The “cats versus dogs” debate is an argument as old as the world. Rarely will you find someone who enjoys both equally. Dogs are very passionate about their puppies and cats are very passionate about their felines. However, sometimes it feels like cats are a minority in a predominantly dog-loving world. And when things pop up like a 2017 study in the newspaper Society & Animals This shows that human parents feel more empathy for puppies than for babies, it’s hard to say that dogs haven’t won the cat versus dog debate… But, have they? Cats, as anyone who has one will tell you, is better than dogs in every way imaginable. They are softer, gentler and smarter. They are quieter and cleaner. They have mastered both the art of sluggishness and skillful (rodent) hunting. Plus, once upon a time, we revered them as gods. And all of this isn’t just a cat lover’s opinion – there’s science and data to back it up. Yes, you may have heard that dogs are man’s best friend, but here are all the reasons why cats make much better friends.
The next time someone asks you to defend why cats are better than dogs, throw them this fun little fact: cats are smarter than dogs. According to a 2017 study published in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, self-identified cat lovers tended to have higher intelligence than dog lovers. (We’re less outgoing, though.)
As a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University revealed in 2010, cats drink water far more efficiently than dogs. When a cat drinks, its tongue does not pierce the surface of the water; it forms a funnel that lifts water for a splash-free drink, reaching four revolutions per second. A dog, on the other hand, will smash its tongue into the bowl of water like a cannonball. It’s scientific proof that cats rule and dogs drool, literally.
According to the Animal Humane Society, average adoption fees for kittens and cats start at $32 and can go up to $270. For dogs and puppies, however, fees start at $115 but go up to $660! Adopting a cat is simply more profitable.
Over the years, cats have gotten a bad reputation for being cold and aloof. “They only love you because you feed them,” dog owners often tell cat owners. There’s also the lingering rumor that if you died, a cat wouldn’t care at all and would, in fact, eat your deceased remains to survive. But research indicates that all that thinking is just plain hooey. According to a 2017 study in Behavioral processes, cats prefer human interaction over all other stimuli, including food, toys, and catnip. Can you say the same for dogs? We think not.
Dogs, it often seems, love everyone. Cats, on the other hand, are more aloof when meeting someone new. (Centuries of domestic life still can’t eliminate the innate caution of a stealthy predator, it seems.) When a dog showers you with affection, it can be nice, but you know everyone gets the same treatment. However, when a cat approaches you, you feel special and unique, as if you deserved it. And, as we just learned behavioral Process study, no, it’s not just because of the food.
On average, Pets WebMD states that a domestic cat typically weighs around 10 pounds. Dogs, of course, have more variables — there are hundreds of different breeds — but the American Kennel Club counts a medium-sized dog, on average, at around 50 pounds. As for who takes up the most of your well-deserved space, it’s not rocket science.
Need another big reason why cats are better than dogs? They live much longer. In fact, Pet WebMD states that a domestic cat will live an average of 10 to 15 years. Dogs, on the other hand? Depending on size, eight to 11.
If you want to evoke instant repulsion, just think of the words “wet” and “dog.” You know exactly what an odious smell I speak of, and you know as well that few things shock the olfactory nerves so much as the smell of a wet dog. Cats never stink like that.
Fact: Animals are the cutest when they’re sleeping soundly. And cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day, which means you have more than half of your waking hours to take serious photos. Oh– inducing Instagram photos. And, frankly, we should take note of this behavior because we could all sleep a few more hours every day.
Before judging a cat’s sleeping habits, know that these long hours are less due to laziness and more to evolutionary coding. Cats are natural predators; unlike other mammals, which may have foraged for food, felines had to hunt, which meant spending large parts of the day sleeping, saving energy to hunt for their next meal. This is also why much of this 12-16 hour period is spent in light sleep. Before domesticity came into play, felines had to sleep lightly, in case prey – or a more dangerous predator – walked into their territory. (That’s also why we call a “nap” a siesta.)
Their centuries-old history of hunting has continued to the present day. According to a 2013 study published in Biological conservationdomestic house cats are responsible for the death of 2.9 billion rodents and birds every year. That’s all to say: your cat is basically a terminator with fur, and we’d be overrun by rodents if it weren’t for their valiant efforts to regulate the vermin population.
You can assume that all this wanton death is having a negative impact on the environment, but the ecosystems are fine-tuned now. In fact, they are not cats but dogs which are not so good for the planet. According to a study conducted by New Zealand researchers in 2009, dogs have about 2.1 times the environmental impact of an SUV. Talk about a serious carbon paw print!
Whenever dogs need to relieve themselves, you should take them outside. Yes, you can train them to only need them at certain times of the day, but it’s still a pain. Cats will simply take care of a litter box of their own accord. A cat and its owner stay out of each other’s toilets most of the time, and that really is one of the most adorable reasons why cats are better than dogs.
It’s not just a Meet the parents script. It’s a true story. However, you will need to start training early, when they are around three or four months old.
Cats don’t need regular grooming sessions like dogs. A cat’s tongue is barbed in a way that removes dirt and grime from fur with surprising efficiency. Cats literally lick themselves clean, another practical reason why they are better than dogs.
As early as 3000 BCE, felines were worshiped as deities. The Egyptian goddess Bastet, of war, protection or the moon according to the dynasties, is among the first. Her sister in folklore, Sekhmet, the warrior goddess of healing or hunting (again, depending on the dynasty), is said to have brought Egypt into being with her breath. Oh, and there’s also a little thing you might have heard of called The Sphinx.
But cat worship is not relegated to ancient Egyptian culture. There is also Dawon, the sacred Hindu tigress; Barong Ket, the Balinese “king of spirits”; and the whole pantheon of jaguar gods from the pre-Columbian Maya era. In other words: your cat may be descended from a deity. Whether or not you believe in that stuff, though, it can’t hurt to treat the little guy as such.