Contrarian Opinion: Cats Vs. Dogs

Contrarian Opinion: Cats Vs. Dogs

Cats are fundamentally useless. Ever see a guide cat?

You can argue that we don’t keep pets for their practical usefulness, but companionship is useful. It may be pathetic in some ways, but we crave having some creature that loves us unconditionally. Dogs love their owners. Cats own their owners. Cats just find us useful. We can open that can of tuna.

Cat owners call their cats “independent”, as if it were a virtue. Yes, they are independent, in that they have domesticated us, not the other way around.

This may be because cats are asocial by nature. On the other hand, dogs (which are really domesticated wolves) are by nature social animals. They really don’t like being left alone.

Dogs get excited and gleeful when their owners come home. Dogs obviously crave your affection and just petting them can be used as a reward for some behaviour. Cats occasionally come over and rub against you, but it’s not because they’re craving your affection. It’s because they’re marking their ownership of you with their scent.

I’ll admit cats are easier to care for. For example, you don’t have to walk them. (Although you do have to cater to their finicky needs, such as a particular type of food they’ll deign to eat.) But goldfish or houseplants are easier to care for too, but your goldfish or philodendrons don’t love you. Like cats, they don’t even know you from anyone else.

I had a friend who bragged about how much his cat behaved like dog. That’s sad. That’s like bragging chimps are as smart as humans, because they sometimes can behave like us. I’m happy for him, but he’d be happier if he a got a dog.

More on the misinterpretation (based on wishful thinking) of cat behaviour: © Ken Stange 2012-2015