3 Top Reasons Why Cats Are Better Pets Than Dogs

It may be a tough decision to choose between a cat and a dog for a pet. Both of them are furry and cuddly however, they are two very different creatures. Cats have adorable traits such as the way they care for themselves, how they manage to stay clean and their cute antics that make them a wonderful family pet.

Cats do not Occupy a Lot of Space

People who have a golden retriever or even a small dog as a pet are familiar with the amount of space they take up in bed. No matter what their size is, they love to stretch out into other’s personal space, the room where they play and exercise and their belongings(like dog bed/toys) therefore they should have a spacious place to be happy and healthy.

On the other hand, cats do not need much space to survive. It should just be enough to accommodate their essentials like litter boxes (one box for every cat and an extra one) plus food and water dishes, all of which will ensure kitty’s happiness.

It is More Affordable to Own a Cat.

During their lifetimes, taking care of cats is less costly than dogs. There are some breeds of cats that are quite expensive but when it comes to adoption fees, kittens and cats are much more affordable than puppies or dogs, especially during kitten seasons or when there are lots of kittens in the shelter. There are shelters that either waive their fees or offer two kittens for the price of one.

There are a lot of expenses to take into consideration when owning a pet, including supplies and caretakers, among others. Since dogs tend to damage their toys, the materials they are made with should be tougher (which are a lot more expensive) or need to be replaced every now and then. Toys for cats are comparatively cheap when bought in stores but cheaper (as well as easy) to DIY.

Dogs need lots of exercise as this is crucial to their health however, walking the dog twice or thrice a day can be difficult when its owner has a full-time job. On the average, a dog walker costs $15 to $20 per 20 minute walk and come to think of it, costs can add up right away. On the contrary, cats are easily contented with napping, lounging and playing even when they are alone at home while their human parent is working. Two kitties left alone are even better since they will never get bored.

Cats are Easily Contended when Indoors.

To stay happy and healthy, dogs need plenty of exercise, long walks and lots of time outdoors. It is nearly impossible for them to live solely indoors. However, this can be challenging when dog owners have limited mobility, do not have a yard or their house is not accessible to parks.

Cats are much safer when they stay indoors and easily contended when lying beside a window or curled up in the sunny part of the couch. The window just needs to opened a little to let some fresh air inside (but not too wide for the cat to flee). These will allow cats to be very happy as they watch birds as well as bugs the whole day.

Do Cats Need Winter Boots?

It snowed last night for the first time this year in my area of Southern Ontario and it got me to thinking about boots,winter coats and the three kitties that call my place home.

“Get me some proper boots and you won’t lack for fur caps , nor for decent meals, nor for anything else” said the puss in boots to the son. When I think of “the puss in boots” from my childhood, I remember all the favorite reading times, and imagining that cat in boots. At the time it seemed strange to think of a cat in boots, but today with all the new and cute pet clothes available the thought is not that strange. There are actually boots for cats and pet owners are using them, but if you are thinking of purchasing them, then you should proceed with caution.

Pet clothes, including pet clothes for cats is becoming quite popular, and a number of different pet stores and pet accessory shops offer different types of clothing including in some cases, winter boots for cats.

The question is does your cat need winter boots? Well, if you live in cold climates and your cat goes outside, he may be able to benefit from winter boots. The problem is that cats have such an independent nature, and their claws are so much a part of the way they sense things that it may be difficult to get the cat to become accustomed to the winter boots.

As pets get older and that includes cats, they need extra help in keeping warm, especially if the cat goes outdoors. As they age when they go out on long jaunts their body temperature may start to drop when they come back in and start to cool down, so winter boots may be a temporary option until the cat warms up again.

There are certain pros and cons to having cats wear winter boots. It’s true that when there is snow and ice outside, your pets paws can freeze and the snow can pack in between it’s toes, and if there is salt out on the driveways then he can track that salt into the house and onto your carpets. But if you use winter boots on a cat and let him go outside unsupervised you are also taking away his defenses, because a cat uses his claws to defend himself against other animals, and when he has boots on, well, he just isn’t able to use those claws as well.

Cat boots can be used as a decorative style or as a way to warm his paws up when he comes back inside, but it’s probably not such a good idea to let him out on his own with cat boots on.

The pet clothing fashions are cute and can be used on cats. There are little sweaters and boots available, but should probably be enjoyed at home, and left off if your cat goes outside. The best way to let your cat avoid getting cold is probably by keeping him inside where it’s warm and toasty. Most of the time the cat will sniff outside when it’s really cold and turn his back and decide to stay inside anyway.

Are Exotic Cats a Threat to Public Safety? Why Exotic Pets Are Not Dangerous

I would like to address some of the statements I have found on the web and in proposed ban bills portraying servals and other small wild felines as unpredictable and dangerous creatures. This is a clear case of “what you don’t know you will fear.” First of all, I would like to clarify for everyone that we are talking about tame, hand-raised pets bred in the United States. It’s not like you take a trip to Africa, rope yourself a serval, and drag it home hissing and spitting!

In his best-selling book Fear Less, security and threat analysis expert Gavin de Becker writes “Unfortunately, when it comes to security, the American way has often been to implement procedures that are more relevant to assuaging public anxiety than they are to reducing risk.” Ban laws are a prime example of an action that may ease anxiety, but fail to make the nation safer.

