Good To Know

There are more cats than dogs in the United States according to American Pet Products Association: 94 million cats and 90 million dogs. Cats rule for many reasons, including ease of care. Got cat? There’s lots you don’t need to deal with. Here are 12 examples:

Great for Couch Potatoes

Of course, dogs love to snuggle on the sofa, but they also require time outdoors on a leash. True enough, walking a cat on a leash and harness is an option some cats increasingly enjoy, and it may be enriching, but it’s not a daily requirement. Instead, with a cat, it’s all about shut eye, lazing in your favorite seat while kitty “makes bread” and purrs away in your lap.

Easy Potty Pickups

If you’re a responsible dog parent, plastic bags must go with you wherever you take your pup. There’s no such issue for cat parents, as scooping a litter box is only a room or two away.

Rain, Sleet and Snow — No Worries

In Northern cities, a winter coat for the dog might be a must and after slipping on your own boots, now comes the struggle to put on the dog booties (and there are four paws to deal with). If you’re lucky, the pup does his business fast while the snow is falling and the wind is blowing. Then there’s the rain. Even with a slicker on, you’ll be dealing with a stinky, wet dog. Dog parents deal with more inclement weather than postal carriers.

Too Cool for Drool

“What’s that rag you carry around?” The proud parent of a Mastiff answers, “To catch drool.” Some dog breeds may create enough slobber to drown a kitten. The very notion of shaking a head with drool flying every which way could even offend finicky feline sensibilities.

Freezer Free of Mice

It’s been said that an ideal diet for an indoor cat is a “mouse in a can.” Be careful what you ask for. What if you really had to deal with that? Welcome to the world of some pet reptiles such as boa constrictors and various large lizards that devour a mouse in a single gulp. Imagine the response from your houseguest, Grandma Rose, when she wanders over to the freezer late at night to get a scoop of ice cream and instead grabs a frozen pinkie mouse. Grandma Rose might fall over right there.

Forget Forever Fetching

Cats require playtime, but except for kittens and maybe some Abyssinians and Japanese Bobtail they truly don’t have canine endurance. You can get tennis elbow playing nonstop fetch for 30 minutes with a goofy Labrador. No such problem for cats who will give it up long before half an hour.

Pepe Le Pew — Ew!

Cats are, of course, meticulously clean, taking their own bath whenever needed. Have you ever smelled a European ferret? In truth, it’s not that ferrets are dirty. Like Pigpen from Peanuts, ferrets carry around their odor with them. After all, these guys are a relative of the skunk. Ferrets are delightfully entertaining pets, but you may need a clothespin for your nose. There is no such issue with cats.

Keepin’ It Clean

Let’s face it (it’s the truth) — some dogs, especially hound dogs, may have a certain smell about them. And many dogs love to roll in the grossest smelling thing they can find, from a dead animal to manure. Even writing about such a horrendous habit is arguably distasteful in a cat magazine. No cat would ever even entertain the notion of joyfully rolling in anything so gross.

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Love Thy Neighbor

Neighbors never complain about barking or squawking cats — that’s because they don’t. At their loudest, the person on the other side of the wall in an apartment or condominium isn’t likely to hear a cat like they would a dog or parrot. It’s not that cats don’t have a lot to say, they’re simply less raucous about how they say it.

Howl No!

Some dogs may howl for no apparent reason, perhaps at the moon or more likely the sounds of first responders, fire engines and police cars. Cats don’t howl at anything.

Go Your Own Way

Herding dogs are downright brilliant, but often their innate herding skills can be annoying to live with, such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Border Collies or Australian Shepherds nipping at running children as they work to keep everyone in line. Cats don’t care — and there’s no need to nip on anyone’s tail.

Nice to Never be Drafted

So far, the U.S. military hasn’t put cats to work. There are no bomb sniffing cats or cats protecting military bases. The U.S. military has not employed cats to detect land mines. No doubt cats could do it, I’m just not sure they can follow military orders. However, cats do require us to follow their orders. When cats can give the orders, they may be drafted, but as a commanding officer.

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