handbag. Cat food comes in dry or canned wet form and adult cats require between 250 and 300 calories per day.

You can also feed your cat fish, such as canned tuna, as a treat now and then, but if it makes up a large part of their diet, they are at risk of thiamine deficiency. How much a dog eats depends on its size. Commercial dog food comes in both dry and wet forms, and most dogs need between 25 and 30 calories per pound per day. Dogs of course love bones but don’t give your dog cooked bones because cooked bones may splinter and injure their intestines. And another danger food for dogs is chocolate. For humans, it’s a pleasurable treat but it can poison a dog.

Grooming – Cats famously do not like water, but luckily they do not need bathing, though they should be brushed regularly, especially if they have long hair. Most cats enjoy the activity as it relieves any itchiness, particularly during the hot months. As for dogs, they need grooming and bathing regularly, especially those with long hair. In the summer, dogs will shed and lose their coat, so grooming aids this process, and if you don’t take the time to clean your dog, he or she will soon start to stink up your entire house.

Health & Hygiene – Both cats and dogs can get infected with ticks, lice, fleas and other parasites. When this happens, disinfectants like Frontline or Advantix are required to clear the pet of infection, though Advantix is used only on dogs because it is very dangerous for cats. Frequent grooming and bathing will help to avoid these outbreaks, as will visiting the vet regularly, to ensure the pets injections are up to date and other health checkups are carried out.

House Training – Cats can easily be trained to use their litter-box. This requires cleaning once a day. But other than that, they tend to keep themselves to themselves. A dog on the other hand, needs to be trained, socialized, and housebroken. Training usually takes around 2 months and according to The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan, the 5 essential commands your dog must learn are sit, come, down, stay, and leave it.

At the end og the day,  dogs are for some people and cats for others. If you spend a lot of time away from home, then maybe a cat is best, but if you have a big house and yard and like a pet to stand guard, then you’re probably more suited to own a dog.

So, what’s your pet of choice and why? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video called Gorilla vs Bear – Who Would Win?! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

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