The cats are better than dogs debate and vice versa is an argument that never ends. In terms of popularity, dogs are definitely more popular than cats as pets (in numbers), in most countries around the world.
The American Pet Owners Survey is a comprehensive guide to the status and trends of the pet ownership in the USA. One of the key findings from the most recent survey indicated that Covid 19 was primarily responsible for driving up pet ownership numbers.
This was often mentioned in news reports during the height of the pandemic, when work from home became the norm for many workers. Fourteen percent of respondents to the survey acquired a new pet during the pandemic – 47% dogs and 40% cats .
However before dog owners get too carried away with this statistic, it doesn’t actually reflect – the cats are better than dogs question.
Cats are often preferred as pets over dogs because cats are generally less work to care for and not as destructive as some dogs can be. Cats also tend to be more independent than dogs.
Dogs need to be taken for daily walks or twice daily walks, whereas cats do not require a specific walk to meet their exercise requirements. There’s no barking issue to deal with, a big plus if you happen to live near a barking dog.
For those who are dog lovers and cat lovers, you are entitled to be – in the I Love Cats And Dogs corner, no questions asked.
Cats Are Better Than Dogs Debate
1. Cats Don’t Need Your Attention All The Time
Cats are happy with their own company. They usually stay at home by themselves when their owner goes to work, goes out, or even for a weekend trip without having any major issues (except when they’re too young or too old)
Dogs can not be left alone in the same manner so a dog sitter is needed, a trusty friend or a paid option. Dogs like cats are left at home out of necessity when their owners go to work. If you have ever had to close the door on your dog as you head off to work, you know those soulful eyes are really telling you they are not happy about being left alone.
Boarding dogs when you need to travel and are unable to take the dog is an expensive cost. You want your dog to be looked after, so only the best will do, along with the associated coast. Factor in dog walking as a separate cost. Boarding a cat is also not cheap but not as expensive as boarding a dog.
In the meantime, you cat is hunkering down somewhere in comfort and is not worried about you taking off. Cats are very happy to be left indoors. Many cats are exclusively indoor cats. An indoor cat needs a clean litter box. You will need to set up the litter box and tend to it to keep it clean.
Related: Thinking about a cat as a pet? Need to do some persuading? Here are some reasons to get a cat as a pet.
2. Cats Don’t Need Walks Or Exercising Out Of The House
If you live in an apartment or small house with no backyard, having a dog is difficult because a dog needs more space than a cat.
It is essential to walk a dog once daily or twice daily if the dog is active. No matter what the weather, the dog still needs to be walked. This is a commitment. The cat doesn’t care about the weather as long as he is warm. A quick trip to the litter box and the cat is set for the night. No need to venture outside with the cat.
Cats don’t need to be exercised away from the home. Some people do chose to take their cats for short walk using a cat harness but it really is a matter of choice not necessity.
3. Cats Are Less Expensive Than Dogs
For the sake of argument here, lets assume a cat breed and dog breed that are not fantastically expensive as this does skew the argument
The costs of owning a dog, veterinary costs, food, license, toys and so on will always outweigh the cost associated with owing a cat. Cats don’t need trips to the vet that often and are far less likely to require major expensive surgery. Routine veterinary expenses tend to cost more for dogs.
According to the ASPCA, annual costs associated with the care of cats range around $400-900 less. Dog’s calorie intake is much higher than that of cats. Routine veterinarian costs are much higher for dogs than cats. Pet accessories are more varied than those for cats and also tend to cost more.
Cats Cuddle More Than Dogs
Dogs will be excited to see you when you return home from work and jump up in a frenzied show of love and excitement. Behind all of this is the eagerly awaited and long anticipated walk. Dog lovers, you will need to head out the door before and after work or pay for someone else to walk your dog
A pet cat on the other hand, is happy to snuggle in while you put your feet up and relax listening to the cat’s purr.
Related: We all want to have happy pets. What can you do to have a happy cat?
4. Puppies Or Kittens?
Both are super duper cute, there is no argument there. A puppy however is going to take a lot more work than a kitten. Both grow up quickly but a puppy needs to be trained which is another time and cost factor to consider.
5. Cats Are Cuter Than Dogs
Cuteness attracts humans more than anything else (just look at the millions of videos with cute cats on YouTube). If you’re looking for a pet to keep you company, it doesn’t really matter if they’re smart or not as long as they make you smile every day which is exactly what most cats do.
6. Cats Clean Themselves: No Need For Trips To The Groomer
Dog grooming is huge business. Pooches of all shapes and sizes have regular appointments to visit the beauty salon. With the exception of a couple of dog breeds, dogs do get smelly quite quickly. It is not always practical to shampoo the dog at home and physically it can be a difficult task if the dog is big.
The portable dog wash is very popular. Now there is no denying that it is great to have the dog washed by an expert that turns up with all the necessary equipment at your home and having a divinely smelling pooch, it does eat away at the budget, month after month.
Cats require none of this. Cats are diligent at grooming and hygiene. Cats can be bathed however unless there is a reason to bathe a cat, it isn’t actually necessary. There is quite a saving just there. One reason to bathe a cat is to give a cat a flea shampoo.
7. Dogs Barking Can Be A Problem
Dogs barking can be a massive issue for some dog owners. Barking is among the factors behind people giving their dogs to shelters. Neighbors can quickly get offside listening to a dog that barks all day when the owners are at work
Some dogs bark out of habit even when the owners are home.
A dog barking for security reasons is a possible positive however I know dog owners who say that their dog wouldn’t actually bark if someone entered the property and would welcome the intruder, tail wagging.
Meanwhile, cats meow but not in the same way that a dog barks. Meowing is more of a communication tool and your kitty telling you that he needs something.
Related: If you have a family and you are thinking about what cat breed would suit your family, this article is all about family friendly cat breeds.
8. Living Arrangements
Renting can be problematic for dog owners but not so much for cat owners. Many landlords do not want dogs in their properties.
All in all, it looks like cats are just better than dogs when it comes to being a pet. However, there are some things that must be considered before making the decision of getting either one or the other. For example, allergies or living spaces might make all the difference when choosing your future pet.
So no matter how much you love them both, always think carefully before rushing into things!
9. Our Pets Carbon Footprint
Dogs and cats contribute to the carbon footprint. Klima estimates that an “average-size cat generates 310kg of CO2e per year, while an average-size dog emits 770 kg. For a bigger barker, this figure even goes up to 2,500kg” That is significant and as would be expected, cats have a smaller carbon footprint. Whether it make a difference to cat or dog ownership is hard to measure.
Cats live longer than dogs and take up less space.
10. Reduce Stress
It is pretty well established that loving and caring for a pet has health benefits and reduces stress and that is a positive for both cats and dogs. Consider the stress on you and your dog if you have to part with your dog as the demands of looking after the dog are too much. Your needs may change with circumstances or health. Getting a dog can be an emotional decision but it also needs to be well thought out and not just for today but for the future.
A cat can provide the same comfort and love but be easier for some to manage even if your personal preference was for a dog.
Related: Are you looking for a large cat breed? Some of them are easily the size of a small dog. This article is all about large cat breeds.
Cats Are Better Than Dogs Debate – For Potential Cat Owners
So what does this mean for a potential pet owner?
Well, if you live in a big city and don’t want to take your pet to the dog park or pay for boarding, then a cat might be for you.
Living in an apartment with no time to walk a dog twice a day, points towards getting a cat
If you are looking for an easy to maintain pet with low maintenance , let me introduce you to my friend, Fluffy.