Which makes a better pet: A dog or a cat? – Part 21

As much as I love dogs, I think a cat makes a better pet. Of course, not every cat makes a good pet, but the average cat beats out the average dog every time. From cost to cleanliness they are cheaper and easier to care for.

Most house cats are mixed bred. You can find them on the street, people give them away in the paper every day. Animal shelters practically give them away. Dogs, on the other hand, cost money. You can find them on the street but then you’re probably looking at some medical or social issues the dog must overcome. People don’t normally give dogs away either. Purebreds cost money, even mix breed dogs will lighten your wallet a little. Animal shelters still charge more for a dog than a cat, no matter what the breed.

Cats are almost instinctively housebroken. Show them a box full of litter and away they go. The only time they mess elsewhere is when their owner neglects the box or the animal is sick. You only need to clean the box every other day or so. Dogs must be housebroken. This can be a long, messy procedure and nothing guarantees the dog will stay that way if you move, or introduce another pet into your home. They have to be let out constantly. Just finished feeding them…out they go. Your pooch gets excited? Out it goes. In the morning, in the evening, no matter what the weather. When they come back in, they often track dirt. Sure, cats and dogs can be outdoor pets but what’s the point of a pet that stays outdoors?

Some people say that cats are aloof while dogs are always eager to please. In truth, cats are more independent than dogs because they do not have the “pack” instinct that dogs do. This pack instinct has several bad effects. It can cause them to roam, which is the least of your problems. The biggest being pack animals thrive on a hiearchy, with each member of the pack jockeying for a higher position with the other dogs. When dogs do that with humans, the results can be dangerous. A dog doesn’t simply attack its owner, with the winner of the fight as the alpha male. This dominance is done through small things like him going through a door before you. Or blocking your way up the stairs. When that dog wins enough of these little “battles”, it becomes aware of its dominant position in the pack. When you hear stories about how someone’s dog suddenly turned on them in the kitchen, its often for that reason. Cats don’t care if your the leader or not. Besides, a dog’s bite is a lot worse than a cat’s.

Cats live longer. An outdoor cat will only live an average of 3-5 years. Indoor/outdoor cats can live a little longer. Strictly indoor cats have been known to live 22 years with good care. Dogs aren’t so lucky. The larger the breed, the shorter their lifespan. Some tiny dogs can live about 20 years. Great Danes are extremely luck to live 9 or 10 years.

Cats are cheaper to feed. This isn’t even a close contest. A 12 pound bag of cat food will last my three cats well over a month. A single small dog would finish the same bag in a few weeks while a large dog would empty the bag in two or three meals. Add the fact that a cat will stop eating when it isn’t hunger while a dog will eat until it pops. If I leave a weeks worth of food out for my cats, in one week they’ll be tidily finishing up their last meal. Put a weeks worth of food in front of the average dog and watch. In 30 minutes that dog will be groaning on the floor, overstuffed with 7 days of food.

I could go on about how cats take up less space. How they require less attention. That they’re cleaner and smell better than dogs, but you get the idea. No matter how you stack things, cats make better pets than dogs. Strangely enough, I still really want a dog because cats don’t fetch.

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