Cats vs dogs: it’s the age-old debate, though studies suggest that dogs are winning more favor. As of 2016, about 38% of American households own a dog, while 25% own a cat. More than 50% of the country has at least one pet.

So what are they both like to own? What are the major differences? And which is better suited to your living situation? Let’s examine all that in the article to follow.

I live in a small apartment. What is best for me?

Right off the bat, you can rule out a big dog. Big dogs need a lot of space and they’re not suited to apartment-dwelling. That’s why you don’t typically see a Saint Bernard on a leash navigating a tightly congested inner city. You might well see a pug or two instead. Small dogs can put up with limited space, so long as they’re able to get exercise out in the city proper for an hour a day. A cat could potentially work too. While our feline friends would prefer a small garden to explore, they’ll find just about enough to stimulate them in a New York apartment, for instance.

Which animal is better? A small dog works best, but a cat could cope too

I’m out a lot of the day. Which pet is better?

Cats are solitary animals. Though they do need love, care and attention, they’re also happy to be on their own for a lot of the day. This is because they are acrobatic climbers and in the wild, their ancestors were able to hunt for food alone. Dogs are descended from wolves, and wolves used co-operation – “the pack” – to survive. And so this hereditary trait to seek out a group has endured. That’s why dogs need a lot more attention.

Which animal is better? A cat

I’m very active and I like long walks outside

As we’ve explained, cats are solitary animals, and that means they get lots of exercise done on their own. Dogs, however, like to exercise socially. A long walk is ideal; a game of catch is the cherry on top. If you want to burn calories alongside a pet, there’s a clear winner.

Which animal is better? A dog

I don’t want to have to train my animal

In all fairness, this is probably the wrong attitude to have. If you don’t want to train the animal at all, you’re better off getting a tank and populating it with fish, or investigating the idea of getting a bird. Though dogs need more time and training than cats, felines still require a bit of potty training – and plenty of socialization – to make them hospitable cohabitors. After all, you’re sharing the space together, so it’s best to get along.

Which animal is better? Neither

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