- Caitlyn Mancini
A Writer's Blog About Life: Cats vs. Dogs - Breaking Through Misconceptions About Cats
Are you a cat lover or a dog lover or just an animal lover? I myself am an animal lover, but very partial to cats (not that I don't like dogs, but prefer cats). But there is one thing that I don't understand. How people can't at least like or feel empathy for animals. That doesn't mean that you have to want to take care o an animal, that's understandable and it's not for everyone. But how can a normal person resist the cute, cuddly furry faces that have overtaken our Instagrams and other social media? No clue. (Scroll to the bottom for cute animal pics.)
The biggest misconception is that cats don't love like dogs and they don't give a crap about you, they're very anti-social and selfish. Wrong. Cats can act aloof at times if they've had a bad experience with humans (most likely reason) or they're not feeling well or want to rest, but they absolutely can love as much as dogs. They can even act like dogs. And that's the main misconception I want to break.
I have been an avid animal lover all my life. But I have absolutely always wanted a cat. There's something about those beautiful feline eyes, and cute meows. Remember in ancient Egyptian times pharaohs thought cats were so majestic that they wanted to be buried with them. Extremely cruel, but I get the fact that they thought cats were awesome. I think I have a lot in common with cats. I'm very lazy (or rather low-energy), I'm kind of a home-body, and I don't always feel like being social. Sometimes I just want to lounge and write or watch something by myself, cuddle up on the couch instead of going out. But I was not lucky in the sense that both my parents were allergic to animals. Me and sister are not, thankfully, but it must skip a generation because my nieces are. Go figure. I finally got a chance at having a cat of my own through my husband who adopted two beautiful kitties. One of them sadly passed away last year, but we still have Sable and she's super quirky and awesome. More about her later.
But for those people out there who say they HATE cats. That's harsh. And I'm not talking about the people who were traumatized as a child because a cat scratched or bit them. The brain does form defense mechanisms and it's hard to overcome those. I'm talking about people that say they hate cats for no apparent reason except maybe those misconceptions that they believe about cats.
I'm going to give you the blunt, honest truth. The one main difference between cats and dogs. Dogs will love you no matter what, no matter how cruel you are to them, and will always be children stuck to your hip vying for your attention, and often rather subservient. A cat's love has to be earned. If you treat a cat like crap, don't expect that cat to cuddle with you and love you regardless like a dog. Dogs are loyal to a fault even when they shouldn't be when their owners are abusive to them. Cats are like, screw you, I don't like you. Cats are less subservient. They are like humans, if you compare a leader versus a follower. There are people out there that lead and are not peer pressured or influenced by others, and then there are people that are very easily influenced by others and do other things people do instead of doing what they want and finding their voice. I'm like a cat in that way. I will wear what I want to wear, and I don't care if it's "in trend" or not; I will do what's best for me and no one will peer pressure me to do anything that I don't want to do. And that's why I respect cats over dogs. I feel bad for dogs that they can be so loving despite a cruel relationship. It's not their fault. That's how they are.
But the common misconception that cats can't love as much as dogs, or cuddle you, or be loyal to you is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, doubly wrong. Cats can be very loyal, follow you around like a dog, talk with you (in meows), cuddle in your lap, nuzzle you, love you just like a dog. I've always known this to be the case. I've seen other antisocial cats as well, but I'm pretty confident that the main reason that dogs bite or are aggressive or cats hiss or act standoffish to people is because of their experience with people. If any animal has had a bad experience with people or have been trained, just like people, to adopt bad habits such as biting or barking or scratching, then that's not the animal's fault. And domesticated animals are still wild at heart. They still have instincts. For example, if a dog or cat is sick or knows that they're dying, they want to be left alone. So they may fight you or be mean if you try and disturb them. That's just instinct, not personal. My cat Sable is very lovable. She is not a cat that's a dog though, so you can't pick her up and do anything to her and she'll just be like, yeah, this is great, I love that. She is skittish around new people, takes time to warm up to you, and doesn't like to be picked up, but loves cuddles and pets and spending time with me and she's very talkative, especially when she wants attention or food. Here's a couple pictures of her:
She is absolutely a little cuddle-bun. She loves sitting in my lap. She follows me around a lot when I'm home and meows for attention. She doesn't like to be separated from us or at least likes to know she can come find us whenever she wants. She used to sleep in the bedroom and now she's not allowed to (because my husband has mild allergies towards her and seeing if it gets better), so she's upset by that. But she's definitely loyal, meaning just like a dog when she gets to know you she allows you to pet her belly and she'll sit on your lap. But she nuzzles me, vies for my attention, meows at me constantly and often wants to sit in my lap.
Recently on Facebook I've seen some people's amazing cats! There are some that comfort their humans by bringing them their toys when they're sad, or some that just cuddle and nuzzle or sleep on their shoulder, and others that talk and act goofy with their humans. So many amazing stories out there and so I hope it breaks this misconception that dogs are better than cats because they're more friendly and loving and loyal. Because cats are too. Animals in general are like having a permanent toddler. They do need lots of attention, interaction, etc. I posted pictures of my toddler niece and my cat showing their similarities, it was pretty crazy. Dogs are definitely more work because they require more exercise than cats and they have to go to the bathroom outside and they definitely develop more separation anxiety than cats and can fall into a depression when they're away from their owners or people for too long. There are certain types of wild-bred domesticated cats that do require outside walks and have retained more wilder instincts, but those are not very common (and super expensive, but very beautiful creatures).
Also cats can be very playful like dogs. There are cats out there with loads of energy and need to be stimulated by cat toys more often. There are dogs out there that act like cats, where they don't bark much, aren't super energetic and are pretty chill (I'm mainly talking about one dog I've met, Kamari - a Japanese Shiba Inu), and also Samoyed dogs don't bark much and seem pretty chill, but do get very, very unhappy when they're away from their owners. (pics below - Samoyed on left, Shiba Inu on right)
And there are other animals out there that would surprise you how loving they can be like rats, squirrels, bunnies. Animals are just amazing. So even if you're not a person that wants to take on the responsibility of owning a pet, please at least respect the animals. They can get hurt emotionally and physically just like people can.
Here are some more animals pics from my experiences that are just for fun: