Which makes the better pet, dogs or cats? There are few questions that polarise the opinions of animal lovers more than this one! It is the age old question, and one for which there is no simple answer, or one size fits all solution for everyone!
That being said, those who love dogs will often argue hard that dogs make vastly superior pets, for a great many reasons! In this article we will run down for you the ten most commonly stated reasons behind why dogs are better than cats... That’ll put the cat amongst the pigeons!
For the feline enthusiasts out there, don’t despair... We will also put the other side of the argument in another article, why cats are better than dogs!
While it is certainly true that you can play with cats, nothing matches the sheer enthusiasm and love of play of the dog! Indoors or outdoors, dogs are always ready for a game, and can keep both children and adults entertained for hours with their shenanigans. Dogs can play interactive games with you, such as catching a ball and bringing it back to you, and even play sports with you, such as agility and heelwork to music. Beat that, cats!
Many dog owners baulk at the idea of having their pet going to the toilet in the home, and dogs certainly don’t use litter boxes! Dogs go to the toilet outside, and while you do of course have to clear up after them, you do not have to put up with the presence of your pet’s toilet and associated deposits within the home.
While both dogs and cats thrive on routine and do not like uncertainty or upset, dogs are much more adaptable than cats, and will generally bond to their owner rather than to a specific place. This means that your dog is likely to be happy wherever you are, and will handle moving home and other changes with a philosophical approach. You can even take your dog away on holiday with you if you choose to, and know that they will enjoy it rather than finding it stressful!
While few things can beat the sheer rage of an angry cat, cats are not generally protective or defensive of their people, and are more likely to run off and hide if you are threatened than step in! Dogs of all breeds, on the other hand, feel a protective duty to their owners, and once you are a part of their pack, will protect you and defend you against perceived threats to your safety. Good boy!
Cats generally bond closely with whoever feeds them and gives them the things that they enjoy, and will think nothing of moving in with someone else who provides for their needs in a way that they prefer if you displease them!
Dogs, however, bond to their people on their own merits, and will stick by you through thick and thin, without trying to trade you in for a new owner if things do not go their way!
Even gently walking with your dog will help to improve your general health and keep you fit and active, plus give you the chance to go outside without fail, every day. You might not always love the idea of walkies when it is freezing cold and raining, but you will reap the benefits in the long run!
Cats can be trained to some extent, but can they retrieve toys, work their way around an agility course, sit, stay and return to you on command, and do tricks? Nope! Well, not in the vast majority of cases, anyway. Dogs can be trained to follow your wishes and learn what you want from them, and comply reliably.
Dogs have a long history of working side by side with people, in a whole range of roles including guarding, hunting, police work, assisting people with special needs, and livestock management. Have you ever seen a cat rounding up sheep? Nope!
From the tiny Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane, there is a dog to suit everyone. While there are of course also hundreds of breeds of cats, they are all fairly similar at glance in terms of size, build and general appearance. Not so with dogs! There really is a dog to suit every owner.
Dogs are of course widely referred to as "man’s (and woman’s!) best friend," and for good reason. Dogs are loving, loyal, protective, friendly, caring, trustworthy and useful. Dogs have lived side by side with people for millennia, and shaped the course of human evolution and industry in a way that few other animals have even come close to.
Cats, meanwhile, slept through everything.