10 Reasons Dogs Are Better Than Cats

  • 01 of 12

    Are Dogs Better Than Cats?

    Cat and dog together
    Grace Ketly Barbosa Da Silva Lima / EyeEm/ Getty Images

    You've probably been asked at some point in your life if you're a dog person or a cat person. Some people love both animals. But if you had to live with only one, which would you choose? 

    There's been an ongoing war between "dog people" and "cat people" for decades, maybe even centuries. Now it's time to face off just for fun. Let's explore some reasons why dogs may be better than cats. 

    Not to worry, cat lovers — there are also a lot of reasons why cats can be better than dogs

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  • 02 of 12

    No Litter Boxes!

    French Bulldog in Grass - Photo of Frenchie Dog in Grass
    Who needs a litter box? I can go potty right here!. Photo © Frank Gaglione/Getty Images

    Even cat lovers probably don't love their litter boxes. No matter how well you keep up with them, there's always a lingering smell. The litter tracks all over the house. It's almost impossible to find a good place to put the litter box in a small house. Scooping the stuff is stinky and dusty. 

    Dogs don't need litter boxes. They can be house-trained and most can stick to a schedule. They can use the yard or do their business during walks. You only have to pick up the poop, not the urine the way you have to do with litter boxes. And as for the poop, you can simply use poop bags on walks and a poop-scooper in the yard. Cleaning up poop may not be fun, but many think it's the lesser of two necessary evils — and it happens outside, not inside your home. 

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  • 03 of 12

    Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun

    dog and owner play tug of war
    Let's play tug of war!. Photo © Ryan McVay / Getty Images

    There's only so much play you can do with your cat. Most love to play with string toys and they'll bat their little cat ball toys around, but it's almost like they're humoring you.

    Dogs love to play, and it's often interactive play that they want — with you. You can play fetch with a ball or a disc. You can enjoy an exciting tug-of-war session. You can play chase in the yard. If your dog gets along well with other dogs, you can even set up a doggie "playdate" with another pup — just make sure both dogs are healthy and will get along. 

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  • 04 of 12

    Dogs Adapt Better to Change

    dog and owner doing high five
    It's all good. Photo © Frank Gaglione/Getty Images

    Cats are usually a bit more sensitive to their environments while dogs tend to accept change more easily, at least when their owners act like it's no big deal. Of course, there are plenty of neurotic and fearful dogs out there, but as a species, they're often calmer in the face of significant alterations to their lifestyles. 

    When it comes to introducing new people, pets or items to your home or moving to a new house, cats generally need more time to adapt. They don't automatically trust that all is well. They want proof first. Most dogs take their cues from their owners. If you're cool and calm when faced with that new baby comes in your door, chances are that your dog will be, too. Of course, protective breeds might not be quite as accepting of strangers. 

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  • 05 of 12

    More Control Means Less Destruction

    Puppy in Crate - Photo of Dog in Kennel
    I'll just stay in here and make no trouble, okay?. Photo © TheGiantVermin on flickr

    Try to control a cat and you might hear the tiny sound of kitty laughter. Most cats will go where they want to go, jump where they want to jump, scratch where they want to scratch, and mark whatever they think needs marking. Then there are those hairballs, which are most easily found when you're barefoot in the middle of the night. 

    Dogs can cause a whole lot of destruction, too, but you can usually crate train a dog and keep him — and your home — safe and secure while you're away. Most crate-trained dogs consider their crates to be their own special places. Try putting a cat in a crate or behind a closed door and you'll have one unhappy kitty. 

    When you're home, one word — "No!" — can have a lot of power over a dog when it's spoken in a stern voice. Try saying that to a cat and you'll be lucky if he glances in your direction while continuing to do whatever he was doing that brought about your response. 

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  • 06 of 12

    Training Dogs is Easier

    Photo of Dalmatian on Leash
    Good Dog!. Photo by Scott Barbour / Getty Images

    Okay, cats can technically be trained, but even cat lovers admit that it's not as easy as training a dog. Even food-motivated cats will soon get sick of training sessions and walk away, or they'll ​just smack the food out of your hand and eat it anyway. Cats train humans better than we might ever train them.

