15 Reasons Not to Have a Pet Cat

Updated on June 4, 2019
SuperBrainwave profile image

Paul has lived with cats on and off for many years. He understands the positives, but also the potential negatives.

Cats (especially kittens) are cute, but there are numerous downsides to owning one, including clawed furniture, stinky litter boxes, and hair everywhere.
Cats (especially kittens) are cute, but there are numerous downsides to owning one, including clawed furniture, stinky litter boxes, and hair everywhere. | Source

They may be the world's most popular pet, but our furry feline friends have plenty of downsides. Whether it's the vomited furballs on the carpet, the stinky litter tray, the clawed and shredded furniture, or the slaughtered neighborhood population of small birds and mammals, cats have a lot to answer for.

The Negatives of Having a Pet Cat

  1. Aloofness
  2. Litter Box Problems
  3. Fleas
  4. Clawed and Hairy Furniture
  5. Expensive Vet Fees
  6. It Makes Traveling Difficult
  7. Allergies
  8. Dead Birds
  9. Training Difficulties
  10. Vomit and Hairballs
  11. Disrupted Sleep
  12. Scratches
  13. Cat Hair
  14. They Always Want to Go In (or Out)
  15. Weirdness

I will explain each negative in more detail below.

1. Aloofness

Yes, they can sometimes be affectionate, but it's always on their own terms and they mainly see you as a servant. (A dog, on the other hand, is almost always pleased to see you, and even looks up to you.)

2. Litter Box Issues

Cat poop and pee are disgusting. Even grosser is to have it done inside your home. Changing the litter box is one of most stomach-turning chores ever.

If you get a cat, you may have to deal with flea problems.  That means not just treating your pet, but also your house for fleas and their eggs.  This can be expensive, very disruptive, and time-consuming.  It can also take several attempts to work.
If you get a cat, you may have to deal with flea problems. That means not just treating your pet, but also your house for fleas and their eggs. This can be expensive, very disruptive, and time-consuming. It can also take several attempts to work. | Source

3. Fleas

All they need is contact with another animal. Getting rid of the fleas can be time-consuming and expensive. It's not just the feline that you have to treat, your house and all its contents can harbor flea eggs after an infection.

4. Clawed Furniture

Cats will shred your furniture. Your expensive couch is just a scratching post to them and it will end up in tatters.

Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.

— Christopher Hitchens

5. Hefty Vet Fees

The veterinary bills can cost you a small fortune if your feline falls ill.

6. Traveling Is Hard

Cats are poor travelers. They are fine on their own for a weekend, but spend any more time away from home and you will need to pay for a cat sitter.

Cats make poor travelers.  Even a trip to the local vet can be fraught and difficult.  If you go away on vacation, don't expect to take your feline with you.  You can leave them at home for a few days, but any longer and you will need a cat sitter.
Cats make poor travelers. Even a trip to the local vet can be fraught and difficult. If you go away on vacation, don't expect to take your feline with you. You can leave them at home for a few days, but any longer and you will need a cat sitter. | Source

7. Allergies

Cat allergies are a relatively common condition. It may or may not affect you, but can be an issue if you want to invite friends and relatives over to your home. Cat phobia is less common, but may also interfere with your social plans.

8. Dead Birds

Cats are natural-born killers. They are programmed by nature to hunt, even if they have a full belly and aren't hungry. Populations of birds, small mammals, and other local wildlife can be decimated by the presence of cats.

9. They're Virtually Untrainable

Cats are self-willed and sometimes impossible to train. Unlike a dog, felines will not obey orders or even bother to acknowledge them most of the time.

10. Vomit and Hairballs

Cats vomit regularly. Sometimes it is caused by hairballs, sometimes illness, and sometimes you simply just don't know. It doesn't matter—whatever the cause, you still have to clean up the vomit.

