We are now the owner of both a cat and dog.
Being pet owners is not for the faint of heart, we have discovered.
It’s like being a Mommy and Daddy in training.
Pet owners understand.
Non-pet owners reading this are thinking ‘yeah, right.’
Today, I want to tell you about some of the benefits and downsides of having a cat, and some of the benefits and downsides of having a dog.
And I will tell you which one I think is better.
We got Moose a week after we got back from our honeymoon. We loved him right away. I always wanted to name our cat Moose, because Moose means cat in Songhai. Theo middle-named him Moose Esau, because in the biblical story, Esau is the hairy one.
Then we got Hansi three weeks ago. Theo found him on Craiglist and we had a puppy before I even knew what was happening! Hansi means dog in Songhai. Then Theo middle-named him Hansi Jacob, because he looks like a wolf and the wolf guy in Twilight is Jacob. Soooo we have Moose Esau and Hansi Jacob (Jacob and Esau 🙂 ).
So, the facts:
$10 + about $7 a month for litter, food, toys, etc. (We got him fixed but we qualified for free treatment due to our lack of income ha!)
$250 + $10 a month for food, bones, toys, etc. This does not yet include all the shots and getting fixed. It is also important to note that Hansi is a husky, which is not a cheap breed. Dogs can be much cheaper if they are adopted from a shelter or found through a friend.
We brought Moose home when he was six weeks old. That night, we put him in his litter box, and voila- he was potty trained! He has peed other places throughout the house, but its usually when he is locked in a room. Once a cat pees there once, though, he will be attracted to the smell. So, potty training is as easy as pie, but you have to make sure that he continues to go in the litter box only. And let’s face it- litter boxes are gross. We have a 1/2 bath that we put Moose’s litter box in. That bathroom has basically been condemned, due to the smell of the litter and the bad habit that Moose has of flicking off his paws when he hops out. Theo cleans the litter box every other day. The other nice thing about littler boxes is that we can just leave Moose for days at a time.
Potty training sure is fun with a puppy! Ha! NOT! We have had Hansi for about 3 weeks, and we are just getting him potty trained. This week he has gone three days straight without an accident in the house. However, he only tells us he needs to go when he is in his cage. If he is out and about he does not tell us that he has to go. We are still working on it. We were told potty training can take up to 3 months. Potty training a puppy is not for the impatient or those who want their house to be spotless. However, with a dog- there is NO LITTER BOX. There is a turd minefield in our backyard, but there is no poop inside the house. That is wonderful! You can also train the dog to only go in one section of the yard. A little more work, but so worth it! The other thing is that a dog cannot be left alone for longer than several hours, however, because he does need to be let outside to go to the bathroom.
Having a stare-down contest is about the most exercise you are going to get with a cat. Although I am occasionally running from Moose as he tries to bite/play with me. One time we tried to walk Moose with a leash, but he just laid down and rolled on the ground. If you want to exercise with a pet, a cat is clearly not the right option. However, you don’t have to worry about taking him for walks, or making sure that he has gotten all his energy out for the day.
You bet you will get your exercise if you have a dog! Especially a young, energetic one like a Husky. You have to take them out to use the restroom, which means getting off your butt. You often have to take them for walks, which means going on a walk yourself. We are trying to train Hansi to run with me, which is so much fun. So far he has only gone about half a mile before he is pooped out, but it’s a start!
Moose is very friendly, and certainly keeps me company when Theo is gone. He is a cuddler and a purr-er, and he always hops in my lap as soon as I get home from work. However, not all cats are like this! Beyond cuddling, the cat will usually just sit and listen when I talk, but if I start crying- he is outta there! Ha! Also, Moose is not a fan of children- although I have met plenty of cats that are. I think it’s just what they are used to.
Dogs are a mans best friend, right? Well, so far, Hansi is not my best friend- but he is a great companion. Hansi is NOT a cuddler- he just wiggles and wiggles and wiggles, but he loves to be around us. I think that he will grow to be a companion. And he is GREAT with kids.
On another note- it is possible for the cat and the dog to be friends. While Moose and Hansi don’t cuddle together, they will play together and they do tolerate each other. I think it helps that we had Moose (the smaller one) first, and then he was able to inform Hansi that it was his territory first.
One time, we taught Moose to shake hands. But he would only do it if he got a kernal of food. He comes when he call his name and simultaneously open the cupboard where his food is. He is easy to pick up and move, but he is stubborn as all get-out. Nope, cats can’t really be trained. He kinda just does whatever he wants. Although a spray bottle comes in handy to get him off the furniture and to not bite/attack.
Ooooh, training a dog is a lot of FUN! We can see him learning so much, and learning to be obedient. He knows how to sit, lay down, stay, wait, get off the furniture, go potty and leave it. That is a lot of commands that he has learned in just the past three weeks! Hansi has a lot of energy and we are making sure that he can get most of it out and still be a well-behaved pup. For the most part, we are getting there. But it doesn’t happen overnight. A dog can be trained to do a lot of things, but it does take time, patience and constant training.
So there you have it. Some of the benefits and downsides of having a cat or a dog. Now, having both a cat and a dog? It’s always an adventure, I will say that!
P.S. I am still 85% a cat person- but I will admit that Hansi is growing on me!