In the war of cats vs dogs, I used to be firmly on the side of man’s best friend. I grew up with hamsters, rabbits and birds (as well as dogs) so I wasn’t particularly keen on cats, which seemed hellbent on killing all of those animals.
In my twenties, I took in a stray cat and crossed to the feline side. I’m now a cat person, and quite obsessively so. I keep my cats indoors because, well, cats can still be bastards whether you love them or not.
But what about everything else? Do they play better, do they cost less and are they easier to keep? In other words, which is better?
Cat Bites vs Dog Bites
There are may more dog bites than cat bites. Feral dogs are more likely to attack, while cats are more likely to go about their business and leave you alone. In New York, more than 70% of all animal bites were from dogs, with just 17% from cats (I know what you’re thinking, that doesn’t add up, but apparently there are other animals. Who knew). There are even dog bite law firms out there, whose main purpose is to help you sue the owners when their canines take a chunk out of your flesh.
However, a cat bite is considerably more likely to trigger a bacterial infection. They may not look as bad or be as bloody, and they are certainly not capable of killing you directly from wounding like a dog bite is. But as far as bacteria goes, you’re much more likely to get an infection from a cat bite.
In terms of short-term damage and sheer number of cases, this is an area in which dogs are worse, so it’s 1-0 for felines.
Cats 1-0 Dogs
Cats vs Dogs: Play
A cat owner that tells you that cats don’t play and don’t need to play, is not a very good cat owner and needs to be reported to Jackson Galaxy, the Cat Daddy (and a personal hero of mine). Cats do need to play, they just don’t play as much as dogs. They also don’t play fetch or play frisbee and their play revolves around following a teaser toy as you amuse yourself over how high they can jump.
In terms of pet ownership, cats are much easier in this regard. It takes just 30 minutes a day of play to keep them content and it can be done indoors. Most dogs require daily exercise outdoors, and while it doesn’t need to be long, it’s still not as easy.
This is a win for cats. Also, there are cats out there that will happily play fetch. My inspiration for writing this article came when my cat harassed me. He tried to get me to go upstairs and then, when his tactics failed, he went and got his toy from upstairs, brought it to me and then dropped it before me with an expectant look on his face.
He clearly thinks he’s a dog and I don’t have the heart to tell him otherwise.
Cats 2-0 Dogs
Cats vs Dogs: Loyalty
Cat owners will tell you that a cat’s attention is harder to win and therefore more valuable. I agree, in a way, but I also know that most cats just require a little attention, a few “cat kisses” and a treat or two, and they’re your best friends.
Also, when it comes to sheer loyalty, you just can’t beat dogs. Cats have a tendency to use their owners. You’re there to do their bidding. They will only come to you for cuddles when they want it. They will wake you up if they want to eat and they’ll claw you/run away if you annoy them. With dogs, you have a furry mound of unconditional love by your side at all times.
Cats 2-1 Dogs
Cats vs Dogs: Toilet Needs
A dog needs a garden at the least and a walk at the most to do its business. If you have ever dragged yourself out of bed on a cold Sunday morning to stare at your dog and secretly curse him as he sniffs every lamppost and refuses to drop his ass, then you’ll know why I’m giving this to cats.
Litter boxes can be messy, but they don’t have to be. Get yourself a device like the Litter Locker to trap the smell and the process is quick and easy. You’ll never complain again.
You can trust a dog to be good with kids, to not lash out when it’s annoyed and to generally do as it’s told. Many cats are of the same mentality, but that doesn’t apply to all of them, even the timid ones. I have two cats who are incredibly soft and have never lashed out, bitten or done anything of the sort. But while one of them will happily let children try to play with him, the other will hide at the back of the house until he hears those annoying little people leave.
If you have kids, it’s much easier to keep a dog than a cat.
Cats 3-2 Dogs
Cats vs Dogs: Cost
I love my cats, but like I mentioned at the outset of this article, I wasn’t always a cat person. My partner convinced me to rescue cats of our own and one of the ways she did this was to promise they wouldn’t cost much. “They just need a little food and a few toys,” she told me.
Two week later I had spent over £500 on everything from cat trees and specialty food, to microchips, teaser toys, electronic toys, beds and god knows what else. Several grand later I’m convinced that our cats have more toys than I had throughout the entirety of my childhood.
Still, the same can be said for dogs and when you focus just on the basics, they both cost the same amount to keep. This is something I have discussed at length on Can Pets Eat website, which is devoted to answering questions about pet nutrition.
Cats 4-3 Dogs
Cats vs Dogs – The Winner: Cats
Okay, so this probably wasn’t a fair competition. The truth is, it’s just not that simple. What’s better for me, might not be ideal for you. I’m a workaholic writer with no social life who lives in a very cold and murky part of the world. For me, the lazy, laid-back nature of cats is perfect, while a dog would just be too difficult to keep.
If you’re in a big family, you work outdoors, you regularly go on walks and jogs (why?) then a dog may be a better fit.
In other words, everything I said above was pointless. But it does help to stroke the egos of cats and their servants/owners.