Written By- Amir Ali| Posted on November 20, 2021
About 370 million cats are thriving on the planet. Although dogs are the most popular pet in the world, cats surpass them in the European Union by almost 10 million.
Undoubtedly, cats are amongst the most loved pets around the globe due to their unique personalities, funny acts and insane habits.
History fails to tell us the exact era by which cats have been kept as pets by humans. Yet, archaeologists have found the mummies of cats who were kept as pets in ancient Egypt.
So we can guess that the practice of keeping a house cat has been continuing since the time unknown.
Cats were also pets, just like they are today, and were sometimes mummified and placed in tombs with their owners.Source: Carnegie Museum of Natural History
So if you are one of those confused people who love cats but are unsure about whether to open the doors of the house for them or not then you need to read this crappy blog post till the last full stop.
I promise even though I already have tons of love for the furballs in my heart, I won’t be partial. And, will tell you every good and bad aspect of having a cat as a pet.
By the end of this article, you will be clear about all the pros and cons of being a cat parent so that you can make an informed, well evaluated and smart decision.
Don’t want to read the entire? Here’s a quick video that covers the main points.
Let’s First discuss(briefly) the downsides of having a cat as a pet.
Downsides of Having a Cats as Pets
1. Disadvantages of Cat Hairs
Some breeds shed a lot while the others do not. Generally, breeds with longhair shed more than their short-haired counterparts.
The first problem caused by the shedding of hair…is pretty straightforward…and…obvious— more hair means you need to invest more time in cleaning the house. Simple.
Secondly, you also have to brush your cat more often to keep her coat clean and matt-free.
In addition, they become the carrier of pathogens that can spread diseases about which we will discuss in the next point.
2. Risk of Communicable Diseases and Infections
This is the scariest point of keeping cats as but it’s not restricted only to cats. In fact dogs, rabbits and other house pets also carry the same risk.
But let’s restrict this discussion only to cats as of now.
Cats can become the cause of spreading disease to humans. Technically, these are called zoonotic diseases. In simple words, zoonotic diseases are those that can spread between animals and humans.
However, the chances of spreading zoonotic disease by cats are very low yet we can’t give them a clean chit.
Yes! Facts are facts. Face it!
The risk of catching diseases from cats is even higher for children, seniors and individuals with weak immune systems.
Following are the main diseases that cats may transmit to humans.
|Disease||Mode of Transmission||Symptoms in Cats||Symptoms in Humans|
|Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) AKA Bartonella Henselae||Cat scratch or if she licks our wounds||Most cats show no symptoms some cats with severe infection can have vomiting, red eyes, swollen lymph nodes, tiredness, and/or low appetite||Generally, it is a mild infection. The site of infection can have a small, raised, swelled and solid bump. fever(n some cases). Eye infection and muscle pain in rare cases.|
|Rabies||Cat bites, contact with saliva and scratch||Sudden changes in behaviour, progressive paralysis, panting, restlessness, attack on other animals and humans||Symptoms appear too late for treatment. It is extremely important to wash the wound with lots of soap and water and rush immediately to a doctor.|
|Campylobacteriosis||Faeces(poops)||Cats may show no signs||Diarrhoea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps, vomiting|
|Tick-Borne Disease||Bite of an infected tick.||Symptoms vary based on the type of infection. Some cats show no signs. However, you should remove ticks regularly from cats. It is advisable to use flea and tick shampoo also if your cat has developed fleas and ticks.||Fever, body ache, chills, rashes. It is advisable to consult a doctor immediately since some tick-borne diseases are fatal.|
|Toxoplasmosis||Contact with cat poop, by consuming contaminated food or water||No signs in cats.||Most people don’t show symptoms. |
Some may have mild flu, develop eye disease(rare).
Brain disease and serious complications week for people with weak immunity.
Pregnant women have the risk of birth defects.
|Cryptosporidiosis||Swallowing poop containing the germ. People get infected by drinking untreated and Contaminated water.||Cats show no signs of illness.||Watery diarrhoea, profuse, pain in abdomen, nausea and vomiting.|
|Salmonella||Contact with poop or eating contaminated food.||Infected kittens can have diarrhoea. Adult cats don’t show symptoms.||Diarrhoea, fever,|
3. Inappropriate Elimination and Spraying
Huff! You must be tired after having read the entire table. But you can’t stop here. There’s much more in the article.
