It can start a war, end a marriage or strain a friendship. The truth about cats versus dogs is a hot-button debate that rages on, even if cat lovers know that their darlings swept to victory long ago. For cats, it’s no contest: Their inspired playfulness and independent spirit are the secret envy of some humans, many of whom wish they could spend their own days batting at a catnip mouse and napping in the sun rather than tapping a computer keyboard. Even some die-hard dog lovers have inched toward the light of the feline side, drawn by their low-maintenance lifestyle and excellence as lap decorations. Why do cats best dogs? Here’s a pawful of reasons.
Do cats make better pets than dogs? We think so! It’s no secret that cats rule the internet, but we think they rule the real world, too. Surveys show that while more households in the United States have a pet dog, the number of pet cats in the United States is actually higher.
This means people that own cats own several cats, while dog owners keep the numbers in their pack fairly low. Cat people are often ready to welcome another cat into their home, which can be done with minimal disruption. While one or two dogs can make a happy pet family, five or six pooches can be absolute bedlam.
Cats Don’t Need a Lot of Space
Provided you have room for their essential supplies, up to two or three cats may get along quite well in a one-bedroom apartment. Of course, the human of the home must do his or her part, by keeping the litter box(es) clean, and making sure uneaten wet food is disposed of promptly.
Bonus: As a renter, you’ll likely find more apartments available to cat owners than dog owners. Landlords look more favorably on tenants with cats for several reasons:
- No cat-related noise complaints.
- No fear of cats walking the hallways, potentially harming other tenants.
- Less repair needed at move out due to stained carpet or scratched walls and doors.
Owning a Cat Costs Less Money
During its lifetime, you’ll spend less money caring for a cat than a dog. You’ll see a major disparity from the moment you decide to bring a cat into your home!
While buying a fancy cat breed can be expensive, adoption fees for cats and kittens tend to be lower than those for dogs (especially during kitten season). At some shelters, you may find that adoption fees are waived entirely.
Due to the types of materials used, along with other factors, you’ll find that cat toys are significantly cheaper than dog toys. Catnip mice cost under a buck a piece, whereas chew toys for dogs cost any from five to ten times that number, depending on size.
Have a full-time job? Cats are perfectly content to lounge and wait for you to come home. (After all, they’re probably sleeping for most of the time.) Many dogs require a mid-afternoon walk from a professional dog walker, or regular socialization at doggie day care, another major expense.
Another big, recurring expense? The cost of food. Obviously large, active dogs require substantially more grub, so comparing the diet of a Rottweiler to a house cat isn’t exactly fair. However, when looking at smaller dog breeds, cats are still the cheaper option. Here’s a breakdown from a real cat owner.
Food Costs for Cats:
“My three male cats share one 5.5 oz. cans of premium cat food three times a day, supplemented by a serving of premium dry food. I pay $1.29 per can for the wet food and $23.99 for a 10-pound bag of dry food which lasts roughly 28 days. This brings the total food cost to $3.87 for canned food and $0.85 for dry for a total of $4.72, about $1.18 per day, per cat.”
Food Costs for Dogs:
From Jenna Stregowski’s article on The Cost of Ownership of a Dog:
“It is important to feed your dog a high-quality dog food and healthy dog treats. This will likely cost anywhere from $20-60 per month ($250-700 per year). Food expenses vary based on the size and energy level of your dog as well as the quality of the food.” Using $40 per month as the price to feed an average sized dog, this works out to $1.33 per day.
Cats Are Happy Indoors
Cats will be much safer, and still can be perfectly happy indoors, as long as they have the necessities. Fresh air is easy to come by with a partially open window (but not open wide enough that the cat can jump out). Many cats enjoy passing the time watching birds and other critters from their seat by the window, so there’s no need to let them outside, where there are many potential hazards.
This indoor-only lifestyle makes them a great option for families with limited mobility, or time to dedicate to long walks with their pooch.
Most dogs will not get enough exercise by being indoors all the time. Short of a “doggie treadmill,” large dogs really need to be able to run to keep their legs sturdy and strong, their lungs in good shape, and their weight within the correct range.
While dog parks provide a good place for exercise, one drawback is that poorly trained or unsupervised dogs may fight, causing injuries to themselves, or to humans trying to break up the fight. The only alternative for a dog forced to stay indoors most of the day is for the owner to regularly walk the dog on a leash, or preferably, to run with it.
Cats Are Quiet
Even the biggest dog person knows that a barking dog is a major annoyance for anyone who hears it. Whether the dog is barking at passersby, yapping while they beg for scraps, or yowling at sounds only they can hear—barking is a huge nuisance.
