Editor’s note: Lately I’ve noticed a surplus of cat lovers in my social circles and I seem to be in the dog-loving minority.
Which led me to wonder, why are our furry companions so polarizing and which do we really like better?
The natural thing to do was to find a cat-loving writer, go head-to-head with them on which pet is better, and let public opinion decide the rest.
So here it is, cats vs. dogs. Which do you prefer?
Why Cats are Better
by: Melanie Mann
At 22 years old, I’ve owned over 20 cats across my lifetime.
My favorite thing to do in my free time is to roll around with dozens of kittens at my local animal shelter and pretend it’s not a totally selfish act of charity. Believe me, if ever there was someone to key in for kitties on the Cats vs. Dogs debate, it’s me.
One thing that makes cats great is they don’t need your permission to know how magnificent they are. Housecats have a confidence about them that would make Beyonce proud. Any attempt to boss a cat around will result in a stone-faced glare—provided that the cat bothers to pay attention at all. Cats make it clear that your role is to shut up and feed them. There’s a reason cats used to be worshipped as royalty in ancient civilizations, and they’ve never forgotten it.
On the flip side, the seemingly moody and aloof cats can provide great comfort and affection for their owners. Many nursing homes bring in cats as therapy animals—as opposed to dogs—because they are generally less energetic and therefore less overwhelming for elderly patients. Studies have also shown that cats who purr frequently are great at calming their owners with anxiety disorders. Not only is purring a soothing form of affection, but the rhythmic sound can help individuals regulate and slow their breathing, which is necessary in order to recover from a panic attack.
But the absolute best thing about owning a cat? Absolutely everyone can live with these mystical creatures because they are so independent and adaptable. Cats can live inside or outside. They don’t care if you’re gone for long periods of time, as long as you stop by every now and then for some head rubs. They don’t require a lot of maintenance. Give them some food, a few toys, a litter box, and take them to vet every now and then. That definitely beats taking dogs for walks every day, going through long term training just so the dog will behave, and helping a dog cope with separation anxiety.
Don’t get me wrong; I love dogs. There isn’t a dog on my street that I’m not willing to pet (with its owner’s permission). But compared to the graceful and charming cats of the world, they just don’t compete.
Why Dogs are Better
by: Patrick Wiltse
Before we talk about dogs, let’s first talk about people.
What kind of a person would you rather spend your time with?
Someone who is solitary, standoffish, and manipulative?
Or someone who is loyal and good humoured, who absolutely adores you?
Besides the fact that cats are scientifically proven to be furry, four-legged vessels of evil, there are many reasons why dogs are the greater pet.
Dogs embody the spirit of cooperation that thrust humans to the forefront of the evolutionary spectrum. They are social animals by nature, who understand that the strength of the individual is equal to the strength of the pack.
As such, they are incredibly loyal creatures. They want to serve you, protect you, and make you happy.
For cats, coexistence with humans is an irritating formality to be endured because it puts food in the bowl.
For dogs, coexistence with humans is a great privilege to be honoured. When you adopt a dog into your life, it graciously understands your role in feeding it and giving it shelter. It is so appreciative of your kindness that it pledges its lifelong love and companionship to you in return.
Dogs are hard working, predictable, and reliable, but that’s not to say that they are boring. They are more intelligent than their simple demeanour suggests.
Dogs are observant, fun-loving creatures who will amuse you with their hilarious quirks and idiosyncrasies, while impressing you with their teachability and dedication.
It’s no coincidence that dogs were the first animals ever domesticated by humans, as long as 30,000 years ago. Dogs and humans are natural allies who have endured the ages, overcoming countless challenges at each other’s sides.
My cat-loving counterpart argues that dogs just don’t compete with the graceful and charming cats of the world, and I disagree.
Cats certainly do emanate a certain grace and charm, and their intelligence is admirable, but they just don’t compare with the genuine, loving nature of the dog; our first and most natural companion.