If you’ve never been a pet guardian, you might have a hard time telling what the right pet for you might be. Should you choose a cat or a dog?
In today’s article, we’re looking at several reasons why cats are sometimes better than dogs, but do consider that everyone is different and that a cat might not make the right type of companion for some.
- They’re clean
Cats are self-cleaning animals, which can’t be said for their canine counterparts. If you have ever owned a dog before, you probably know what a mess they can be when you take them out for a walk in the rain. Besides regular brushing, cats don’t need too much in the way of grooming since they do it all themselves.
They don’t slobber, some breeds don’t even shed that much, and they can be pretty diligent about keeping their personal hygiene in check. What more could you ask?
- Caring for a cat is cheaper than caring for a dog
Naturally, this is debatable, but in general, owning a cat is more affordable than owning a dog. Dogs also tend to destroy their toys (besides other things in your home), which cats might never do. Furthermore, cat toys are also cheaper, and so are many other accessories.
You aren’t even going to have to pay for a dog walker if you don’t have the time since cats are perfectly content to spend all their time indoors. Even buying a purebred cat is cheaper than buying a purebred dog. Some puppies can be as expensive as $2,000, but that is rarely the case with kittens since they usually cost less than $1,200.
- They occupy less space
Most cats, no matter their breed, don’t get to be too big. In fact, the average weight of a healthy cat is around 10 pounds. With different dog breeds comes more variety, so if you get a Saint Bernard, not only will the dog need more space to thrive, but he or she will also need more food and more exercise, meaning longer walks or access to a sizable yard.
- They have a longer lifespan
While many cats can get to be as old as 15 years of age, the same does not apply to dogs. Most dogs have a lifespan of about 12 years, and that’s only if you take really good care of them. Cats also don’t put themselves in danger as much as dogs do, so they also have a lower risk of being hit by a car.
- You don’t have to take your cat out for walks
This is perhaps one of the most important reasons why cats are extremely popular pets. As you know, and if you’ve had a dog before, you need to take your canine buddy outside at least twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. Plus, every week, a long walk to a park is necessary so that the dog is kept healthy and happy.
Cats don’t have the same needs. They get the exercise they require in a smaller living environment, which is why they’re perfect for houses and apartments alike. If you don’t have a yard, you don’t have to worry about your feline companion being unhappy. In fact, some cats might get stressed when they do go outside if they’re not used to it.
- They’re very self-reliant
The idea of leaving a puppy alone at home while going away to work for ten hours a day can be a burden for some people. Not only will the puppy get bored and chew as much as possible and on everything he/she comes across, but the likelihood of causing other types of problems is higher, too.
Most cats are self-reliant. If you leave them enough food, water, and toys, they can do well all alone. While they do love their share of attention, they can also be just as content spending time by themselves.
- Cats don’t make a lot of noise
Dogs are many great things, but one thing they are not – quiet. If you didn’t know, barking and yowling are among the reasons why people end up abandoning their canine companions, so that’s how they end up in shelters.
Some cats don’t even meow unless there’s something wrong or if they are in pain. There are some that can be a bit more talkative than others, but the amount of noise they make on the whole will never bother your neighbors. Besides, cats are independent and generally calmer than dogs.
- Less destruction outside and inside of your home
While this is not a general rule for all cats, it’s a given that they don’t tend to chew on things in their living environment as much as dogs.
Granted, they might cause different problems, such as spraying, which generally happens in unneutered and unspayed cats. Still, they will most often find no enjoyment in chewing or randomly destroying items in your home.
The only type of destruction they cause is that they tend to sharpen their claws by scratching on furniture. You can protect your couch and armchairs from cat attacks these days, by installing scratching posts throughout your house.
- Being a cat guardian is healthy
Owning and caring for a cat can have a number of health benefits. Cat owners have about 40% fewer chances of dying of a heart attack compared to people who aren’t cat guardians, at least based on a study performed by the University of Minnesota.
Petting a cat can lower stress and anxiety levels and reduce loneliness, especially in people who live by themselves and seniors. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2002 suggests that cats decrease the risk of children suffering from allergies.
- Cats can keep your home vermin-free
Not all cats are natural hunters, but let’s face it, they make better hunters than dogs. Whether they do it for fun or when they are hungry, cats do have a tendency to chase around rodents, which can cause a myriad of nuisances. Moreover, vermin can also spread diseases to humans, and unfortunately, they can do the same to cats.
Farms where a colony of cats resides are typically less affected by mice and rat infestations.
Are dogs better than cats in some respects?
It would have been unfair to discredit dogs just because there are so many benefits to cat ownership. Dogs do have their advantages, and if you’re a dog person and you know that you can care for your canine friend appropriately, you shouldn’t hesitate to get a puppy.
Dogs are usually more fun compared to their feline counterparts, and some breeds are very good with children, which makes them perfect pets for families.
They’re also far easier to train, and to some extent, they interact better with their human friends, sometimes providing the emotional support that people need. By contrast, some cats aren’t as good at picking up human emotions.
Finally, dogs are capable of protecting you, which most cats can’t. Sure, there are many online stories about how cats have actually saved children’s lives by attacking other animals, but you can’t be sure that your own is going to do that.
In the end, getting a cat or a dog is a matter of personal preference and of how responsible a pet parent you can be.