Are you trying to decide between adopting a dog or a cat? This age-old debate of cats vs. dogs has gone on for ages, with both sides making excellent points. While dogs can make wonderful pets, cats have some key advantages that make them an even better choice for many pet owners.
In this article, we'll explore 7 big reasons why cats make better pets than dogs for many people. By the end, you'll have a better understanding of the unique benefits of cats so you can make the best decision for your lifestyle when choosing a furry friend!
1. Cats Are Much Lower Maintenance Than Dogs
One of the biggest advantages cats have over dogs is that they simply require less work to care for. Cats are naturally inclined to be clean and take care of many needs completely on their own.
For example, cats groom themselves extensively each day, meaning you don't need to brush them or give them baths. Their tongues act as a natural brush, and they'll lick themselves clean from head to toe. This built-in self-cleaning saves you a ton of time!
Cats are also very particular about using a litter box, which means you won't have to deal with taking them outside multiple times per day. Scooping a litter box just a couple times a week is far easier than having to go on regular walks in all weather.
In addition, cats take up much less space than dogs. They can get all the exercise they need by running and playing inside your home. You don't need a big yard or to take them out for long walks every day.
Finally, cats are content being left alone for longer periods of time than dogs. It's perfectly fine to leave your cat while you go to work each day or even head out for a weekend trip. They entertain themselves well and won't get anxious or destroy your home while you're gone. Dogs often can't be left alone as long without special arrangements.
All these factors make cats a breeze to care for! If you want a pet but have a busy lifestyle, a cat is likely the better match for you.
2. Owning a Cat Costs Less Than a Dog Over Their Lifetime
Another great reason to choose a cat is that they are much more economical pets compared to dogs. The costs of food, medical care, supplies and more add up over the years, and cats generally cost significantly less across the board.
For starters, adoption fees are usually lower for kittens and cats than puppies and dogs. This gives your cat ownership a head start on savings!
Veterinary care will also cost you less for a cat long-term. With their built-in grooming habits and use of litter boxes, cats are less prone to medical issues like infections, parasites or injuries. Their smaller size also means less medication and anesthesia needed if they do require treatment.
Since cats eat less than big dogs, you'll save a bundle on pet food over the years. An average cat eats just 1/2 cup of food a day, while a 50 lb. dog may eat 4 cups or more per day! That's a big difference in food bills.
Other supplies like litter boxes, scratching posts, cat trees and toys are also more economical for cats compared to large crates, leashes, training tools, etc. for dogs.
When you add up these savings over the 10-20 year lifespan of a cat, owning a cat comes out much cheaper overall.
3. Cats Are Quieter Pets and Less Disruptive to Neighbors
Another major perk of cats as pets is that they are far less noisy than dogs. Barking dogs can irritate neighbors and even lead to noise complaints. A cat's meow is at a volume that rarely causes issues.
This makes cats an ideal pet for apartment dwellers and those living in close proximity to other people. You can enjoy quality time with your furry companion without disrupting everyone around you.
In addition, cats don't make noise when left alone at home all day. You won't have to worry about getting calls from the landlord or neighbors about your lonely, barking dog while you're at work. Cats may meow to greet you at the door, but are calm and quiet the rest of the time.
If you live in tight quarters or want a pet you can enjoy without bothering others, a cat is likely the better choice. Their naturally quiet nature makes them ideal for many living situations.
4. Cats Are Independent and Don't Need Constant Attention
In contrast to dogs, cats are very independent creatures. While they enjoy spending time with their owners, they don't require constant attention and supervision.
Cats are perfectly content entertaining themselves for hours. They enjoy looking out windows, batting around toys, climbing cat trees and snoozing in cozy spots. They don't need you to be actively playing with or petting them to be happy.
This independence makes cats excellent pets for owners who work long hours or travel frequently. As long as you make time for some play and affection each day, your cat will be perfectly fine on their own and not get anxious. Dogs often become destructive or depressed when left alone for long periods of time.
Cats are also less needy than dogs when it comes to human interaction. While dogs crave constant human companionship, an attentive cat owner can meet their cat's social needs in just 10-15 minutes a day. Whether it's brushing, playing or sitting together, a short quality time is enough for a cat.
So if you want a pet but don't have tons of extra time to devote each day, a cat is likely a better match than a dog who requires more constant human interaction and supervision. The independent nature of cats makes them an ideal pet for busy owners.
