Pros and Cons of Owning a Cat

Updated on October 25, 2017
Cats can provide their owners with a lot of pleasure, via their affection, independence, and playfulness, but they can also present challenges.  This article lists the relative advantages and disadvantages of owning felines.
Cats can provide their owners with a lot of pleasure, via their affection, independence, and playfulness, but they can also present challenges. This article lists the relative advantages and disadvantages of owning felines. | Source

There are both advantages and disadvantages to sharing your home with a furry feline friend.

Cats can be affectionate, playful, and comforting, as well as relatively low maintenance. On the other hand, they can scratch up your couch, shed hairs over your carpet, plus pee and poop inside your home.

Below, in full detail, are my pros and cons of owning a cat.

Cats are cute and they make for affectionate companions (when they are in the mood).  Studies have shown that stroking a cat can have a calming effect, lower blood pressure, and help a heart stay healthy.
Cats are cute and they make for affectionate companions (when they are in the mood). Studies have shown that stroking a cat can have a calming effect, lower blood pressure, and help a heart stay healthy. | Source

Pros of Owning a Cat

1. They are low maintenance. As long as you change their litter box regularly and give them enough food and water, they will do fine. You can even go away for a weekend without having to hire a pet sitter. The cat will even clean itself.

2. Affection. When they're in the mood, cats can be very loving. Stroking a cat has been shown to have a calming effect and reduce stress. A curled up, purring pussy on your lap also makes you feel good.

3. They are entertaining. It's fun to watch your feline frolic and see some of the strange positions they adopt when they relax are hilarious. They are also very playful animals. For extra fun, give them some catnip.

4. Say goodbye to pest problems. One of the reasons that humans domesticated cats was to reduce invasive rodents and other pests.

5. Kittens are cute. Their wide eyes, soft furry bellies and pleading mews will melt the meanest heart. They won't be a kitten forever, but it's lovely while it lasts.

6. You don't necessarily need a lot of space. A lot of cats are happy to live in a (relatively) small house or apartment, as long as there is a source of warmth and a window where they can watch the world.

7. Unlike dogs, you don't need to take them for regular walks. They will exercise themselves.

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.

— Joseph Wood Krutch
Cats shed hair and it gets everywhere: furniture, clothes, table surfaces, and carpet.  They also vomit and their poop smells stinky.  People will tell you that cats are low maintenance, but all this needs to be cleaned up.
Cats shed hair and it gets everywhere: furniture, clothes, table surfaces, and carpet. They also vomit and their poop smells stinky. People will tell you that cats are low maintenance, but all this needs to be cleaned up. | Source

Cons of Owning a Cat

1. They shed a lot of hair and it gets everywhere: on the furniture, carpet, on your clothes and table surfaces.

2. Changing the litter box is disgusting. Cat poop and pee are stinky and they do it in your home. If you want a cat, you need to be able to live with this.

3. They will claw the furniture to shreds. Yes, you can get them a scratching post and try an assortment of methods to dissuade them, but it will all have a very limited effect.

4. A surprisingly large amount of people have cat allergies, some are even cat phobic. This may effect your social or romantic life, if you like having people over to your place.

5. If the cat gets sick, the veterinary bills can cost you a small fortune.

6. They are natural born killers. Expect the bird population in your neighborhood to plummet if you let them outside. Expect them to bring dead mice and lizards into your home.

7. Ever heard the expression "it's like herding cats?" Unlike dogs which can be easily trained, cats have a will of their own, and don't listen to orders.

8. Vomit. Cats are sometimes sick and you have to clean it up. Maybe it's caused by something that they ate or a hairball, rarely is it related to any sort of illness. Vomiting is just something that they do.

9. As well as scratching furniture, they can scratch people too. Either because they are leaping into or out of your lap, or you do something they don't like (e.g. stroke their belly when they are not in the mood).

10. They will wake you up in the night or early in the morning. Cats don't seem to care for people sleeping when they are not.

11. When the cat is inside, it will meow until you let it out. When it's outside, it will meow to be let back in. Unless you have a cat-flap, expect to be on doorman duties multiple times each day. You can stand there for ages waiting for the cat to decide where it wants to be.

12. Fleas. Cats catch them relatively easily but it can be hard, and sometimes expensive to get rid of them.

Time spent with cats is never wasted.

— Sigmund Freud

Facts About Cats

  • A typical cat will sleep on average between 13 and 14 hours per day. They spend 70% of their lives asleep.
  • They are the most popular pet in the USA, outnumbering dogs by 88 million to 74 million.
  • A group of cats is called a clowder,
  • Male cats are called toms. Females are called queens or mollies.
  • Domesticated cats have been around since 3600 B.C.
  • Adult cats only meow to communicate with humans, not with other cats. They meow at the pitch of a human baby when they are hungry.
  • Killing cats was against the law in ancient Egypt.
  • They can hear much higher sound pitches than humans, up to 64 kHz compared to 20kHz for humans. This helps them to locate rodents and other small animals for hunting purposes.

Cats spend around 70% of their lives asleep.  That works out at about 13 or 14 hours each day.  They can hear much higher pitches than humans, up to 64 kHz compared to 20kHz for humans, helping them catch squeaky rodents and other prey..
Cats spend around 70% of their lives asleep. That works out at about 13 or 14 hours each day. They can hear much higher pitches than humans, up to 64 kHz compared to 20kHz for humans, helping them catch squeaky rodents and other prey.. | Source

Cats are the runes of beauty, invincibility, wonder, pride, freedom, coldness, self-sufficiency, and dainty individuality - the qualities of sensitive, enlightened, mentally developed, pagan, cynical, poetic, philosophic, dispassionate, reserved, independent, Nietzschean, unbroken, civilised, master-class men.

— H. P. Lovecraft

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Student X 

        10 months ago

        I found this article very helpful whilst researching the Pros and Cons of owning a pet/cat. thank you.

      • profile image

        Angelique 

        13 months ago

        isnt it true that cats are the only animals on the planet that have domesticated themselves?

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