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Why Cats Make The Best Pets


There are more cats than dogs in the United States according to American Pet Products Association: 94 million cats and 90 million dogs. Cats rule for many reasons, including ease of care. Got cat? There’s lots you don’t need to deal with. Here are 12 examples:

Great for Couch Potatoes

Of course, dogs love to snuggle on the sofa, but they also require time outdoors on a leash. True enough, walking a cat on a leash and harness is an option some cats increasingly enjoy, and it may be enriching, but it’s not a daily requirement. Instead, with a cat, it’s all about shut eye, lazing in your favorite seat while kitty “makes bread” and purrs away in your lap.

Easy Potty Pickups

If you’re a responsible dog parent, plastic bags must go with you wherever you take your pup. There’s no such issue for cat parents, as scooping a litter box is only a room or two away.

Rain, Sleet and Snow — No Worries

In Northern cities, a winter coat for the dog might be a must and after slipping on your own boots, now comes the struggle to put on the dog booties (and there are four paws to deal with). If you’re lucky, the pup does his business fast while the snow is falling and the wind is blowing. Then there’s the rain. Even with a slicker on, you’ll be dealing with a stinky, wet dog. Dog parents deal with more inclement weather than postal carriers.

Too Cool for Drool

“What’s that rag you carry around?” The proud parent of a Mastiff answers, “To catch drool.” Some dog breeds may create enough slobber to drown a kitten. The very notion of shaking a head with drool flying every which way could even offend finicky feline sensibilities.

Freezer Free of Mice

It’s been said that an ideal diet for an indoor cat is a “mouse in a can.” Be careful what you ask for. What if you really had to deal with that? Welcome to the world of some pet reptiles such as boa constrictors and various large lizards that devour a mouse in a single gulp. Imagine the response from your houseguest, Grandma Rose, when she wanders over to the freezer late at night to get a scoop of ice cream and instead grabs a frozen pinkie mouse. Grandma Rose might fall over right there.

Forget Forever Fetching

Cats require playtime, but except for kittens and maybe some Abyssinians and Japanese Bobtail they truly don’t have canine endurance. You can get tennis elbow playing nonstop fetch for 30 minutes with a goofy Labrador. No such problem for cats who will give it up long before half an hour.

Pepe Le Pew — Ew!

Cats are, of course, meticulously clean, taking their own bath whenever needed. Have you ever smelled a European ferret? In truth, it’s not that ferrets are dirty. Like Pigpen from Peanuts, ferrets carry around their odor with them. After all, these guys are a relative of the skunk. Ferrets are delightfully entertaining pets, but you may need a clothespin for your nose. There is no such issue with cats.

Keepin’ It Clean

Let’s face it (it’s the truth) — some dogs, especially hound dogs, may have a certain smell about them. And many dogs love to roll in the grossest smelling thing they can find, from a dead animal to manure. Even writing about such a horrendous habit is arguably distasteful in a cat magazine. No cat would ever even entertain the notion of joyfully rolling in anything so gross.

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Love Thy Neighbor

Neighbors never complain about barking or squawking cats — that’s because they don’t. At their loudest, the person on the other side of the wall in an apartment or condominium isn’t likely to hear a cat like they would a dog or parrot. It’s not that cats don’t have a lot to say, they’re simply less raucous about how they say it.

Howl No!

Some dogs may howl for no apparent reason, perhaps at the moon or more likely the sounds of first responders, fire engines and police cars. Cats don’t howl at anything.

Go Your Own Way

Herding dogs are downright brilliant, but often their innate herding skills can be annoying to live with, such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Border Collies or Australian Shepherds nipping at running children as they work to keep everyone in line. Cats don’t care — and there’s no need to nip on anyone’s tail.

Nice to Never be Drafted

So far, the U.S. military hasn’t put cats to work. There are no bomb sniffing cats or cats protecting military bases. The U.S. military has not employed cats to detect land mines. No doubt cats could do it, I’m just not sure they can follow military orders. However, cats do require us to follow their orders. When cats can give the orders, they may be drafted, but as a commanding officer.

10 thoughts on “Why Cats Make The Best Pets”

  1. You don't need to take plastic bags with you when you take your dog(s) out to do his business, just don't take them to a public place. If you have a yard, walk your dog(s) in your yard, then you won't need to pick up after them.

  2. My cat loves to play fetch with her foam ball so it's not just dogs. She is also constantly carrying around her stick toy, drops it by someone's feet and then meows to play with her. Was she a dog her in her past life?

    1. Me too. I have Siamese and they are great at playing fetch. Sometimes I get lucky and they bring it up on the sofa. If it is the right ball, she can play all evening. But Siamese are very dog like in many ways, without all the negative behavior. They don't tear up the house if you leave them alone all day. They just nap and are ready for action when you come home.

  3. My cat (approx. 4 yo) won't play with anything, except sometimes a play mouse for a short time. Any ideas of what to do?

  4. I agree that kitties make great companions! I have two of them. I always have had kitties and will have kitties.

  5. Elaine aka Grandma Kitty

    Loved the article. I'll add one more reason. When my husband was in the USAF for 20+ years., it was so much easier to move with a Cat than a Dog. Plus when on vacation it was so much easier/cheaper to pay a kid or friend you trust to come in only once to twice a week to check on the Cats. Just make an extra Kitty litter pan . Leave out extra bowls of kibble & water & maybe have them add a treat when they checked on them. Never had a problem, never came home to a sick Cat. Plus we have plants that needed to be watered. Once the Cats 'scolded' us all when we got home was well.. Now we are 'civilians' & not being moved around we also have & love our Dogs. BTW our barely 2 lb if even that runt of the litter Cat is in charge. No one told her that she is a 'runt' Lol

  6. And……cats don't crotch sniff……that is worth all the points mentioned in spades about how much better pets cats make. I love my kitty!

  7. DT took the words right out of my reply!!!! I totally agree! Although cats can be a bit easier to care for in an apartment, they are all unique and have their own quirks and personalities. I’m fortunate enough to have a multi cat household and trust me, I’ve seen it all as far as everything from ‘wallflower kitties’ to the ‘life of the party’ feline!!!! Either way, as much as I adore dogs, cats are awesome!!!!

  8. I love the independence of my kitties! And although one of them is quite vocal, it is only when he wants some love and attention or he is hungry. Overall, much better than having to get up and take a doggy outside in all kinds of weather, whether I feel like it or not! My neighbor's big barking dog goes off every time I walk outside. My yard looks terrible because I'm afraid of that dog barking at me. My kitties do not offend or frighten anyone.

  9. Enjoyed your piece, definitely summarizes the advantages of cat vs dog ownership. I would like to note, though, that some senior cats, due to the confusion that comes with aging (feline dementia) do howl, and often in the middle of the night. Also, some cats are more talkative than others and can be quite vocal, especially when mealtime rolls around—like my sibling pair. In fact, it was their loud meowing that saved their lives when neighbors in my apartment building heard them making their presence known after they were abandoned by a tenant. (Theyʻre now with me, obviously.) So while cats donʻt bark, they can "express" themselves, sometimes at a high volume.

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