I am a dog person. Always have been, always will be.
And just like anyone else who has a preference between cats and dogs, I have my own personal list of reasons why my chosen group is better: dogs are more social, they’re more hands-on, more active. On the other hand, cats are often described as standoffish, not easily entertained, and can even seem boring at times.
I’ve turned to these and a few other reasons time and time again whenever the topic has come up, and although I’ve never been an owner to either type of animal, I’ve always maintained that I will only ever own dogs as pets.
But I recently moved in with a new roommate who has two cats and found myself in an insta-cat mommy position. All of a sudden, I’m interacting with these creatures I’d never pictured myself living with, taking care of them when my roommate goes out of town, and learning to build a relationship with them.
Here’s the surprising thing though: turns out, not only do these things not bother me at all, but living in such close proximity to the furry creatures has taught me a few things about cats that I was completely unaware of before. I was basing many of my negative judgments of them on my limited knowledge and experiences. But, as it turns out, in actuality cats aren’t so horrible after all.
Yes, I’m still a dog person and yes I still will own a dog one day and no I won’t pick cats over dogs –ever. But, as I’ve learned, living with felines can give you a new appreciation for them and open up your mind to how great they can be as pets. And that a-ha moment is what I want to share with all my fellow dog-lovers.
The following are five reasons why all dog people should live with cats at least once in their lifetime.
1) Cats can be taught to be just as active as dogs
If you’re like me, one of the major reasons you want a dog is so you can take him out on walks, play fetch and give him a good run around. Guess what? You can do the same with cats, if you train them to. I always thought of these things as dog-only activities, but as I found out, my roommate’s cat doesn’t just chase laser-pointers but also runs after tennis balls, picks them up, and brings them back for another go-around.
So if the whole cats-aren’t-active thing is keeping you from getting one, you can cross that reason off your cons list.
2) Their selfishness is really a form of tough-love
While I firmly believe dogs tend to be in tune with people’s feelings and adjust their behavior based on the vibes they pick up from their humans, cats frankly don’t give a damn. They act the way they want, feel how they feel, and do what they do — regardless of how you feel at any given time. And you still feed them, and clean their poop-boxes and let them rub up on you. And with that, they shake you out of your miserable self-pity and force you to get up and do the things that need to get done. Felines are life coaches in furry disguise.
3) Sometimes they’re actually really sweet and make you feel extra special
Cats are smart. They know what they want and how to get it. I see this in action every time I come home, and they’re in the mood to play, be fed and have someone scratch their backs. And do they put on a show to make it happen — they look at me with big pleading eyes, rub against my leg, meow sweetly at me and follow me around like I’m their god-damn savior. And even when I know it’s mostly an act, it’s still kind of nice.
4) They teach you to be on your toes
Cats are always seconds away from killing you. No, really. When they pounce on you — claws out — as you’re zoned out in front of the TV, or try to trip you while you walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night, or startle you awake by shoving their noses right up against your face, what they’re really doing is helping you practice the art of being aware and alert to what’s going on around you. This is a life-skill people who are as clueless about their surrounding as I am need to have. Like I said, life coaches in furry disguise.
5) They inspire you to learn new things
Like how do they make that purring noise? Where does it come from? Can all cats do it? Are they aware they’re doing it?
You find yourself googling things and learning about the inner workings of a host of things you never once think about when you don’t have cats. It’s fascinating, and also, makes you look really smart when cat trivia comes up in social settings – and now that you’re a cat owner, cat trivia definitely comes up in social settings. It’s totally a thing.