The next problem with cats is inappropriate elimination(believe me this is the number 1 reason why some people get mad at their innocent pets ).
Imagine you put a brand new bed sheet on the bed with all the beautiful colours and after a while what you see is your spoilt kitty has given it a nice bath by showering her urine. Yak.
That’s a dirty example of inappropriate elimination.
Here, I won’t go deep into the issue as I have already written an in-depth article on it. You can read by clicking on the red-coloured text above.
With that said let’s look at the common causes of inappropriate elimination:
- The instinct of marking the territory
- An open invitation for potential partners to mate. Lol.
- Polycystic Kidney Diseases(PKD)
- New cats in the home or neighbourhood
- Fear of bullying cats, other animals and even humans.
- Unhygienic and Sticky litter box.
- Old age and obesity.
- A change of routine or development of habit.
4. Maintenance of the Litter Box
To be honest. Cleaning a litter box is tiresome. Scooping the poop-cakes is an even bigger pain. And, when your vet expects you to do this twice a day the things become unbearable literally.
The litter box maintenance is the real test of your love for cats. Liar is those who say that they love cats but they do nothing to maintain the litter box in good health.
Though painful, it’s a must to do a chore if you have a pet cat.
5. Time Consuming Healthcare and a Maintenance of Her Coat
Cleaning and maintaining the litter box is not the only task you must do. Taking care of the health, hygiene and maintenance of her coat are even equally important.
Sometimes, you need to take her to a vet. Other days, you may risk your life by bathing her (Lol). Moreover, brushing her coat is the that you must do daily or on alternate days.
All these activities are time-sucking vampires. So, may become extremely difficult for you to manage work and these activities simultaneously in the long run.
6. Destruction of Furniture
Cats have another natural instinct of sharpening their claws.
And, these innocent creatures don’t realize that the satisfaction of their predatory instincts ends up as the destruction of your costly furniture.
You can manage this behaviour by providing her with a scratch post or a cat tree that has a scratch post as well. By using cat repellents(there are many). Or by taping your furniture.
7. Late-Night Meowing at 3 A.M. LOL
For dogs, you are the leader of his pack but for cats, you are a member of her pride.
Did you see the difference?
The point is, you can’t force her to do anything that she doesn’t like. And, you can’t stop her from meowing or crying at 3 a.m. if she likes. Lol.
Cats are cats.
So don’t be surprised to hear her cry in the middle of the night. What’s more irritating is, when you switch on the lights you would see her making the most innocent face one can make as she doesn’t have the slightest idea about her sin.
If you want to know more about “why cats cry?” Read the article by clicking on the red text.
8. The Royal Rumble Matches
Were you a WWE fan in childhood?
(Don’t say that you still watch it, PLEASE. LOL)
Remember those most awaited Royal Rumble matches where each wrestler just had just one goal to kick off everyone else out of the ring.
Well, you can have the same entertainment again. Just bring multiple cats and a cat bed. I bet.
But often, these fights get too noisy and even dangerous. That’s why I consider them as a drawback.
However, I don’t know about you.
What do you think? (Tell me in the comments section).
9. The Regular Gifts(Dead Birds) at the Doorstep
If you think that cats don’t give a damn for the efforts put by their owners in caring for them. You are wrong.
Cats do value and appreciate you when you prove your love for them. And, probably the highest kind of appreciation they can give as a return gift are those dead birds that hunt for you and bring them home.
It sounds like a ‘pro’ but actually, it’s a con. Because now you have to bury those dead bodies in the graveyard. And, when a cat does this frequently the situation becomes frustrating.
Also, they kill a lot of innocent birds and small animals to satisfy their natural predatory instinct.
Benefits of Having a Cat as a Pet
Till now I have bitched a LOT about cats(with a heavy heart).
But the bad time is over. Let’s now look at the brighter side of having cats as pets.
Cats are made to melt hearts and make people go crazy with their funny acts.
As a matter of fact, the benefits of having a cat are much more than what I am listing here. But these are the most common benefits that are coming to my mind for now.
So, here we go…
#1. Entertainment & Play
Cats = Entertainment
It’s as true as the sun is a star, the ice is cold or the milk is white. The only person who can deny this fact is either the one who has never seen a cat in his life or the one who is hostile towards them.
Don’t listen to both of them.
The truth is, having a cat means the show can begin any time and all you have to do is to watch them and enjoy them.