Cats spend most of their day asleep, usually somewhere between 16 and 20 hours a day, depending on their age.  They remain alert, however, during their resting periods unlike humans, and are fully operational almost instantaneously if awoken.
Cats spend most of their day asleep, usually somewhere between 16 and 20 hours a day, depending on their age. They remain alert, however, during their resting periods unlike humans, and are fully operational almost instantaneously if awoken. | Source

11. Disrupted Sleep

Cats sleep most of the day, but hate the idea of their owner getting any rest. They will walk all over you in bed, knead your chest, purr in your face, tickle your nose with their whiskers and tail - usually they want feeding or attention - but it's still annoying.

12. Scratches

As well as scratching up all your furniture, cats can scratch you up too. Often it is accidental, such as when they jump onto or off your lap. Other times they suddenly get annoyed because you are stroking their belly, or something surprised them. Those little claws are sharp.

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.

— Paula Poundstone

13. Cat Hair

They shed a lot of hair. It gets everywhere. Before you know it there is hair on your clothes, furniture, floor, and just about every surface. Yes, you can comb the cat, but the impact on the problem is limited.

14. Constant In and Out

That going outside, coming inside thing quickly gets old. They whine at you like they are desperate to be let out. Two minutes later, they want to come back in. Then they want to go out again. I don't understand what it's all about but it's certainly irritating.

The ancient Egyptians considered cats to have supernatural powers and worshiped them.  Felines were sometimes mummified after death, because they were perceived as incarnations of the gods.  There were severe penalties for injuring them.
The ancient Egyptians considered cats to have supernatural powers and worshiped them. Felines were sometimes mummified after death, because they were perceived as incarnations of the gods. There were severe penalties for injuring them. | Source

15. Weirdness

Cats are just plain weird. There are reasons why the ancient Egyptians worshiped them as a supernatural gods, and European folklore associates them with witchcraft. Felines are so strange that you will never understand their ways.

Facts About Cats

  • A group of cats is called a clowder.
  • A group of kittens is called a kindle.
  • Cats are crepuscular, rather than nocturnal. That means that they are most active and do their hunting around dawn and dusk, rather than during the night.
  • Male cats are called toms, females are called mollies or queens.
  • Female cats usually sleep more than males in the wild, mainly because they do most of the hunting.
  • They can run up to 30 miles per hour.
  • Cats have excellent vision in low light, but cannot see in complete darkness.
  • They sweat through their paws.

You have to be very insensitive in order to have a cat, because I think they're very independent. When they're kittens, you think they're going to have a dog temperament in that they're going to run to the door when you get home, lick you on the face and cuddle with you all the time, but cats are not that way.

— Jennifer Love Hewitt

Questions & Answers

  • How long do pet cats live?

    Average life expectancy for a domesticated feline is between 10 and 15 years. In general, cats who spend a lot of unsupervised time outdoors don't live as long as indoor cats, who face less dangers.

Comments

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    • profile image

      anyone who owns cats is wasting their time 

      3 weeks ago

      dogs are smarter and will protect you. Cats do nothing but sit around and be completely lazy. Reallllly useless.

    • profile image

      This is stupid 

      5 weeks ago

      I wanted to see the reasons why to not get a cat.. And this is so stupid and so biased,

      This screams "IM A DOG PERSON AND ALL CATS SHOULD GO TO HELL BECAUSE THEY SUCK AND THEY DON'T GIVE ME ATTENTION"

    • profile image

      HeeHeeHooHoo 

      2 months ago

      D you forgot to clean your cat's litter box

    • profile image

      bob 

      3 months ago

      cats are the best :)

    • profile image

      ........................ 

      4 months ago

      cats are the worst

    • profile image

      Eva 

      6 months ago

      Cat are Amazing!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      You don't care what my name is so let's just start with the comment. 

      6 months ago

      1. I think this misconception comes from the fact that cats actually have dignity, whereas doggos are very energetic and ALWAYS happy, they depend on you for their mental health. It's pathetic.

      2. Would you rather clean up fresh, warm, smelly dog crap from the patch of grass beside a sidewalk?

      3. Dogs (and basically any other animal with fur) have these too. Also, you do know there's medicine you can buy to prevent fleas and ticks?

      4. Um, do you even watch "My Cat From Hell"? He's explained how to fix this simple problem like, probably a million times on there before.

