In Defense of Cats
Image Source: Photographize
It has come to my attention that there are some in our midst that think dogs are better than cats. Or, at least, that dog owners are less neurotic than cat owners. While the latter might be true, I can tell you that the former most certainly is not! I’m sure you all remember that scene at the beginning of 101 Dalmations where you can see in animated form that pets are just the four-legged reflection of their owners (or maybe it’s the other way around, but that’s more of a chicken and egg situation). Let us keep that in mind and use it as a lens through which we read this recent study that claims dog owners are happier than cat owners.
The truth is, there are definitely personality differences between people who have dogs, and those who have cats. While studies do show that cat owners tend to be more neurotic than dog owners, they also show that cat owners are more open, have a greater appreciation for art, hold more unconventional beliefs, show greater imagination and curiosity and are very independent. Dog people, on the other hand, tend to have more conventional beliefs, they tend to be more extroverted, trusting and show more dominating traits. This is all not very surprising when you look at the behaviors of the animals themselves. Dogs require you to take them outside multiple times a day, really enjoy licking people’s faces and have a pack mentality. Cats, however, are fine if you leave them home alone for a day or three, often prefer to sit at a distance with a look that seems to say, “Don’t think it has escaped my notice that you’re on your second glass of wine. It’s Wednesday,” and they poop in a litter box (which is pretty similar to a toilet, if you catch the comparison I am trying to make).
The largest takeaway from all these studies on cats and dogs is that, like the animals themselves, while dog owners tend to be more outgoing and happy, cat owners score higher on intelligence. Maybe that is because they spend more time cultivating their love of art and imaginative ideas than walking their self-sufficient feline friends. Maybe dog owners are happier because their pets show them unconditional love ALL THE TIME. Cats, on the other hand, make you work for it and let you know if you’re not working hard enough (lest you forget they were worshiped as gods for thousands of years in some parts of the world) by eating all your house plants then vomiting them up on your new carpet. Ernest Hemingway said it best, after all: “A cat has absolute emotional honesty,” and I’d take that any day over blind trust and affection. As for happiness, I am perfectly happy to sit at home, alone, with my cat and have a judgmental staring contest.
Posted by Catherine