Quantitative variables can be classified as discrete or continuous.
If you have a discrete variable and you want to include it in a Regression or ANOVA model, you can decide whether to treat it as a continuous predictor (covariate) or categorical predictor (factor). If the discrete variable has many levels, then it may be best to treat it as a continuous variable. Treating a predictor as a continuous variable implies that a simple linear or polynomial function can adequately describe the relationship between the response and the predictor. When you treat a predictor as a categorical variable, a distinct response value is fit to each level of the variable without regard to the order of the predictor levels. Use this information, in addition to the purpose of your analysis to decide what is best for your situation.