I love animals. Like, I got in trouble at work for petting too many dogs while I was working a serving shift. I kid you not, my boss literally banned me from petting dogs while I was on shift for like two months. This is the reason I started the Instagram account @puppiesofcharlottesville because even if I couldn't pet them, I still wanted to share them with people and take pictures of cute dogs.
That's not why we're here though. We're here because even though I LOVE dogs, I still believe that cats are the better pets.
I might be a little biased as a cat owner, but I have reasons for believing this.
To start with, I want to address the whole "cats are evil and mean" stereotype. Each cat has their own personality, kind of like dogs and humans, but most people won't give cats a chance whereas they are more quick to forgive a dog or a person. There are bad cats, but there are also bad humans and bad dogs. You can't judge an entire species based off of one of its members. Also, in my experience, people who hate cats hate them because they feel like they can't like them being a dog people, they did something to the cat and the cat had a negative reaction, or they're just trying to sound hard/cool.
I literally had a customer tell me that cats "were the devil" because this girl he knew owned a cat, told him not to pick it up because the cat doesn't like to be held, he did anyway and the cat bit him. Apparently, only people get to decide when they don't like something; pets are just toys to be played with. That's not the point of this post though so I'll save that full rant for another day.
Why are cats the best pets?
Cats are Low Maintenance.
They're perfect for everyone, but they're especially perfect if you work a lot or have a really busy schedule. Typically, all cats need is a bowl full of food and a clean litter box.
When I first adopted my black cat Dobey, I was working at a summer camp as a kitchen manager. There would be somedays where I would be gone from the house from 4am to 2pm, then home for a thirty minute to an hour time period, then back at work from 3pm to 9pm. While Dobey has separation anxiety and didn't like me being gone, his needs were met before I walked out the door in the morning. In the present day as a bartender who works ten hour shifts with a husband who also works long hours, we still don't have to worry about rushing home to take care of the pets. They're fine on their own.
Cats Don't Require a Lot of Energy.
It's very easy to do a variety of home activities with them. Even now as I'm writing this, Dobey is lounging behind me on the couch and Ember is entertaining herself at the back door. This has been the picture of our quarantine together. When they want attention (and trust me, they do), it usually manifests itself with them rubbing against our legs or coming to sit on our laps. For the most part, I don't ever feel overwhelmed when they do decide it's time for attention.
They Can be Super Lovey-dovey.
If you're worried about the stereotype of cats being mean, fear not. Sometimes, they do take a bit of time to bond with, but if you're willing to put in the time and effort, they're 1000% worth it. For the most part though, domesticated house cats are very social, like to be involved in what you're doing, and love to be around people and other animals.
I got really lucky because I swear Dobey is the most extra and loving cat in the world. Back in 2016 when I was looking to adopt, he literally leaped out of the cage and into my arms when the Petsmart associate open the door. To this day, whenever one of us gets home, all he wants is to snuggle and be held, no matter what we're doing.
While our other cat Ember hates being picked up, she also loves to snuggle and be around us all the time. Every morning during my yoga time, she lays on the mat next to me and tries to snuggle while I'm struggling through various poses. It's adorable, hilarious and slightly obnoxious because she'll just adjust whenever I move and sometimes she ends up being in the way. I love it though.
You Don't Have to Groom Them.
Cats are self cleaning. Now granted, Dobey used to get baths once a week back when I first got him, but that was because he used to throw up on himself all the time due to his separation anxiety. Now that we have Ember, we've only given them a bath twice and the first time was because Dobey got stuck behind the water heater and the second was because Ember jumped onto a wet paint canvas.
For the majority of the time though, they clean themselves. I will admit that they shed everywhere, but we don't have to take them to groomers to get their hair cut (which I've heard is expensive) and we own a vacuum so I'm not too pressed about it.
Cats Don't Make a Lot of Noise.
Ember is our chatty cat and will meow as she walks around the house, but her meow isn't very loud. The most noise I ever hear from both of the cats is when they're playing and chasing each other around the house. Unless you get the one cat that howls all the time, you will never have to worry about getting a noise complaint while owning a cat. You'll get one for your dog barking or for playing music/the tv too loud before you'll get one for your cat.
Cats are Great with Kids!
I know what you're thinking, dogs are better family pets because you can play with them. Ummm... You can play with cats too. It's actually hilarious to play with a cat. As long as you teach your children to respect your pet's boundaries, your cats won't have any issues with them.
I'm one of eight and whenever my younger sisters come over to my house, I show them where the cat toys are, warn them not to pick Ember up, and then I leave them alone. They always get along great and have a wonderful time playing together. If anything, I think my cats like my younger sisters more than me because they give them more attention.
They're Freaking Adorable.
Like have you ever looked at their feet? Or their teeth? Or their little ears? They're literally the most precious things on the planet. I want to cry whenever I see a sleeping kitty because they're so adorable. Why do you think that cat videos and cat memes are the basis of the modern internet? Does Grumpy Cat ring a bell? Adorable because she was so grumpy. Have you heard of Lil Bub? The toothless dwarf cat? She's so teeny and stubby and a baby and I love her. I could give you a million more examples, but we'd be here until the end of the world. Just go to Instagram and look for cat accounts; you won't be sorry you did.
If I haven't convinced you by now, I don't know what else to tell you. Cats are great for all sorts of people: the working class, the family, college kids, and more. They're little tiny balls of fluff who just want to be loved and there are so many of them that need homes; so if you're looking for a pet, maybe consider a fluffy feline. Just make sure you introduce me to them. My life goal is to pet all the kitties.
Take a shot to the cats lost (RIP Grumpy cat and Lil Bub) and toast to the cats adopted