My Co-op has a policy 'only one four legged pet per household', I'm looking for a site or someone who can help me make a argument as to what makes a better indoor house pet, cat or dog.
Most dogs stink (you likely won't smell it) unless you wash them often, and especially as they get older. I have friends I find quite hard to visit now because of the dog stench.
Cats' litter boxes stink unless you clean them often. (I make friends without cats check my place to make sure I haven't habituated.) I use covered trays with carbon filters, and have two, so one is airing, while the other is in use.
b. Exercise for YOU and the animal.
Dogs have to have it. They go crazy without it, unless old. Some cats enjoy walking on leashes, but you look like a dork, and they only move fast enough to get you breathing hard on the way home (mine used to scamper home, on the way out, it was all sniffage and exploration.)
Young cats, and some breeds all their lives, need lots of play to keep them happy and non-destructive. This means lots of attention, at least initially, and toys (which make your house look like crap, if you mind such things.)
c. Shedding.....most dogs and cats shed until it drives you crazy.....both cats and dogs have a few breeds which don't, as Robert mentioned....(I am off to a Devon Rex show on Sunday to try to see if I am allergic to them, as, if I am not, their non-shedding, along with their intelligence and playfulness through life etc is going to swing me their way when my current Siamese dies.)
Generally, to keep on top of it, you just have to brush the damned animal, vacuum, and generally be obsessive.
I THINK most non-shedding dogs grow into shapeless mops of hair unless you keep trimming them, though. Doubtless, if I am wrong, someone will say so.
c. Noise and destructiveness.
Some dogs bark or yelp miserably all day if left alone. You will know about this quickly, as your neighbours will kill you. You will also know because there will be mass chewage and detruction of your property.
Cats are generally quieter (when my apartment block had its first general meeting, nine months after I moved in with two cats, the people who wanted to ban all animals were silenced when told they had been living with two cats for nine months, and had never had the faintest idea) but some are yowlers.
Most cats, once past kittenhood, will sleep until you get home, especially if you have sunny spots for them, or places they feel really secure and happy.
Puppies, especially of intelligent breeds, are murder until about two years of age.
There are dog-walkers who will walk your dog (for money of course) if you are away all day.
Cats tend to be fine indoors, but kittens can leave a trail ofdestruction initially. I still think with sadness of my lovely teapot collection, and my glorious blue glass bowl.
I have never had a major problem with furniture scratching (but I have had Siamese for decades, and, since they don't leave their mummies until 3 - 4 months of age, they have already been firmly cuffed if they don't use their scratching post and learn to use the litter tray.......Siamese mothers are TOUGH.
d. Coping With Indoor Life
I think it' a breed and individual personality thing.
Dogs in New York City seem happy and well adjusted. Try and keep the average Australian dog inside......and it's hell.
I have had cats who think indoors ......as long as there are great views, lots of sun, and a lot of interaction......is the only way to go. I have had a cat (whom I never intended to move to an apartment, because I knew he'd be miserable, but my arrangements for him fell through) who was sad and always felt deprived. Me? I felt like an absolute ****.
Check your breeds and consider the individual animal, is all I can say.
I love dogs and cats. I simply do not have time and energy for a dog.
I pick highly intelligent and highly interactive breeds of cat. A bunch of cats with no breeding would also meet these standards for a cat, but they make me allergic.
While some breeds of cat and dog are consistently of a particular personality, each cat and dog is an individual and a lot of the pickingi s about THIS cat, ot THIS dog.
There are upsides and to dogs and cats.......but, unless you want a lot of exercise yourself, I think the average cat copes better with indoor life than the average dog.
But, average being what it is, I am gonna be wrong a lot.
What are YOU looking for in a furry friend?