Which makes a better pet: A dog or a cat? – Part 39

Of course, it depends on what you want to get out of your pet, but for my money I’ll take a dog over a cat any day. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a cat hater. In fact, we have one of each. It’s just that the natural relationship between human and dog is a stronger bond than that between human and cat. At least that’s been my observation having lived forty-plus years. I think it’s more than just me, though. If you watch the way people interact with their dogs as opposed to with their cats, you will notice a marked difference.

The most noticeable difference between the two is in the way that they greet you when you’ve been gone for the day. A dog is thrilled to see you. His face tells you, “Hey, where have you been? Let’s play. Pet me.” They are genuinely glad to have you home. On the other hand, a cat is aloof. Oh, sure, they’ll be affectionate when it suits their needs. But, that’s the point. Everything is on the cat’s terms. If I want to be greeted with indifference when I get home, I’ll get married again. But, the look on my dog’s face when I get home from work is almost the definition of unconditional love and affection. That alone can cheer me up if it’s been a rough day at the office.

Now, there are those who will tell you that the cat’s attitude is just an expression of independence. I guess I can respect that. But, the main reason for even wanting to have a pet is companionship. Cats just aren’t the types who much care about companionship. If a cat comes around to you for affection you can bet it’s for one of two (maybe, three) reasons. Either her food bowl is empty, or it’s time to change the litter box. (The third possible reason is, he may want to get stoned on catnip-depending on the cat.) I want more than that from my pet.

The beauty of owning a dog is they want actual, honest interaction. A dog is someone you can wrestle around with. You can play tug-of-war, run around the yard, play frisbee. A dog’s affection is an active affection, while a cat’s love is passive. A dog can turn up the playfulness from zero to sixty in nothing flat. And, if you’ve had enough, the dog will respectfully dial it back down and let you rest (as long as you’ve got enough energy for petting). The cat? Well, she couldn’t care less.

Which makes a better pet: a dog or a cat? There are merits to both kinds of animals as pets, and of course it all depends on what you find most important. But, if you want unconditional love; if you want a companion who wants to spend meaningful time with you; if you want that physical interaction then the choice is obvious. A dog has it all over a cat.

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