I think dogs can make wonderful pets. They're affectionate, intensely loyal, and can serve in a variety of roles -- whether it's to guard one's house, sniff out drugs, or assist the blind.
The reasons why I'm partial to cats, however, are many:
- I've never had a dog in my life. I have had three cats, though.
- They're less work -- you don't have to bathe them, take them for walks, or clean after them like you do dogs. I love the fact that cats are so hygienic; give them a litter box and they're good to go.
- Dogs tend to be more energetic than cats. As someone who is generally calm and enjoys a leisurely pace, cats seem to fit my temperament better.
- Dogs make more of a mess around the house. They bring dirt into the house and leave slobbered toys behind.
- They're less expensive, not only when it comes to buying the actual pet, but feeding it, giving it toys to play with, and so on.
- Cats don't bark. At my pet-friendly condominium complex, dogs on balconies or patios regularly engage in barking matches that can go on for an hour, if not more. I like the fact that cats are quieter and less disruptive in this regard.
- Whereas dogs are needy, cats are far more independent. A cat might meow when it's hungry, but once finished, it'll go about its business. Many people see this as being cold or self-absorbed, but I much prefer such behavior to a dog that won't stop licking your face no matter how many times you tell it to stop. Indeed, one has to earn a cat's affection, and I don't mind stepping up to the challenge.
- Studies show that cats can lower stress, reduce anxiety, and relieve depression.
- While dogs are generally considered more affectionate than cats, you'd be surprised at just how loving some cats can be.
In the end, it's different strokes for different folks. If you don't mind the fact that dogs require more maintenance, then maybe it's the pet for you. I like to simplify my life in as many ways as I can -- which is precisely why a cat would suit me better.
Do you have any pets? Which of the two do you prefer, and why?
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