When deciding to get a pet, it may be a difficult decision about whether to choose a cat or a dog. Although they are both furry friends, the two types of animals are very different from each other. Cats have many favorable traits, including their ease of care, cleanliness, and adorable antics, making them a wonderful pet for any family.
Cats Don't Take up Much Space
If you’ve ever tried to share a bed with a golden retriever—or even a tiny dog—you know they take up a ton of space. Between their size, their love for stretching out into everyone’s personal space, the room they need to play and exercise, and their stuff (such as a dog bed or dog toys), dogs need a solid amount of room to live a happy, healthy life.
Cats, however, don’t need a lot of space to thrive. As long as you can fit their essentials, such as litter boxes (you need one box per cat plus one extra) and food and water dishes, you can pretty much guarantee your kitty will be happy.
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Owning a Cat Is More Affordable
Over the course of their lifetimes, cats are generally more affordable than dogs. While buying a specific breed of cat can be expensive, generally, adoption fees are lower for kittens and cats than they are for puppies or dogs—particularly during kitten seasons or times when the shelter has a major influx of kittens. Some shelters may even waive their fees or offer a two-for-one deal on pairs of kittens.
Once you own the pet, there are plenty of expenses you will have to incur, from supplies to caretakers. Because dogs have a tendency to destroy their toys, they have to be made from much tougher (and much more expensive) materials—or replaced often. Cat toys are relatively cheap to buy and even cheaper (and easy) to DIY.
Plenty of exercise is absolutely vital to a dog’s health, but getting two or three walks a day can be tough when you have a full-time job. Considering the average dog walker charges $15 to $20 for a 20-minute walk, costs can add up quickly. Cats, however, are perfectly content lounging, napping, and playing with their toys at home alone while you work the day away. It’s even better if you have two kitties since they’ll keep each other entertained.
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Cats Are Perfectly Content Indoors
It's virtually impossible for dogs to have an indoors-only lifestyle; they need a lot of exercise, plenty of walks, and time spent outdoors to live happy and healthy lives. But if you don't have a yard or access to parks, or have limited mobility, this may present a major challenge.
Not only are cats much safer indoors, but they’re perfectly happy perched next to a window or curled up in a sunny spot on the couch. Simply crack a window for some fresh air (but make sure it’s not open wide enough for kitty to escape), and your cat will be totally content watching birds and bugs all day long.
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Cats Are Quieter
Even the biggest dog lovers have to admit: Whether your dog is barking at a passerby, another animal, or simply because its favorite toy is stuck under the couch, incessant barking can get pretty annoying.
While cats certainly do make some noise—especially at night, when many cats are most active—meows and purrs tend to be pretty quiet. Meowing and purring are cute, but even better, you’ll begin to recognize what your cat’s meows actually mean. You’ll learn how to differentiate a meow that means “I’m hungry” from a meow that means “Cuddle me!”
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Kittens Require Less Work Than Puppies
Both puppies and kittens require an incredible amount of time, energy, and attention. Between getting it comfortable in its new home, introducing it to its new diet, and starting some preliminary training, you may be a little bit sleep deprived during the first few weeks with your new pup or kitten.
Puppies, however, need ongoing training (especially for potty training), but once kittens are weaned from their mothers and have learned the basics of using the litter box, they can be left at home unsupervised during the day.
Do you want to be extra safe? Put your kitty in a room where it can't get into mischief while you're gone. It'll keep the kitty wrangled in one safe space and, due to its smaller size, it won't be able to cause much (if any) damage from being contained.
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Cats Keep Pests at Bay
Cats are natural-born hunters, so it’s in their DNA to stalk, hunt, and pounce on their prey—even if it’s on a television screen. While you should never, ever let your cat eat a bug or mouse it catches, a pest-free home is just one of the many benefits of owning kitties. What’s more, your cat’s scent alone can keep rodents away from your house; if rodents detect a hunter in the home, they’re far less likely to enter.
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Cleaning the Litter Box Is Easier Than Constant Walks
While it may be a little weird that your cat pees and poops in strategically placed boxes all over your house, cleaning out a litter box is far easier than having to take walks late at night, during scorching summer days, or through freezing snow, all while scooping up dog poop with a plastic bag over your hand.
Cats are naturally very clean creatures, and one of their instincts is to bury their pee and poop. This hides their territory from predators who, like cats, use their sense of smell to find their prey. Although house cats aren't necessarily being hunted by predators, humans can reap the benefits of neat, clean, and completely covered waste.
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Cats Clean Themselves
Dogs love stuff that smells bad—from garbage, to dead animals, to poop—and they really love to roll around in it. As a result, dogs require routine bathing and grooming, which can get very expensive if you take your dog to the groomer.
Cats are essentially self-cleaning machines. You may want to groom it with a brush every once in a while and definitely clip its nails as needed, but otherwise, cats do a very good job of keeping themselves clean.
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Cats Understand Personal Space
Sometimes after a long, stressful day at work, you may not be in the mood to have a dog at your heels, following you around the house, nudging you to play fetch. While cats may get a bad rap for being cold or distant, they really just understand (and appreciate) the concept of personal space. Cats don't require your constant attention or energy, which will give you plenty of opportunities to sit and relax after a long work week.
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Cats Provide Health Benefits
It has been said that owning a pet can reduce stress and make you live longer, but there are certain health benefits that cats provide to their owners. Purring, for example, has therapeutic healing capabilities on human muscle and bones. The frequency of the vibrations has been shown to have positive effects on joint mobility after an injury.f