But you want a pet who can play with you, isn’t it?
The good news is cats play with cats, play with humans, cats play with other cats, cats play with dogs, cats play with toys, and cats can even play with themselves. Lol.
So, not having a dog doesn’t mean that you are going to be short on the play.
#2. Shower of Love and Affection
You may have heard people saying cats are selfish. Or cats don’t show affection and blah blah…
…They do love and show affection!
Too bad for those who have not seen or ever experienced the blessing of being a cat parent.
The cats do love their owners, love to hang out and spend time with them.
YouTube is flooded with videos of cats curling in the arms of their owners, asking for petting or making every effort to seek their attention.
#3. Low Maintenance than Dogs
To be frank, keeping a dog is very costly. But this is not the case with cats.
According to a lot of pet owners, the money that cat parents spend on their cats in a month is almost half of the money that people spend on dogs.
So, cats are pretty economical and low-maintenance pets as compared to dogs.
#4. Cats are Not as Noisy as Dogs
If you are someone who prefers a calm and peaceful atmosphere, over, active and loud then a cat is a “perfect” pet for you.
Dogs are very noisy(sorry dog fathers but fact is a fact). They bark at strangers, they bark at other dogs, and they even bark at sounds.
Unlike dogs, cats are pretty calm and peaceful animals. They just meow. And, their meows are at a much lower pitch than dogs’ barks.
The only time you find them making loud noises is when they are involved in serious fights with other animals or when they are not well.
#5. Cats Can Mind Their Own Business
A BIG ADVANTAGE of having cats as pets is they are independent.
Cats don’t need you to be around them all the time or take care of them like dogs.
Some cats even warn you when you cross your limits and try to steal their privacy. Lol.
They know how to take care of themselves and how to pass time when no one is around. Some cat breeds are experts in spending time alone and you can leave them alone for a longer time than other counterparts.
Here’s my article that discusses the best cat breeds in India in different situations. Do check it out: Best Cat Breeds in India
#6. No Outdoors Safaris Are Necessary
Cats don’t need regular outdoor walks. In fact, according to a study, it’s better to keep indoors as much as possible.
This is because pet cats are not like stray cats. Frequent outside walks can accumulate a lot of dirt, dirt and impurities in their fur making it dirty and messy.
#7. No More Lizards, Insects, and Spiders
Another advantage of having cats is they can make your house free of spiders, insects and lizards at no extra service charge.
Cats are the natural enemy of insects and lizards. That’s because of their predatory instinct that wants to catch everything which is moving(which appears to them weaker than themselves).
So they kill lizards and insects. Or at least scare them. Who cares?
All that matters to you is your home is getting free from scary creatures.
Say Yes! If you agree.
#8. No Need to Clean Poops or Garbage Floor
The next benefit of having cats as pets is you don’t have to clean the poops spread by here and there on the floor.
Cats are very hygienic animals. They are very selective about the place of doing their business and privacy.
They may take some time in accepting a litter box but once they do this they won’t pee or poop anywhere else. Unless they have some kind of health issue, some kind of danger, or litter box maintenance from your side.
Similarly, cats also don’t rummage the garbage and create a mess which is a common headache of dog owners.
#9. Cats Have Complex Personalities
Lastly, cats have a complex spectrum of personalities. In simple words, no two cats are similar in every aspect.
Don’t get surprised if you see two sister cats having completely opposite personalities from each other.
So by keeping cats as pets you would always have something new to learn about their behaviour, habits and personalities.
Pros and Cons of House Cats
”A picture is worth more than a thousand words.”Frederick R. Barnard
So, here instead of writing the ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ in paragraphs, let’s read a quick infographic. Cool?
So Are You Bringing a Cat Home or Not?
Look, bringing a new pet home is a big decision. Don’t rush to the conclusions or believe anything stated by anyone(including me). This article was my small effort to tell you the Downsides and Benefits of Having Cats as Pets without getting biased.
Here, I have tried my best to list down all the pros and cons of pet cats that I found or could think of.
However, the final decision is yours. You have to make sure that you have enough time, money and energy to give the care, love and essentials that these beautiful and loving creatures need.
With that said, I wish you the very best for reaching the best decision.
If you want me to include some more pros or cons, tell that also in the comments.
…If you want me to write on any specific topic type in the comment too. I will try to write on it ASAP.