Pros and Cons to Adopting a Shelter Cat or Dog

by bizilady

Pet rescue shelters have cats and dogs waiting for new homes. Enrich a cat or dogs life as well as your own.

Animals are either dumped on the streets or taken away due to deplorable conditions. Abused and neglected cats and dogs make up the vast majority of unwanted pets. Opening your home and heart to a needy animal that will certainly pay you back many times. But you must weigh the pros and cons to doing this.

Adopting Rescue Shelter Cats or Dogs

which one is best for you?

Why should you adopt a lost rescue shelter cat or dog? This is an important question to answer.

Many people only want kittens and puppies. Older lost pets are scared and distrustful. You need patience when adopting one of these.

You will be saving an animals life by making them your new pet. You may also have a grateful and loving companion for many years.

Pets make wonderful companions so people need to know which one is best suited for them.

Cats have been a part of my life ever since I could remember.  I know that I 'm best suited for a cat, instead of a dog. I've grown up with both  so that has helped me to decide.


It's important to know which pet is best for you. Felines are distinctly different than canines. They are independent, sleep all day, like to climb up on the tallest piece of furniture, and catch mice.

Dogs on the other hand, will dig up the yard, bark, are not house trained to use a litter box and chase the mailman. I've never seen a cat chase the mailman, maybe just stalk him.


Some of my friends have told me that they don't trust cats because they are sneaky. By sneaky I think they mean that cats are quiet and don't announce themselves when around. Here's an example of why some people don't like cats.

sneaky, stalking cat

Jumping cat

cat jumping off funrniture
cat jumping off funrniture
wiki commons

The pros about adopting a shelter cat

love an unwanted cat
  • older cats will be grateful for your love
  • they can be house trained to use a litter box.

  • they will catch all kinds of pests, such as mice and spiders

  • cats are quiet; you'll never know they are home

  • they don't bark

  • cats are fun to watch as they stalk their prey


A rescued cat will be so grateful for a chance at life. Thye will love you for many years.

The fact that a cat can be house trained to use a litter box is a god send to those of us who are away most of the day and cannot be there to let them out in the yard. A kitten will usually do their business as soon as you place them in the litter box. They should be trained young, but I've adopted older cats they eventually learned to use one.


A cat will keep your home free of rodents and icky spiders or anything else that crawls around. This keeps their senses and hunting skills sharp, so praising them as they drop a dead mouse at your feet ,will go a long way! And those spider, crickets and creepy crawlies that they are chomping on ,will give them the necessary protein they need.


If you are a quiet person, then the cat's silent footsteps are just what you crave. Many a day I would return home with frayed nerves from a loud day at working with middle school students. The solitude of a silent feline that sat in my lap and purred was so calming. I know that a dog would have barked at me and demanded to go for a walk. I would not have been able to handle that noise.


Cats are fun to watch as they stalk some insect, or imaginary creature. They definitely entertain me in their subtle ways.


funny cat clips

The cons about adopting a shelter cat

older cats are distrustful
  •  An older cat may not make the adjustment
  • cats cannot be easily trained

  • they do not play “catch”

  • cats sleep 90 % of the time

  • cats like to climb on things and watch

  • cats are fussy eaters

  • they do not go on a leash for walks

  • they will not offer you any protection from intruders



Training a feline is like sand falling up, instead of down. They will not get the newspaper, open the refrigerator and bring you a beer, nor will he speak on command. And rarely will they shake a hand.


I know there are people that like to play catch with their puppies and some of my friends have tried to get a kitten to play catch, but that almost always never works. I have managed to get some of my kitties to get something I threw, but they tired of that after a few times.


Kitties will sleep almost 23 hours a day if you let them. Dogs are always on alert, so they do make better security guards . Usually a dog will jump up whenever they hear a noise.


Cats are fussy eaters; not dogs. I've seen dogs eat old garbage, bones, scrapes and snakes. This is one point for them. You can give the dog all the table scrapes and not have any trash .


Cats will not go for a walk, even when I use a harness. By the way, never pull a cat on a leash by the collar; this may break their neck. Dogs will go for a walk and sometimes take you for a walk! I had some dogs growing up and dreaded taking a few of them for a walk. Since they were very hunting dogs, and smelled some scent,they became very strong and pulled me down the street. You really need to train a dog to walk properly.


Cats usually don't offer much protection,although I've had a few “watch cats” that would loudly meow whenever someone came to the door.

Your dog is usually alert so they will be a good protector against intruders. One point in their favor.


Fun doggy video

Dog doing tricks

Wiki Commons

The pros on adopting shelter dogs

love an unwanted dog
  • dogs that are rescued will feel wanted and loved
  • dogs are usually in a good mood
  • dogs will eat almost anything, especially table scraps
  • dogs love to play
  • dogs will play with you
  • dogs like to get exercise and go for walks
  • dogs can do tricks and entertain you


The fact that dogs are usually in a good mood should make any happy to own one. Occasionally I will see one that snarls and barks when confronted, but a typical house dog is happy .

