There’s no question that Americans love both dogs and cats. About 48 percent of households in the U.S. own dogs and 38 percent own cats, according to the American Pet Products Association. But one thing many people can’t seem to agree on is which animal makes a better pet.
Cat lovers argue that their pets are easier to care for than dogs. They point out that cats are less of a nuisance to other people because they don’t bark or jump on visitors. Also, it’s cheaper to own a cat. Cat owners spend $300 to $800 less per year than dog owners do, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dogs sometimes need training classes and eat more food than cats do. Visits to the vet also tend to cost more for dogs.
Still, dog owners say the money they spend on their pets is well worth it. They argue that dogs are more social and affectionate than cats. Plus, scientists who studied the brains of both animals determined that dogs are smarter than cats.
Dog lovers also point out that canines help people in ways that felines can’t. For example, walking their pets helps dog owners stay active. And dogs can be trained as service pets for people who are disabled or have food allergies.