Dogs are called man’s best friend, but why are there far more cats in homes than dogs?

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Statistics suggest that there are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the U.S. as compared to 86.4 million cats. Why the discrepancy in numbers when dog’s are popularly known as “man’s best friend?”

In part, it’s because people have some mistaken assumptions about the level of care that cats require. It is true that cats are easier to manage in terms of their elimination needs. Dogs require being taken out, while cats use litter boxes. (Those do have to be cleaned, and more often than most people think.)

The real error in thinking is that all cats don’t mind being left home alone. Many a couch has been shredded and pot plant sacrificed to a bored cat, or one suffering from separation anxiety. Breed profiles are available on all pure bred cats and level of sociability is always discussed.

Some breeds absolutely do not do well when they are left alone, and will make their opinion known. The busy, interactive Siamese for instance, wants the company of his human. Other cats, like the Maine Coon, though loving toward their humans, are okay on their own while you’re off at work.

Sociability is harder to determine with mixed breeds, but cats are not the aloof disinterested creatures popular myth makes them out to be. They also require regular veterinary care, and are far safer indoors than out. Cats suffer needless neglect daily from well-intentioned humans who want a pet, but don’t take the time to learn about the creatures they are bringing into their homes.

If you are considering getting a cat, fully investigate all that is exactly entailed in not just caring for a cat, but caring for a cat appropriately. It involves a great deal more than food, water, and a litter box.

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