Cat Or Dog, Which New Pet Will Your Family Welcome Into The Home?

It might be raining cats and dogs outside, but do you want to welcome a new doggy pal or feline friend into your home?

My youngest is nearly three now so we’re considering getting our boys a pet this year. But the question is, do we get a cat or a dog?  

I love a good list, so here we go with the pros and cons of getting one or the other.

Man’s Best Friend Or Miss Independent?

Obviously, it depends on the breed, but the types of dogs that suit young families will typically be playful and relaxed. Dogs are often labelled as man’s best friend, but they could also become your child’s best friend. They’ll give you devotion and affection in bucket loads.

Cats are quite different in this respect. They love their independence and while they can still show they care, they’ll do this in a much more subtle way than dogs (e.g by purring or rubbing up against your ankles).


While having a big house certainly has its advantages when it comes to dogs, what’s most important is the amount of exercise they get outside. All dogs need to be taken on walks (the length and frequency depend on the breed) but cats will enjoy exploring outside on their own.

It’s definitely a good idea to have a chat as a family about who will be exercising the dog; whether that’s throwing a ball in the garden or taking them for a stroll. If you can’t commit to doing it every day, a cat may prove more suitable.

Training School

Dog training is important, but it can also be a daunting prospect. Who can forget that scene in 'Marley & Me' when they take him to obedience school but he gets frisky with the instructor and is promptly kicked out! Basic dog training includes teaching them commands such as sit, stay, come, lie down and how to behave while out for a walk.

Cats don’t need obedience training in the same way as dogs do, so this is an advantage. Dogs, however, can learn tricks that cats can’t, so don’t rule them out just yet!

 Squeaky Clean

If you’re a bit of a "Monica", you may be concerned that bringing a pet into your home will mean it’s dirtier than ever. After all, parents already have an endless amount of cleaning to do. In this respect, cats come out on top. They’re typically much more hygienic than dogs (although their love of catching mice and bringing them home is certainly a drawback).

Dogs love nothing more than rolling around in the mud and then shaking it all off, so if you’ve already got your hands full at bath time, remember that if you get a dog there’ll be another member of the house that will need time in the tub.

So, there are a few things to consider. Now we have to weigh everything up and decide if we’ll go get ourselves a Garfield or a Goofy!

Jennie Dennehy

Jennie Dennehy is Mama to two gorgeous boys and is a Writer and Blogger. Her life is full of laughs and Lego and she’s always longing for a hot, frothy coffee.

Read more by Jennie
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us