Cats on the other hand are very moody. Even though I owned cats most of my life, there have been times when kitty jumped all over the furniture and hissing at strangers that come to visit.

Dogs are not fussy eaters and so that's a plus. Cats are and require food changes all the time.

Since dogs like to play, go for walks and can be easily trained, they make great companions for those who are full of energy or the young.




The cons to adopting a shelter dog

they may have hidden problems
  • older dogs may have behavior problems
  • dogs are a little too hyper and want to go all the time
  • dogs need and want to go for walks,even when you don't
  • dogs will eat anyhting,including the kitchen trash
  • dogs will sleep on the bed and couch when you leave for work
  • dogs tend to smell if you don't bathe them each week


I know from experience, as an owner and a pet sitter. They do what they are not supposed to.

We all know this. As soon as the owners leave, some dogs will tear up the chair ,urinate on the carpet or bark incessantly.

Also dogs are not good pets for some people because they can be too hyper and will drive their owners crazy!

They must go outside for their walks , even in cold, stormy weather. They don't use litterboxes; I've tried!

It seems the bigger and sloppier a dog is, the more they want to sleep in your bed or on top of the new sofa.

Cat or dog-you decide which one is right for you

adopt a pet

I have discussed the ways you can tell whether you are a cat person or a dog person. Although there are exceptions to every point I made, these are general characteristics in the cat and dogs as pets.

Cats are quiet, independent and sometimes fussy. If you crave quiet and don't like going for walks, and are easily entertained, then try adopting a cat.


On the other hand, if you like the excitement of a loud, jumping dog greeting you as you enter the door, and love to go for walks and play catch, then adopt a dog will be your best bet.

Do you have to choose? Maybe you can rescue one of each and adopt a cat and a dog. 


Ok, now I have to admit that I prefer the company of cats over dogs. I grew up owning both, but cats and I seem to get along better. How about you?

Best Places to Find and Adopt a New Pet

Pet dogs and cats are part of a family and provide comfort and love. Finding the best pets is essential so where do you look? Where should you find your next dog or cat? There are some that believe a purebred puppy or kitten make the most sense. Buying an animal that may cost hundreds and has the lineage to prove its worth may be an option but many mixed breed animals need a home more.

I have found that some purebred animals are being abandoned just as much as mixed breeds. They may not have the right “papers” or have health problems. Other reasons are the economy so the breeders cannot afford to keep them and show them to potential customers. You may want to adopt a pet in the local animal shelters. I believe the animals that are adopted from shelters make the best pets. You are doing a great service if you adopt one of these puppies or kittens. Older dogs or cats may not be as desirable but I know they will be very grateful for a chance at life.

As a matter of fact, there is a cat and dog act in Las Vegas that only uses adopted rescued cats and dogs that he rescues from shelters. His name is Gregory Popovich and he is from Russia, where he used to perform in a Moscow Circus.

Gregory Popovich pet act

Which pet do you prefer?

Here is a list of animal organizations to adopt a dog or cat.


The Humane Society

adopt a Pet

Best Friends

American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals

Pets articles

advice about pets

Dogs and cats can live together
Its possible to have pet dogs and cats living peacefully in the same home.

Why cats make better pets than dogs
I answered a question about 10 reasons why cats make better pets

How to start a pet sitting business
I give my tips as an experienced pet sitter to help anyone thinking about this service.

Custom cat Art
There is some doubt whether or not painted cats are real or not. I found some images and groomers that will design a pattern on a cat.

Updated: 03/05/2017, bizilady
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bizilady on 01/07/2012

ThePartyAnimal: I like your username! Thanks for reading my wizz on rescue dogs and cats. I agree that rescue pets are the only way to go. There are too many unwanted animals in the world.

ThePartyAnimal on 01/07/2012

I am happy to say I have 8 pets - 3 dogs and 5 cats all of which are rescues. It is the only way 2 go in my eyes.

bizilady on 12/27/2011

Marti and sojourner: there are so many unwanted animals in the world today.I hope people will come to their senses.
Thanks for commenting

sojourner on 12/27/2011

Unfortunately there are not enough people were aware of the benefits of rescuing dogs/cats. Thanks for the info.

Marti on 12/11/2011

I have to disagree with "dogs are a little too hyper" reason not to adopt a dog. Some dogs are hyper. Some aren't. The 2 year old Bloodhound mix, the 1 year old Pug-Terrier mix, the 6 year old Beagle and 4 year old Doxie mix I adopted were not in the least hyper. Some dogs are extremely hyper when they leave a shelter, and then calm down. I have one adopted Beagle mix who is high energy, but not hyper -- though he was manic the first couple of weeks I had him. Shelter dogs and cats are terrific -- thanks for advocating for adoption!

bizilady on 09/27/2011

it's hard to not adopt a cat or dog..they are people too and an important part of any family.

bizilady on 06/23/2011

thank you for visiting, findingwhimsy!
Growing up, I had dogs and cats and any other animal that wandered into the yard.
I prefer the company of cats as they are best suited to my lifestyle.

bizilady on 06/22/2011

I find that people who claim to not like cats may not have given them a chance..I'm glad you did!

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