In Defense of Cats: 5 Reasons Why Cats Make Great Pets

"Are you a cat person or a dog person?"

Someone has probably asked you that question a few times. I always say, "I'm both," because I've had both as pets and I love them. However, I often come across a "dog person" who doesn't just love dogs—they actively dislike cats. They'll say cats are mean, aloof, uncaring and cold.

It's true that cats are quite different if you are used to dogs, but that's the point. They're not dogs! Cats are unique, but they also create a meaningful bond with you. So, if you're an anti-cat fan or you're on the fence about getting one, here are five reasons cats make perfect pets.

They're Easy Pets

Cats are very independent, which means they don't rely on you as much as dogs. They learn how to use the litter box at three to four weeks, don't need walks, bathe themselves and are fine without constant attention. Obviously, cats are not totally independent. It's essential to keep them active with toys, feed them, clean their litter, bathe them if they get dirty and show them affection. However, they're significantly less work than dogs. If you have a demanding schedule and can't commit to a high-energy pet, cats are a great option.

Shutterstock: woman holding cat and smiling

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You Can Leave Them Alone for Hours

Cats are not only low-maintenance when you're at home; they're also low maintenance when you're out of the house as well. Cats can be left at home by themselves for up to 24 hours as long as they have water, available food and a clean litter box. Cats are solitary, so unlike dogs, they don't need to be around people. Cats are chill—like they sleep up to 15 hours every day. They are the original introverts, so if you make sure to give your cat attention when you're at home, they don't care if you leave them alone for a couple of hours.  Some cats may not thrive alone if they have separation anxiety, but you will learn quickly how long your cat can tolerate your absence.

Shutterstock: woman on computer with cat sitting on her

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They Have Unique Personalities

Just like dogs, cats have a wide variety of personalities. No two cats are the same. Some cats are lovely and affectionate while others are energetic and playful. Some cats will want to be pet often, while others will pick and choose when they want your attention. It's a great idea to foster cats from shelters or visit them a few times to see if you match the cat's personality. There are hundreds of cats from different breeds and backgrounds that need a home (and they're usually cheaper than dogs).

Shutterstock: woman on computer with cat sitting on her

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You Can Teach Them Tricks and Routines!

Dogs aren't the only ones who can fetch or sit on command. Cats are also brilliant and can quickly learn tricks. You can train cats to respond to their names, high-five, fetch and sit on command. Cats will also learn routines rapidly as they are creatures of habit. As Conscious Cat states, "Cats are territorial animals, so their routines will develop around your schedule and your household routines." Cats are independent, but they feel safest when they follow a routine with their owner. They will know what time you get up, when they get fed, what time you usually play with them and when you'll clean their litter box. Cats are animals that easily adapt to your life.

Shutterstock: woman using string to play with two cats

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They Love You

Humans have different love languages. The way someone expresses and receives love may be different from you, but that doesn't mean they don't love you. Cats are the same—they don't express love like dogs, but they still care for you. They will show their love in smaller ways like purring when you pet them or circling your legs as you try to leave for work in the morning. Cats are deeply intuitive and learn how to take care of you in their way. Unlike dogs, cats are not pack animals. Instead of belonging to a group, they form a deep bond with one or a few individuals.  Once you form a bond with a cat, you have a loving—and yes, a little odd—friend for life.

Shutterstock: woman on computer with cat sitting on her

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