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Franny Syufy

Is A Cat the Best Pet for You?

By November 15, 2012

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Perhaps you are an "empty nester," or out on your own for the first time. It may feel like the ideal time to have your first pet. Maybe you're undecided between a cat and a dog, or perhaps a rat, a parakeet, or an aquarium full of colorful fish. (You can sometimes have both of those.) But with your lifestyle, would a cat be best?

While I can't influence your personal likes and dislikes, I can help you analyze those feelings to help you make a choice. Naturally, I hope that choice will be a cat. I love nothing better than helping to mold a stranger to cats into a happy, knowledgeable, responsible cat parent. But I promise, no "cats rule; dogs drool" arguments. Dogs make wonderful pets, under the right set of circumstances. So do cats, and only you can decide which circumstances best fit your needs. Many homes successfully mingle both cats and dogs.

Let's compare a cat versus these other potential pets, and see which one tips the balance for you.
Photo of Billy with Yum and Yum Yum, Credit: © Franny Syufy

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April 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm
(1) thominha says:

No need to compare. Cat is the best choice. But nobody told that to Mr. Obama!

April 13, 2009 at 9:40 pm
(2) Crane1989 says:

I have one cat, one dog, two budgies and three tortoises. Guess who I love the most?

April 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm
(3) sasha's mom says:

You don’t have to be home to let the cat out or walk him. True, every time I go into the kitchen Sasha thinks it’s all about him. But you have to love the attitude!

April 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm
(4) Reformed Cat Person says:

I’ve had dogs & birds all my life. 4 yrs ago I lost my dog to cancer. Because of my work commute, I couldn’t see getting another pet, because I am away from home 11 hrs a day – had to consider all pros & cons of pet ownership responsibility and a cat seemed a good match. So I “went to the dark side” & responded to a “help” e-mail going around work and adopted a little black kitten w/green eyes. What a joy this little creature has given me. He makes me laugh every day, greets me at the door when I come home, cries when I go out and warms my heart on the worst of days.

April 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm
(5) MLF says:

It’s really hard to pet and hug a FISH!!!!:-)

April 16, 2009 at 6:02 pm
(6) pldrake says:

Besides fish that I had during my childhood, my first pet was a lovely tabby cat who chose me when I visited the family that took her in after they found her and 2 sibling kittens next to their (sadly) deceased mother cat. Her choice of me was two months before she was ready to be weaned, and Kristin remained with me until her death from a heart attack at age 14. I read every cat book I could lay my hands on, cleaned up my apartment, researched appropriate food and kitty litter, and welcomed her to my home on Labor Day 1978. Could not find her the first morning afterwards. Having read that a new cat or kitten is likely to check out his/her new home, I was not too concerned. I really did laugh when I found her asleep above my head on my bed pillow. Kristin remained an indoor cat who loved to start running out the door when I came home. We had this routine that she’d start her engines, as it were, and I’d pick her up with one hand and land her on my right shoulder. She never did get out doing that. Kristin adjusted to my working hours, but I found I wanted to spend time at home just with her, at a time in my life when being home on my own could seem very lonely. What wonderful company cats are.

For a new pet owner, just watching a cat’s movements and positions is a wonderful thing. I enjoy the dogs I meet, but with the degree to which cats are self-reliant and responsive to affection, and just plain fun, I would recommend cats as a first time pet for adults.

April 16, 2009 at 6:48 pm
(7) George says:

Unconditional, yes. And right about not being pack animals. Neither am I, so my Sally Roo and I are perfectly matched. Her purr is the salve for my weary soul at the end of the day, the lullaby that quiets my torpid spirit and sings me to sleep. Unconditional love both ways.

April 16, 2009 at 9:32 pm
(8) Jennifer says:

I am a total animal lover.I have one Jack Russell two cats two birds one rabbit and tropical fish.I love all my animals.They are my best friends in the world.
I was at Petsmart tonight and they had this really beauitful cat up for adoption.He was so cute and he was so sweet.I wanted to take him home so badly but I know I have to have some self controll so as much as I wanted to adopt him I told myself I have enough animals.I hope that he gets adopted and he is happy where ever he goes.Have a nice weekend everyone.

April 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm
(9) JJ says:

I had reptiles for many years as a kid and brought an iguana with me to college. At some point in college a fuzzy cat “found me” aka wouldn’t go away. The cat was much cuddlier!
Now 12 years later she is still with me, and I can’t imagine life without her. I have moved to different states and apartments and my cat was my pal throughout (even had her in some “no pets allowed” apartments…shhhhh).
It’s a commitment both with regards to responsibility and money (especially as a poor college kid and later a grad student), but well worth it all.

April 17, 2009 at 4:31 am
(10) Jerry says:

I have had my Cat, Buddy, for almost 14 years now. He is the most loving animal I have ever had.Got him from Spokanimal when he was a kitten.Wifes gone now,so he is the sole focus of my life other than work.Always there with me,either at my feet,on the couch napping or next to me in bed.He is a very smart animal.

April 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm
(11) dancingbear says:

Had two dogs overh time) 222 years, when the second dog died (tough time), I said no more animals!!!! Then two 6 week old kitties stalked into my life. what a treat. Once they got the hang of the litter box (2 days), it’s been great.

April 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(12) Marianne says:

My cat Slippers is my best friend. He saved me from giving up after five eye operations. He is always there, wakes me in the morning with a gentle purr. A very handsome long haired siamese with the most incrediable blue eyes.

November 12, 2009 at 4:51 pm
(13) amy says:

My kitty “Nicky” is the best! When my mom & dad is gone Nicky runs to someone’s bedroom and sleeps, plays or does whatever he wants (I’m in school,my brother told me this). When I come he runs and waits next to the door unitll I come in. I LOVE HER!

February 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm
(14) Hieu says:

For me the cat is absolute best choice. She is always independent. But getting sense of mystery is the most awful characteristic I learn about the cat. Living with a cat, you will learn how to observe each of tiny behavior of her. When you know well about your cat, you will find a precise friend in your life. I love all pets, but no pets can be compared to cats.

April 24, 2010 at 4:04 am
(15) Car says:


August 26, 2010 at 3:44 am
(16) E says:

“Yum” and “Yum Yum” — bwahahahahahahaha

November 15, 2010 at 12:55 am
(17) Car says:

My kitty’s name is Taro. He usually sees at the fish tank, open the mouth, and slap the tongue. LoL

November 24, 2010 at 3:26 am
(18) game says:

i wanna have one kitten,in brown so cute. ^^

December 23, 2010 at 6:30 am
(19) game says:

Its so cute. hahaha

July 9, 2011 at 6:21 am
(20) thai song says:

At home I have 2 cats Thailand is a very cute cat species.

November 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm
(21) Barry333 says:

As empty nesters, we decided we’d like to share out lives with a pet. Because there are times no one’s home for nine hours, we decided a cat would be happier in our home than a dog.

We adopted a rescue cat and have lived very happily ever after.

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