So here’s the deal. I love my dogs. Like, LOOOOOVE them. Kind of to the point of being obsessive. I mean, I even write a blog from the point-of-view of one of my dogs. If that doesn’t say “crazy dog person,” I don’t know what does.
However, I started out my life as a cat person, and at heart, I’m still one. I think my husband is, too. In fact, we were a cats-only home for the first decade of our marriage. Adopting a dog seemed like such a huge responsibility and we wanted to make sure we were ready.
We finally took the plunge not once but twice, and we’re glad we did. Our family is now proudly bi-petual, with two dogs and two cats on our bed and in our hearts. Our dogs, Mayzie and Ranger, have enriched our world in so many wonderful ways and I can’t imagine our lives without them.
Even so, when someone who’s never had a pet tells me they’re thinking about adopting a dog, I find myself steering them towards a cat instead. Because, let’s face it, cats are just … easier.
Oh, I’m sure there will be devoted dog people who claim this isn’t true. But having had both, I’m convinced it is. Dogs are like having perpetual three-year-olds in the house. They require so much attention. Cats are more like self-sufficient, (mostly) responsible teenagers who will let you know when they need something and never ask to borrow the car keys.
Not convinced? Here are a five things that were way easier in my cats-only days:
Sure, I know there are some cats who want a bite of whatever you have. And there are some dogs who lie politely in the corner during dinner. Neither of those live in our house.
Now, our dogs aren’t so bold as to steal something directly from our plates. No, it’s much more insidious than that. They have perfected the look that says, “If you really, really loved me, you would share your nommalicious pizza bones with me. Because if I had pizza bones and you didn’t have any, I would totally share with you. That’s how much I love you. I wish you loved me that much.”
Our cats, meanwhile, lie peacefully on their window perches, seemingly oblivious to the nommaliciousness of pizza bones.
Pre-dog, my husband and I traveled a lot more than we do now. Gone all day? Quick overnight trip? No problem. We just made sure the litter box was clean, put out plenty of food, and off we went!
Now if we want to leave the house for more than six hours at a time, it means either taking the dogs with us or lining up a dog walker. And those spontaneous out-of-town trips? Those are a thing of the past, because going away overnight requires booking with our sitter weeks in advance. Having a dog involves a shocking amount of planning.
Okay, granted, I’ve never really done a lot of this. But the point is, if you want to spend the day on your couch watching Sleepless in Seattle, cats will let you do that. In fact, they encourage it. Dogs, not so much. There’s this thing called a “walk” that they seem really, really devoted to. Sure, some dogs may be content to lie on the couch all day, but not mine. Nope. When their internal Walk Clock goes off, there’s no convincing them that sappy romantic comedies are worth staying in for.
Back when we had only cats, I loved Independence Day. We’d get together with family and friends, cook out, watch the fireworks, maybe shoot off a few of our own. Not anymore. Because of our dog Ranger’s fireworks phobia, the day is spent getting ready for the evening’s onslaught of pops, bangs, and booms. Rescue Remedy on hand? Check. All windows closed? Check. Every fan in the house on high? Check. TV and CD player going at the same time? Check. It’s more like preparing for a zombie apocalypse than a joyous celebration of the birth of our country.
You know what dogs do when someone walks onto your front porch and rings the doorbell? They utterly and completely lose their ever-loving minds.
Dogs: GAH! Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Evil guy dressed all in brown leaving suspicious package on porch! Mayday! Mayday! But don’t worry! I’m going to yell my head off until he goes away! Emergency! Emergency! Emergency!
You know what cats do when someone rings the doorbell? Absolutely nothing.
Of course, to be fair, there are things that are easier with dogs than cats. Car rides, for one. Reading a newspaper, for another. Plus, I’ve never yet had my dogs plant themselves directly in front of my computer screen while I’m working.
So don’t worry, dog people. I’m not saying cats are better than dogs. They both have their own special traits and virtues. And I feel lucky to have a couple of each species in my life. But no matter how obsessed I am with my dogs, when it comes to the “ease of use” category, it’s kitties for the win!
Your turn: Do you think cats are easier than dogs? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments.
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About the Author: Amber Carlton is a freelance pet industry marketing copywriter and content specialist for hire who also acts as interpreter and typist for her dog’s musings at Mayzie’s Dog Blog. She shares life with her husband, two dogs and two cats (all rescues except for the husband). Connect with Amber at her business website, Comma Hound, or on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.