5. Cats Are Playful, Curious and Intelligent
In addition to their low-maintenance nature, one of the things that makes cats such delightful pets is their playful personalities.
Cats are very curious creatures and love to bat around toys, chase laser pointers and pounce on unsuspecting prey (like catnip mice or your ankles!). You'll be entertained for hours just watching your cat play and explore their environment.
Despite their reputation for being aloof, most cats form strong bonds with their owners and show affection in sweet ways. They'll curl up on your lap for pets, rub against your legs, and even sleep next to you at night.
Cats also have excellent memories and can learn words, cues and tricks. While they may not be as trainable as dogs, they understand more than you realize and pick up on your habits. With time and patience, you can teach your cat to come when called, sit, give high fives and more.
So if you're looking for a pet that is playful, loving and intelligent, cats can make fabulous companions. Daily life is never dull with a curious kitty keeping you on your toes!
6. Cats Keep Themselves Extremely Clean
As mentioned earlier, one perk of cats as pets is their innate desire to stay clean. In fact, cats groom themselves more than any other mammal in the world.
Cats are fastidious groomers and will methodically clean every part of their body with their barbed tongue. You'll often see them licking their coats, paws and hard-to-reach areas like the back of their neck.
This frequent self-grooming keeps their coat soft, clean and free of dirt, debris and parasites. Unless your cat gets into something messy, they clean themselves so well that you'll rarely need to bathe them.
Cats are also known to be very particular about using a litter box. While accidents can happen, most cats have an instinctive desire to bury their waste. By keeping the litter box clean, you can help your cat follow their natural bathroom habits.
Thanks to these ingrained hygienic behaviors, cats are clean, odor-free pets. Their cleanliness is a big advantage compared to dogs, who require frequent baths, brushing and cleanup of their yard waste.
7. Cats Live Longer on Average Than Dogs
One last advantage of cats as pets is their impressive longevity. With proper nutrition and vet care, the average lifespan of an indoor cat is 15-20 years, with many cats living into their late teens and even early 20s.
In comparison, the average lifespan of most dogs is sadly just 10-13 years. Larger dog breeds tend to have even shorter lives, sometimes only 7-10 years.
Therefore, when you adopt a cat, you're often committing to a relationship that could last nearly two decades or more. That's a long time to have a furry best friend as part of your family!
With their long lifespans, cats can provide companionship and comfort through many stages of your life. You'll enjoy their antics and affection for years to come if you welcome a cat into your home.
Cats vs. Dogs: Which Pet Is Right for You?
By now, it's clear that cats have some compelling advantages as pets compared to dogs. At the same time, dogs have many wonderful qualities too and can make fantastic companions.
So how do you decide whether a cat or dog best fits your lifestyle and desires in a pet? Here are a few key factors to consider:
Your schedule - Are you away from home for long hours? Cats are better able to be left alone.
Living accommodations - Do you live in an apartment or have close neighbors? A cat's quiet nature is preferable.
Activity level - Are you very active outdoors? Dogs require more exercise.
Affection needs - Do you want a pet clinging to you? Dogs are needier than independent cats.
Grooming abilities - Do you mind cleaning and bathing a pet? Cats self-groom.
Budget - Are you on a tight budget? Cats are more economical overall.
Take your unique needs and lifestyle into account. Be honest with yourself about the time, effort and costs you're able to invest in a pet. This will help you determine if a cat or a dog is a better fit.
While the debate may rage on for ages more, when it comes to cats vs. dogs, we believe cats have some stand-out advantages. If you're looking for an independent yet loving pet that will fit seamlessly into your busy lifestyle, a cat may just be your perfect match!
The Purrfect Pet is Waiting - Adopt a Cat Today!
We hope this article has helped showcase all the ways cats make excellent household pets. Their low-maintenance nature, quiet personalities, independence, playfulness and longevity are compelling reasons to welcome one into your home.
Of course, we still love dogs too! But for many owners, a cat is better suited to their needs and lifestyle.
If you're ready to meet your new feline best friend, check local animal shelters and rescue groups for adoptable cats. There are so many sweet kitties out there who would thrive in a loving home.
Let us know if you have any other questions about the joys and advantages of cat ownership. We're happy to share more cat care tips and facts to help you on your journey to becoming a "cat person." Enjoy your new kitty!