People often prefer cats or dogs as pets for no logical reason. However, there are rational arguments that indicate cats are indeed better pets than dogs.
A cat is less expensive than a dog. Dogs are expensive. They’re usually bigger than cats, they eat more and need extra treats and chews. Dogs need stuff like a leash, collar, toys, supplies, obedience classes. They’re more inclined to get injured, resulting in higher vet costs. And when you go on holiday, the kennels or dog sitter is expensive, not even talking about doggy day care or a dog walker. And dogs will destroy stuff – shoes, pillows, even mobile phones and sunglasses.
Cats need less space than dog. Apart from their litter box, food and water bowls, a cat doesn’t need much. They’ll sleep anywhere, and may not even need a bed. Dogs need big beds, food, water, toys, space to play.
Cats are clean animals. Not that dogs are dirty, but it’s in their nature to love smelly things, roll in it, bring it home and try to eat it. It’s easier to keep a litter box clean than to pick up after a dog, particularly when you have an audience!
Cats don’t need to get outside and exercise. A cat should be encouraged to be active and play, but it doesn’t need daily walks, a yard for outside exercise and playtime and a place to do their business. A cat can happily live indoors as long as he has fresh air, a litter box. In fact, it may be safer for him.
Cats have a smaller carbon footprint than dogs. It is estimated* that the average dog has a carbon footprint twice the size of an SUV, while cats have a carbon footprint equal to a Volkswagen – based on the amount of meat each eat in a year.
Cats are quiet. Cats do meow, purr, and can occasionally be noisy at night, but most of the time they are quiet animals. In contrast, dogs bark for all kinds of reasons. It’s just who they are.
Cats don’t need much training. You have to help your kitty to use the litter box, and let it know what is acceptable and what not – but that’s it. However, house training a puppy can take months, while basic obedience training demands time, patience, and energy. If you have a large dog, more formal training may be necessary. In fact, if you want a well behaved dog, training a dog is an ongoing job.
*”Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” by Robert and Brenda Vale.