It’s often said that when in polite company, topics such as politics and religion should never be discussed. Both topics can be so divisive that talking about them, even with friends and loved ones, can lead to disagreements and fallings out. Well, we’d like to add another topic to that list. Because we’ve learnt that asking someone the simple question, ‘do cats or dogs make the best family pets?’ often leads to a surprisingly lively debate. It seems that people have very clear and strong ideas on the subject, whichever side of the fence they happen to be on. Well, to try and help settle this debate once and for all, we’ve decided to weigh up the pros and cons to help you decide exactly where you stand.

Cats

In our experience, cats are like the Marmite (or Vegex for our American readers) of the pet world. It seems that people either love them or hate them, and there’s rarely an in-between. There are cat fanatics who spend their free time watching funny cat videos. Then, there are those who see cats as little more than a pest.

They can make great family pets and can be equally as affectionate as a dog. But it all comes down to your family’s personal situation. If you’re a busy family that doesn’t have much time to spare, and you’re rarely at home, it simply wouldn’t be fair to get a dog. However, a cat can be left alone for longer periods of time. So, whether you view that trait as being selfish or independent, for some families, that’s exactly what they’re looking for in a family pet.

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Dogs

The subject of dogs doesn’t seem to divide people quite as much as that of cats, and there can be no doubt that they make great family pets. They’re affectionate, loyal, and most dog-owners will tell you that they end up becoming family-members in their own right. However, dogs, as rewarding as they are, are also a lot of hard work. If you thought toddlers had a lot of energy, well puppies and young dogs are no different. They need plenty of exercise and stimulation much in the way a child does. So, for some families, the level of care a dog requires is simply one step too far.

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Although we’ve tried our best to answer the question, we think the debate is likely to rumble on for quite some time. Because the truth that there is no wrong or right answer. What we’ve discovered is that it’s not a question of which animal makes the better pet. What it comes down to is that different types of pets suit different kinds of families and cats and dogs are no exception. A cat might make a perfect pet for one family, but a dog may be better-suited to the family living next door. So, next time the subject comes up in a social situation, you can just smile politely as people argue back and forth. Because you know that the answer to that question is going to be different for everyone.

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