Which is a Better Apartment Pet – Dog or Cat?

If you are both a dog and a cat person, you might be confused about which one to keep in your apartment.

The truth is that both animals can be great pets.

However, when it comes to living in an apartment, the answer might not be that straightforward.

There are several factors that may determine which animal would be a better apartment pet. These include your lifestyle, needs, and more.

This guide will highlight all of these factors to help make your decision easier. Hence, if you are facing this dilemma, keep reading.

Dogs Vs. Cats – Which One is Better for Apartments?

It is imperative that you take certain factors into consideration before committing to a pet. This is especially true because you have an apartment, which means you would likely have limited space.

We all want our pets to be happy and satisfied, but an apartment may not provide them with that. That is why we should look into considerations before bringing a new furry member into the home.

Need for attention and activityDogs need more attention and are high-energy, so you need to keep them engaged in activitiesCats don’t need much attention and are not as high-energy as dogs
Cleaning NeedsDogs need more cleaning, and you also need to take them outside reguarlyCats need less cleaning and grooming
Daily CaringDogs need more caring and you can’t leave them alone for longCats need less caring and can be left alone a lot longer than dogs
Your Available SpaceSome large breeds of dogs won’t do well with limited space in apartmentsCats do better than dogs in limited spaces
Adjusting to new spaceGrown-up dogs may find it hard to adjust to apartment livingCats can adjust to new apartments faster than dogs

Here’s a look at the factors you should consider to decide whether a dog or cat would be a better apartment pet:

Attention and Activity Needs

This is a significant consideration to make when deciding whether to get a dog or cat for your apartment. Cats and dogs are poles apart when it comes to their personalities and energy levels.

While cats prefer to stay in and like to keep to themselves, this may not be true for the dogs. Cats are notoriously known to be independent and self-sufficient.

Not only are cats quite comfortable being alone, but they would also allow you to have an independent life. You never have to turn down an invitation to a party when you have a cat in the house.

This is because you don’t necessarily have to tend to your feline pet around the clock. However, it is essential to note that while cats are aloof and independent, they are still quite caring.

They can be an excellent companion who would still depend on you. Unfortunately, this might not be the same for dogs.

Dogs are often the more excited animals that require more attention than cats. They like to travel in packs, which is why they don’t thrive on their own for long.

In fact, some breeds of dogs would not even be able to survive for long hours by themselves. Hence, you should do your research on the particular dog breed.

Then, you should decide whether they can fit in with your lifestyle and schedule. Similarly, giving attention to your dog means you will have to tend to their activity needs.

Dogs like to be entertained. Therefore, you will have to take some time out to play with them and walk them.

This will not necessarily be a good idea if you have a tiny apartment. In this case, you will likely have to take your dog out for playtime and walks.

If you cannot do that on a regular basis, a dog might not be the best apartment pet for you. Big dogs may also find it difficult to adjust to a small apartment.

A solution to that is letting them go out regularly by taking them out for walks. This way, they will not feel too constricted and uncomfortable.

Cleaning Needs

When you have a smaller space, it is important to take the cleaning needs of your pets into consideration. If you don’t train your pet and can’t clean up after them, it can wreak havoc in your apartment.

Since an apartment means a smaller space, smells can accumulate. It can make a living in that space unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Tending to the cleaning requirements of your pet is a responsibility you will need to take. This is regardless of whether you have an apartment or a house.

When you have a cat, you will need to keep its litter in the house. As for dogs, they do their business outside.

This means it is essential that you take your dog out a few times a day. For cats, you will simply need to train them first to do their business in the litter.

Then, you will need to change out and clean their litter regularly. The litter could be a problem if you have a small space that is not well-ventilated.

Also, the smell could be an issue if you don’t change out their litter frequently. It is doubly vital to care for the cleaning needs of your pets when you are living in an apartment.

Therefore, you should consider these factors and consider which animal would be more suitable. If you prefer a low-maintenance pet, a dog might be better.

However, note that you will need to take them out for walks. On the other hand, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of walks, consider a cat.

You will only need to keep out litter for them. But be sure to frequently change out the litter so that there is no smell in your apartment.

Also read: 7 Ways to Clean a Litter Box in an Apartment?

Caring for Your Pets Daily

Another significant difference between dogs and cats is in terms of their daily needs and requirements. Cats are low-maintenance animals, which means that they don’t have that many needs.

They are fine as long as you clean their litter, feed them, and provide them with occasional entertainment. However, this might not be the case with dogs.

Dogs require slightly more maintenance than cats. You will need to bathe them more often than you would need to with cats.

You will also need to take them out for walks a few times daily. This is especially true when you are living in an apartment.

If you had a house, dogs could go in the backyard to do their business. However, it becomes a necessity to take them out for their business when you are living in an apartment.

Your Budget

Another important factor you must consider is your budget. You should know that dogs can be slightly more expensive to look after than cats.

Dog food, in general, is more expensive than cat food. Not only that, but you will also need to buy various accessories and items for the dog.

For example, you will have to buy leashes, chew toys, beds, and collars for them. This is not to say that cats don’t require any investment because they do.

You will also have to buy a bed for them and get food and treats. Nevertheless, dogs can be more costly also because they require frequent visits to the vet.

All of this is mainly because cats are independent by nature and can care for themselves. Unfortunately, the same is not often true for dogs.

When choosing the right pet for you and your home, the costs and your budget need to be considered.

Your Available Space

One of the most critical factors you must think about when you have an apartment is your space. If you have limited space, keeping a pet can become slightly stressful.

Cats can be excellent companions when you have a small apartment. This is because they don’t need much space or outdoor time.

Felines don’t need large spaces to explore and can be happy with limited space. In fact, cats can get lost in large spaces.

For these reasons, cats are perfect for small spaces like apartments. The same can unfortunately not be said for dogs.

Small breeds of dogs can live a good life in apartments, such as poodles and Shih tzus. However, regardless of the species you keep, you will need to take them out of the apartment.

If you had a backyard, that would be perfect for the dog. But in the apartment, you will need to take them out so that they can get their exercise in.

Additionally, when living in an apartment, you will need to take them out several times a day. This is so they can do their business comfortably; otherwise, your apartment can become a mess.

Also read: Do Beagles Make Good Apartment Dogs?

How Flexible The Animal Is

When it comes to flexibility and adjusting in a small space, cats can easily do that. While dogs are generally more flexible, they will need time to adjust to an apartment.

However, this largely depends on the kind of breed you have. Some may adjust very well to apartment life.

Since cats don’t need to go out and don’t require much space, they can easily live in apartments. You should consider the nature of the animal, its size, and its temperament.

All of this will help you determine if they can live comfortably in an apartment.

Final Words

Ultimately, the answer to which apartment pet is right for you relies entirely on you. Both dogs and cats offer their unique set of pros and cons.

You have to consider the aforementioned factors to decide whether they will adjust to your apartment. No matter which animal you choose, you will definitely find a loyal and affectionate friend in them.

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