    But most dogs enjoy training. It seems to give them a sense of purpose. It's a job, and most dogs love to work. Plus, many dogs are highly motivated by food and attention. They'll gladly sit, stay, shake, lie down and roll over in exchange for an edible reward. Dogs seem to display a sense of pride when they've done a good job. In fact, dogs often "act out" because they're bored. They need more exercise and mental stimulation. Training helps provide the latter. 

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  • 07 of 12

    Dogs Have Greater Potential

    Guide Dog Photo - Service Dog
    Super Dog. Photo © Don Farrall/Getty Images

    When's the last time you saw a cat in a vest working hard to help people? It's true that cats have a place in animal-assisted therapy, but they're generally not suited to other types of work. Dogs have been helping people just about as long as they've been on earth. They were working on farms as herders and drovers hundreds of years ago.

    Today, many dogs still work on farms, and they serve even more noble purposes: as service dogs, guiding the blind, assisting the handicapped, helping the police and military, participating in search-and-rescue efforts and comforting the sick. Some dogs can even detect seizures and sniff out cancer. That's some way to earn one's keep!

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  • 08 of 12

    Dogs Can Protect You

    Beware of Dog Sign - Watch Dogs in Yard
    Try and Get Past Us!. Photo © TCtroi on flickr

    It's not a cat's nature to defend your home or you. Cats are more likely to run and hide when faced with trouble, but most dogs will instinctively protect their owners and their territory. They'll bark or growl to alert you to the presence of strangers, and many will even ward off intruders. Dogs can sense our fear and they'll respond if they think we feel threatened.

    A large dog with a loud bark may seem like the better watchdog, but small dogs are sometimes even more alert when it comes to detecting outside noises. The little ones may not be able to physically fight off intruders, but they'll certainly alert you about the danger. And many would-be intruders will avoid contact with any dog for fear of being bitten, no matter what the pup's size. No offense, kitties, but protection is not your specialty.

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  • 09 of 12

    Dogs Come in More Shapes and Sizes

    Dogs in A Row - Black and White, Different Sizes
    Decisions, Decisions. Photo © Photodisc / Getty Images

    There are different breeds of cats, but many of them don't vary a whole lot in shape and size. Sure, you have your giant Maine Coon and your uniquely-coated Devon Rex, but most house cats are mixed breeds, sometimes called "moggies." They come in many beautiful coats and colors, but the differences between cats are subtle compared to the differences between dogs.

    It's hard to believe that a tiny little Yorkie is the same species as the huge Great Dane. If you decide to get a dog, you'll have plenty of choices available. Do you want a giant dog, a small dog breed or something in between? Would you like a herding dog with endless energy or a cuddly lapdog? Perhaps a well-balanced mixed breed is your preference — mutts are not to be forgotten! There are even some low allergen dogs for the mildly allergic. There's a type of dog for just about any household.

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  • 10 of 12

    Dogs Promote an Active Lifestyle

    woman running with her dog
    Jordan Siemens The Image Bank/GettyImages

    Cats stay home and do their own thing, or they go out and do their own thing. Some people have been known to walk their cats through the neighborhood on harnesses, but that's not the norm. 

    Dogs need plenty of exercise, just like people. We can even make them part of our own exercise routines. Most dogs love to go on walks. Many enjoy running with their humans. Some can be trained to run alongside a bike. They can participate in dog sports like agility, flyball, disc and diving. Dog sports are great for fulfilling a dog's need for mental and physical exercise.

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  • 11 of 12

    Human's Best Friend!

    old senior golden dog and woman
    True Love. Photo © LaCoppola-Meier/Getty

    The term "man's best friend" exists for a good reason. Dogs have been domesticated for at least 15,000 years, although some historians think it may be longer. Dogs have been the faithful companions and loyal helpers of the human race throughout history. The bond between humans and dogs is unmistakable.

    Cats seem to know that they were once worshiped as gods. Perhaps they resent the fact those days have ended. They may still be holding it against us. 

    I think it's fair to say that a dog's human is the center of his universe. A cat is the center of its own universe. We humans are merely orbiting servants — willing servants, of course. 

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  • 12 of 12

    Are Dogs REALLY Better Than Cats?

    Cat and Dog Together
    Let's Be Friends. Photo © John Kelly/Getty Images

    Comparing dogs and cats is like comparing apples to oranges. Each species has its pros and cons, and both are special in their own ways. This age-old battle of dog people versus cat people doesn't really need to continue. Can't we all just get along? Cats and dogs can learn to live happily together. Why choose? Just get both!