This in a short essay on cats as pets. It is deliberately written for students. Anyone can use it if they wish.
Today, strictly speaking, many people believe we should not refer to cats are “pets”. It is a slightly old-fashioned word. Certainly an excellent cat caretaker would probably not wish to describe the domestic cat as a “pet”. Why is that? After all the word “pet” and “companion animal” are interchangeable. They do, however, have slightly different connotations.
The word “pet” implies an animal that is kept mainly as company for a person; this is the pet’s role, whereas “companion animal” implies a relationship of equality in which both animal and human are companions to each other. Thus the phrase “companion animal” imports a respect for the domestic cat which leads to superior caretaking. This is the modern way or at least it is a desired goal for people concerned with cat welfare.
In addition, and on the other side of the coin, the cat owner is better described as a “guardian” or “caretaker”. These words support animal rights and welfare. In 2014, some local laws in North America and Europe incorporate these modern words reflecting a shift towards improved animals rights.
People who make a livelihood from animals such as veterinarians and cat breeders may have a tendency to resist changes towards greater animal rights as they may be concerned about the potential negative impact on their businesses. Another group who don’t want to see improved animal rights are people involved in keeping captive exotic cats such as small wild cat species or semi-domesticated wild cats such as the serval. They foresee greater restrictions on exotic cat ownership and the gradual elimination of exotic cats as pets. This applies particularly in the USA where, in general, there is a lax attitude by the legislators in respect of private exotic cat ownership.
In the West, the cat is on a more of less equal footing with the dog in popularity as a companion animal. However, as an estimate, there are slightly more housecoats than dogs worldwide. This is probably because the cat is considered to be easier to look after and thus more suitable in a more competitive and busy modern world.
In the East the dog is generally more popular because of its utility – it is considered more useful as a working animal in areas such as security.
Legally cats are considered as being in the ownership of a person and therefore in old-fashioned language are described as “chattels” (a piece of property or a possession). Some people believe this is an out-of-date concept because it fails to recognise that the cat is a sentient being connected emotionally to her human companion.
When deciding whether or not to adopt a cat as a pet, it is sensible to recognise the overall cost during the lifetime of the cat, which can be up to around $13,000. Being a good cat owner is not only about commitment and concern but also money.
It is well known that living with a cat as a pet has a beneficial effect on the health of the guardian. For example, sitting with and stroking a cat lowers a person’s heart rate. On the other side of the coin, about ten percent of the human population are allergic to cats. They are allergic to the a protein called Fel D1 in the cat’s saliva which is on cat dander circulating around a person’s home. Sometimes cat owners are scratched and bitten. This is commonly due to mishandling by the person or a failure to create an adequate environment. People who are scratched should seek medical attention as a nasty infection can set in.
Modern health problems in pet cats often follow those of their owners: obesity, diabetes, arthritis and stress related disorders.
Cats as pets requires a high standard of cat guardianship to avoid the pitfalls such as unwanted kittens due to a failure to neuter and abandonment to shelters due to poor planning which in some places leads to the almost inevitable euthanasia of the cat because of an excess of unwanted animals.
The very large number of cats as pets tells us how successful the cat has become as a companion to people.
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Cats are better than dogs for about half the population of pet owners. The other half prefer dogs. A persuasive essay on why cats are better than dogs cannot solely be about cats and dogs. It should also be about people and what they like.
In this essay I will stick to trying to convince you why cats are better and avoid discussing people. It is up to people to figure out what they like after gaining a reasonable knowledge of both species.
Perhaps, the most important reason why cats are better is because they are more convenient. They require less input from the owner because they are independent animals. However, this is misleading. Cats need us more than a lot of people realise. The domestic cat has become quite sociable. Depending on the individual cat, many cats are much more content when their human companion is around. Cats can routinely be left alone all day but it is less good for the cat than being with his human companion all day. Cats, like dogs, can become stressed if left alone for long periods daily. Cats are more convenient, yes, but often at a price for the cat.
Dogs need to go for a daily walk. I don’t know dogs that well but I believe that frequent dog walks are a necessity. This will please many people and displease many others! If you don’t want to go for regular walks with your dog then get a cat. This is a persuasive reason for getting a cat.
Cats are fastidious about personal hygiene! They groom themselves a lot and daily. You don’t need to bathe a cat unless something unexpected occurs and your cat needs help in washing himself. In contrast, take a dog for a walk in winter and you are likely to have a major bathing session on your hands immediately on return to the home. I have seen many dogs covered in mud.
Cats are quieter than dogs. Dogs bark and it is much louder than a cat’s meow. Yes, sometimes outdoor cats fight with each other and make a noise but this is uncommon. Caterwauling by unspayed females can be disturbing but this won’t happen if she is spayed. So, dogs can be noisier than cats and this is a persuasive reason why cats are better than dogs.
Dogs probably cost more to maintain. There are at least two reasons for this. Firstly, they are nearly always larger than cats and therefore require more food to sustain themselves. That will cost more. Secondly, there are far more purebred dogs than cats. It is common knowledge that companion animals that are deliberately breed to a breed standard on appearance are more likely to become ill or have a genetically inherited defect or health problem. In general, random breed cats are going to be more healthy than purebred dogs. This is of major importance as it will save money and avoid trips to the dreaded vet. So you’ll have to adopt a rescue cat.
Although this is meant to persuade people to adopt a cat, I have to be realistic and honest. One anatomical aspect of the domestic cat that some people dislike and are often frightened of, is claws! Dogs have claws too but they are blunt because they are worn down walking. A cat’s claws are often sharp and cats know how to use them. Dogs don’t use theirs as weapons, as far as I know. To some people claws are a minor inconvenience although there are many ways of successfully dealing with claws without harming your cat.
Cats are less dangerous to people. There are many thousands of cases of dog bites annually in any country. There are a considerable number of human deaths annually from dog attacks in many countries. Dogs can worry people. Cats tend to move away from people they don’t know when outside. However, in the home, you will have to understand cats to get the best out of them and avoid unnecessary bites and scratches.
If you are looking for persuasive reasons why cats are better than dogs it probably means you are undecided. One solution is to get a dog and a cat. If they are raised together they’ll probably be lifelong close companions.
P.S. If I have left something out please leave a comment.
P.P.S The title is slightly strange but it is taken from a Google search term so it is relevant and live.
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