Sure, cats—especially feral cats—can make some noise at night, particular when they get into fights. Those are usually because their owners failed to neuter them and they’re either fighting over a female cat or territory.
Meows Are a Different Matter
On the other side of the coin, cats’ meows are pleasurable for the most part, although they can sometimes sound demanding. Meowing is one-way cats communicate, although they also use body language, such as sidling up alongside their humans, weaving in and out between our legs – a coy way of letting us know they want something, whether it be a petting session or a treat. Owners can often recognize which cat is meowing, without seeing them, because each has a different pattern.
Kittens Are Less Work Than Puppies
While both kittens and puppies require a lot of time, energy, and attention during their first few weeks of life, once they are weaned from their mother, caring for a kitten requires much less effort.
Kittens can be left at home during the day unsupervised, but puppies will require frequent walks as they become housebroken. As mischief-makers, puppies of all sizes have the potential to cause much more damage around the home than a small kitten.
Dogs Can’t Purr
I feel sorry for people who only have had dogs for pets because they are missing out on one of the most remarkable sounds ever heard: purring. A cat’s purr can be as pleasant to hear as a Brahms lullaby, and as therapeutic as a warm bath followed by a gentle massage.
Cats Keep Vermin Away
Cats are natural hunters—you’ll find that they stalk everything from houseflies and cockroaches, to mice to fast moving images on TV.
While you should never allow your cat to eat its prey, a pest-free household is an undeniably added benefit to cat ownership. Sometimes the cat needs to do little more than living in the home for a few days as their scent will scare away rodents.
Scooping is Easier Than Walking the Dog
Cats are pristine little creatures and instinctively cover their pee and poop. A cat will do so for one main reason: to hide his territory from predators, who (just like cats), rely on their sense of smell to seek out prey. At other times, a cat will liberally spray his territory to mark it against other cats. You likely have seen a cat, before venturing outside, narrowing his nostrils and opening his mouth slightly while inhaling. This is to allow his vomeronasal organ, more often called “Jacobson’s Organ” to sniff out danger, prey, or other cats. This whole process is called the Flehmen Response.
Cats cover their waste in much the same way in their litter boxes. Provided you have the right number of litter boxes (the rule of thumb is one box per cat plus one extra), and the proper supplies for cleaning and maintaining them, your home should smell clean and fresh at all times.
Walking the Dog
On the other paw, dogs think nothing of lifting a hind leg to pee on a bush, tree, or the ubiquitous fire hydrant, or squat to poop on the grass, then with a couple of desultory kicks of his hind legs, wander off. Responsible dog owners carry poop bags and scoops with them to clean up and dispose of the waste. Irresponsible dog owners will just walk away as casually as their dogs. In any case, indoor dogs need to be walked frequently, including early in the morning and late at night. Combined, walking the dog will require at least an hour a day, in rain or shine, hot summer days and cold winter nights.
Cats are Cleaner Than Dogs
While dog requires regular bathing and grooming, cats are essentially self-cleaning. While they will do a pretty good job of keeping themselves clean, but you can also help by regular brushing or grooming with a FURminator, and routinely clipping their claws.
Dogs also have a penchant for rolling around in smelly things, be it trash, another animal’s waste, or, even worse, a dead animal. And since they are regularly walked outside, dogs can track in dirt and debris, not to mention bacteria.
While some dog owners may point to litter boxes as being a bit unsanitary, cats instinctively cover their waste, so their owners rarely have to face their messes head on.
Cats Were Once Worshiped as Gods
Everything we know about the history of cats indicates that they were indeed once worshiped as gods. The Great Sphinx of Giza is said to have the head of a Pharaoh and the body of a lion.
The original cat which was domesticated by both the Egyptians and the occupants of the area now called Cyprus, though perhaps larger and wilder, still closely resembled our cats today. In fact, our Egyptian Mau today bears a definite resemblance to the African wild cat. This is an interesting fact in that in Egypt, cats were called Miw, and alternatively “Miu,” and “Mau” all remind us of the sound cats make today.
The first Egyptian cats had to work for their living. They hunted rodents and snakes to help protect not only the Egyptian homes and occupants but also to protect the grains they grew. In return, the humans fed them and eventually welcomed them into their homes. It was just a matter of time before the Egyptians and their rulers noticed a striking resemblance between their Mius and the statues of the Goddess Bast (also called Bastet), and the worship of cats began.