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Move Over, Dogs: Man's True and Rightful Best Friend Is a Cat

Dogs are the girlfriends of the pet world who interrupt you while you’re watching the football game and want to talk about “the relationship."

 |  Mar 19th 2012  |   4 Contributions


Cats are much better suited for the job of being a guy’s best buddy – especially guys who want animal companionship without intense emotional commitment.

While I love dogs, the fact of the matter is they’re needy and high-maintenance and constantly demand long walks on the beach. If you’re a guy reading this, imagine those were words you’d use to describe someone you’re dating. Your buddies would tell you to break up with her as soon as possible.

Yes, gents: Dogs are the girlfriends of the pet world who interrupt you while you’re watching the football game and want to talk about “the relationship." Face it, dog owners -- you’re puppy-whipped.

Now let’s consider a cat’s profile. She’s independent, laid-back, and likes to sleep a lot. In dating terms, your cat is the cool girlfriend who doesn’t complain when you sleep in until noon with a hangover and then spend the rest of the day in your pajamas playing online poker.

 What makes cats so awesome is that they’re great at just kicking back and hanging out. There’s no kicking back with a dog when you’re at home. At least, there’s no hanging out of the guilt-free variety. You play Angry Birds on your iPad and the dog sits and looks at you with sad eyes that say, “Why don’t you love me? You used to take me for long walks at the park.”

In contrast, here’s a typical interaction between me and my 5-year-old Siamese mix, Kitten:

Will stumbles out of bed from his afternoon nap and finds Kitten already napping on the couch. Will plops down and Kitten’s eyes crack open. He  yawns and gives a 'sup? look. Then he pulls himself up and makes the one-foot journey to Will’s lap. Will clicks on the TV and watches the Giants game. That state of affairs lasts for about an hour until Kitten jumps down from the couch and stands by the door and meows. Will lets Kitten out and returns to the couch.

And that’s it. Kitten is off doing his own thing and I’m doing nothing -- without feeling guilty for not playing with my pet.

The weird thing is the traits I believe make cats temperamentally better matches for guys than dogs –- their independence and emotional detachment -- make them less appealing to men. When it comes to pets, guys want unquestioning devotion and loyalty. You’re just not going to get those things from a cat; no one is a cat’s master.

This reminds me of a funny scene from Meet the Parents where Robert DeNiro’s character Jack Byrnes, a cat aficionado, scoffs at Greg Focker’s preference for dogs because they’re happy to see you when you come home.

“You need that assurance, do you?” Byrnes asks. “You prefer an emotionally shallow animal? … You see, Greg, when you yell at a dog, his tail will go between his legs and cover his genitals, his ears will go down. A dog is very easy to break, but cats make you work for their affection. They don't sell out the way dogs do.”

This is an over-the-top take on the difference between dogs and cats, but there’s a kernel of truth in it. Cats are often aloof and they do make you work for their affection. I think a lot of men are threatened by cats’ independent natures. But I’m here to tell you, fellas: Don’t be intimidated. An independent pet -- like an independent woman -- is to be appreciated and respected.

So you guys out there who prefer dogs, think about that -- think about your aversion to cats next time you’re picking up Fido’s still-warm poop with a plastic baggie while walking him in the park.

Photo credits: Kitten and Will by Annika Dukes; cat and dog via Shutterstock.com

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