Each to their own
Are dogs better than cats?
That is like saying men are better than women (well, only ever as a joke), chocolate ice-cream is better than vanilla ice-cream, or the Hurricanes are better than the Blues (please let it be so this year). It is all a matter of opinion. I love dogs. I admire cats. I find it fascinating that they have both etched their ways into our lives and yet are so completely different.
Cats, of course, were revered as gods in ancient times, associated with the occult for their mysterious powers and certainly have never really been owned by humans.
Dogs on the other hand, are man’s first domesticated animal, his guardian and best friend. We have played around with their gene pool to the point some are hardly recognisable as dogs outwardly, but inherently they are the same loyal, trusting, companionable creatures that we first related to 15,000 years ago.
There are so many wonderful bumper sticker sayings about cats and dogs and most of them are so true. Some of my favourites
Cats and dogs have totally different traits but we can’t seem to get enough of either. include: Dogs are social; cats are sociopaths. Dogs teach us patience; cats test our patience. Dogs have owners; cats have staff.
Don’t get me wrong. I think cats are fantastic. I love their independence, I love their purring and there is something very endearing in their aloofness and intelligence.
They are great pets, the perfect companion for the busy individual of today.
Cats have virtually none of the dog’s wonderful traits but they also don’t have all those annoying dog habits of barking, slobbering, and sticking their nose into the groin of the unprepared visiting aunty.
With dogs, their devotion is sincere and they truly do love to be loved. This is because they are social creatures like us. They have a range of emotions so we know when they are happy, embarrassed, eager, or disappointed. They also have been shown scientifically to be able to read our emotions. As social creatures, a dog will live anywhere: arctic cold, tropical jungle, urban apartment, if they and their human pack leaders stay together.
Cats, honestly, would be on the first train out if the salmonflavoured food runs out. Whichever you prefer, it doesn’t matter. They are both special for their own reasons. Some people are dog people. Some are cat people. I enjoy being a dog and cat person.
(Excerpts taken from Why Dogs are Better Than Cats by Bradley Trevor Greive).
Dr Ian Schraa is an experienced veterinarian and the owner of Rappaw Veterinary Care.