Dogs Are Better Than Cats: Research (and Anecdote) Prove It!

November 12, 2018 0 Comments

Dogs Are Better Than Cats: Research (and Anecdote) Prove It!

Research has found that owning a dog has positive effects on blood pressure, even helping boost our immune systems. (When I speak of owning, I mean that in the sense of sharing time with it, not leaving it in your backyard all day long to bark at imaginary squirrels.)

Studies have shown that dogs can relieve stress for college students, the recently dumped, veterans, prison inmates, and disaster victims, just to name a few.

Apparently, cats cannot provide these same physiological benefits. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Most cat owners sleep with one eye open, believing, rightly so, that cats will sneak up on them at night and suffocate them or bite off their noses. Some nervous cat owners have to lock their bedroom doors at night and put up with the scratching, mewing and chain-sawing at the door or window. Better to be safe than sorry.

Dogs do funny things that make us guffaw. They seem to be innately imbued with comedic tendencies. Even the staid looking ones, like Labradors, can surprise a dog owner with knee-slapping comic routines. Not so with cats. A cat owner might smile over some minor cat antic, but that cat owner realizes, in their heart of hearts, their pet will never be able to do stand up comedy. So, they settle for less and get their gut busting laughs from watching our Congress work together. 

I've read or heard numerous times (well, 5-6 times) a cat owner say, "My cat is so cute! She acts just like a dog!" Well, there you are. Only by mimicking the behaviors of a dog can a cat provide its owner with a few treasured jolly moments. But think about it: a cat in dog's clothing... kind of creepy sinister, eh?

Not a dog

My Beanie dressed up for Halloween as a Desperate Housewife

My sister's pup, Carmella. Totally relaxed.

Naughty and nice!

Dogs give back. It’s not all take, take, take. Cats are, frankly, a greedy, heartless bunch. Do something nice for a dog—believe me, it doesn’t have to involve a t-bone steak—and they’ll be all over you with love. In my case, I don’t even have to waste my money on expensive dog toys to get slavish affection; all I have to do is throw an empty plastic bottle or a sock on the floor. Cats expect you to bundle up in blustery, blizzardy weather and slip and slide off to the store to buy them overpriced, tiny stuffed mice on a string. And then, when you hand over the bribe, a cat will turn its back on you and act aggrieved, as though you bought the wrong color.

Cats hold grudges. That in itself is such an egregious character flaw that I wonder why anyone would ever own a cat. And, so, cat owners will neurotically watch everything they do to avoid offending their feline. Every action must be examined to excessive, mind-numbing analysis. Constantly minding one’s ‘p’s’ and ‘q’s’ is exhausting. This is why cat owners are noticed falling asleep at work or at the wheel of a car. And even when a cat owner believes he or she has finally atoned for whatever transgression he or she heaped upon the pet, they’ll still sleep with one eye open or the bedroom door locked. Dogs, however, believe strongly in the “forgive and forget” principle. Envious cat owners will say that dogs have the attention span of a drop of water on pavement in 100 degree heat. I look upon that slur as jealous rumor mongering.

A dog will enthusiastically greet you at the door, no matter how long you've been gone. Even if you’ve stepped outside for one minute to get the mail, when you walk back in, your dog is ecstatic, leaping 5 feet up to kiss your face. Try it. Step outside, count to ten, and walk back in. It’s as though you’ve come back from an extended European vacation! Try to even find your cat after you’ve come back from fetching the mail. Go ahead, try. And then check your slippers before you put them on, lest you find some nice little pungent surprise waiting to lodge itself between your toes.

You can take a dog with you in the car and arrive at your destination knowing that your car’s seat cushions will still be intact. Let a cat loose in your car, even for a short trip to buy it some smelly cat food, and you’ll come back to a vehicle that looks like a grizzly bear got trapped inside. Dogs transport easily. Trips with cats involve claws and long, bloody welts.

Dogs smile, cats leer. Dogs play, cats do those things mentioned in Sun Tzu’s Art of War. A dog’s paws are soft, little pink pillows. Cat’s paws are weapons—Satan’s meat forks.

Dogs have provided the world with an unending, vast repository of hilarious dog videos. Watching a cat video is as stimulating as watching dust balls under your sofa. Here’s just a sampling. I dare you not to laugh. 

Walter Geoffrey the French Bulldog (See it here)

Dancing Chihuahua 
(See it here)

Dog's Saying "I Love You" (See it here)

But, in the end, dog and cat owners get along. They have to. We live next door to each other, we work together, we play together, we cry together, and we have a lot of the same hopes and dreams. Some of us are just safer to sleep with.

Cat graphic courtesy of Vecteezy

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