By saying that tame wild cats are “extremely unpredictable and dangerous creatures,” people show their lack of understanding of animal behavior. These statements are wild exaggerations of the reality. Even wild animals in-situ (i.e. roaming untamed in the wilderness) do not behave in a dangerous, unpredictable fashion. Every animal has species-specific behavior patterns. These behaviors can be learned and understood by the owners of such animals in captivity, especially since they are very similar to the behaviors of a domestic cat.

These behaviors are not greatly different from domesticated animals. For example, the pattern of naturally occurring behaviors in wolves and domestic dogs is virtually identical. A poorly socialized domestic dog with a careless or un-informed owner can be far more “dangerous” than a serval or a caracal.

Our society’s standard for a safe and lovable pet predator seems to be the domestic dog. However, even man’s self-proclaimed best friend has been known to injure and sometimes kill us. Statistics suggest that between 2 and five million dog bites occur yearly. In fact, during the five-year period between 1989 and 1994, domestic dogs killed 45 children. Why doesn’t this sad figure shock us more deeply?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that during a similar length of time, an estimated 4,605 children were killed by humans (Lindsay, Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training). Approximately 5 children lose their lives every day due to maltreatment and child abuse homicide (U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995).

To further put this in perspective, we must now consider the fact that even with the enormous number of dog bites each year and the number of fatalities due to dog bites, a child is statistically safer in the presence of the average pet dog than with its own family! The number of children murdered each year by their own parents and guardians overwhelmingly overshadows the number of people killed by dogs. We ourselves are the most dangerous and unpredictable animal on the planet.

Am I saying that servals and other exotic cats are not dangerous? No, if we define “dangerous” as having the potential to cause injury to a human being. Every animal can be dangerous, and every human can be dangerous. One thing I teach my dog behavior clients is that all dogs have the potential to bite. They will show aggression if placed in the wrong situation, just as even the most benevolent of humans will react with violence when sufficiently provoked.

However, these cats are certainly no more inherently dangerous than a domestic dog of comparable size. In fact, they are probably safer than domestic dogs; there has never been a report of a serval killing a human being, and their owners are generally very responsible about keeping them controlled.

Whether a dog, a person, or an exotic cat eventually injures someone depends on an uncertain balance of genetics, temperament, environment, and the unique circumstances they find themselves in.

Horseback riding is an example of a far more hazardous animal-related activity. In fact, many stables and equine event centers post signs informing patrons that participation in equine activities is inherently dangerous. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 1218 people died while riding an animal between 1983 and 1994.

Horses have been known to viciously attack and kill their handlers and even people entering their pastures. A single kick from a horse can cause serious injuries or death. Horses are so powerful that even the strongest person stands no chance of restraining one if it is determined to break loose. When frightened, they flee and can easily trample one to death. Yet, horseback riding remains a popular youth sport.

Why doesn’t the neighbor’s 1200 pound horse or his Great Dane inspire as much fear as his cougar? I think two factors are involved: fear of the unknown and fear of predators. One of man’s most primal fears is that of being eaten by a wild animal, of being the hunted rather than the hunter. Police canine units are so effective in subduing violent individuals that officers report that criminals are often more afraid of a dog than a gun. Offenders are more willing to risk death than a non-fatal bite from a German Shepherd.

Horses and dogs are deeply familiar to us; we’ve lived with them for centuries, watched them on TV, read cute and fuzzy stories about them, and associate them with companionship and service. When one happens to attack or kill us, we see it as an anomaly.

We know little of exotic cats through direct experience; for most of us, exposure is limited to nature programs emphasizing their killing power and the occasional sensational news article announcing the mauling of some hapless zoo employee. When you think about it, it comes as no surprise that we develop a disporportionate fear of these animals.

The text of a failed Oregon ban bill stated “It is almost impossible for an exotic animal to adapt to traditional household settings” and that “Exotic animals are by nature wild and dangerous and do not adjust well to captivity.” These statements are both contradicted by the many thousands of examples of exotic companion animals living healthy, happy lives with Americans nationwide.

I would challenge anyone who truly believes those words to observe my serval Sirocco as he greets me with ecstatic purring and rubs against my legs when I come home from work, and then to watch him curl up beside me purring and licking my face as we watch a movie together. This is not rare; in fact it is typical of the experiences of the majority of exotic cat owners. This cat is as much a member of my family as the domestic dogs and cats you yourself may have lived with and loved.

The failed Oregon HB 3065 stated, “This 2003 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, an emergency is declared to exist.” There is no emergency. Try to find any evidence of a public health or safety crisis being caused by the ownership of exotic animals. I assure you that you will find none. The number of people in the general public killed by escaped exotic cats in the past decade, across the entire United States, is believed to be zero. This includes not only small felines like servals, caracals, and bobcats but also lions, tigers, and cougars.

Now turn your attention to how much death and destruction has been caused by drunken drivers, parole violators, shoddy building contractors and even catholic priests. Shouldn’t we as a country focus our efforts on legitimate public safety threats, rather than discriminating against the safe and legitimate activities of the citizens?

These bills are redundant. There are already laws in place providing for the criminal prosecution of those whose actions (and the actions of their animals) recklessly endanger the public. Our civil system is already a more than adequate means to punish those whose animals harm or otherwise disturb members of the public and to provide restitution to those who have been harmed. The extremely low number of incidents involving exotic animals proves the effectiveness of these current laws.

This article may be reprinted in its entirety only. Permission is not granted to reproduce in edited form or to support the ending of exotic pet ownership.