      5. Not just cats have these, dude.

      6. If you can't find a hotel that your dog can stay in, guess what? Your dog needs a dog-sitter. Even if you'll just be gone for the weekend, whereas, cats can stay long periods of time without their owner (like it says) but dogs can't even stay more than 24 hours.

      7. Again, this is not just a cat problem. I feel like a broken record.

      8. NOT JUST A CAT PROBLEM

      9. You can train even goldfish and chickens. I'm 100% sure that you can train cats, it just takes TIME. Also, watch America's got talent and see all the trained cats on that show.

      10. If your cat is vomiting, it needs to see a vet most likely.

      11. "BARK BARK BARK BARK!" "Fido! Get some sleep! It's 5:00 AM!" "But I saw a bird! He was in OUR yard! BARK BARK WOOF!" "UGGGGHHH!"

      12. If your cat is scratching you, your doing something wrong. Learn how to handle a cat, then write an essay about it.

      13. My grandma has 5 dogs and she sweeps a whole lot of dog hair all the time. A lot of other animals have hair as well as cats and dogs, even people.

      14 Most cats don't need to be outside all the time, but if your cat likes to go out, get a dog door installed. Also, NOT JUST A CAT PROBLEMMMMMMMM!

      15. Seriously? Weirdness? I feel like you just couldn't come up with any more reasons, but wanted it to still be a multiple of 5 so you came up with this. Of course, none of the other reasons make sense either, so I'm preaching to the choir.

    • profile image

      Some Guy 

      6 months ago

      The comments on this article are just weird. I've been doing some research on cats and dogs and it all just comes down to who you are and how you treat your pet. If you want a cuddle buddy every now and then with a bit less maintenance, if you want somebody begging for your attention or to play with, get a dog. It's not a conflict worth fighting about because people have different preferences.

    • profile image

      Whatever 

      6 months ago

      Don't you have something more important to write about dude?

    • profile image

      allergic to cats 

      7 months ago

      cats are bad and stupid.

    • profile image

      tom 

      7 months ago

      its called reasons to not have a cat. so its stating the negatives about having a cat, im sure if you searched reasons to not have a dog it would be the same thing

    • profile image

      Acatlover 

      8 months ago

      I have a cat and a dog and the dog jumps in you and a cat does not. I do not understand how any of these things are true and this article should be deleted

    • profile image

      Tala 

      9 months ago

      This article is so biased toward dogs whaaat. The person who wrote this must really hate cats because having a cat is not at all as described in this article

    • profile image

      Payton 

      10 months ago

      This article is odd... maybe some cats are like this but my experience with cats is completely different. I have never had a cat who threw up all the time. My cats actually never throw up... maybe once or twice a year, it’s very rare.

      My cats don’t shed every where either, I go to my friends houses with dogs and I’m covered in dog hair every time, yet I sit at home with my 3 cats and never have hair on my clothes.

      one of my cats is my best friends and she listens to every word I say. If you get a kitten and raise it, most likely you can train them to do what you want. My cat plays fetch (she did that on her own, never taught any of them to play fetch), goes on walks, she knows the word “treats” she’s very smart and the coolest cat ever. None of the things in this article apply to her at all.

      Also the traveling thing, unless you’re taking road trips every where you’ll most likely be checking your dog into a dog hotel or a dog sitter also.. (making your animals fly on planes is not cool) my cat does not think of me as a servant either, even if her food bowl is empty she doesn’t say a peep to me she is so patient. Guess I am just lucky :)

    • profile image

      Eldrie Burgers 

      10 months ago

      I took the time to read your article and I have to say everything you mentioned about cats is what my dogs are doing. I have absolutely no problem with my ego and will gladly ass kiss my cats everyday just so that they know exactly how much I appreciate them. I have to pick up doggie poop that smells horrible where as a cat buries their number one and two. And cats doesn’t bark, bonus. I don’t have to bath my cat. Most of my friends are allergic to cats but they all own cats. My one friend is allergic to dogs so your claims are false. My dog destroyed most of the stuff in our house, guess what I still love her. If you can only love something that always seeks your affection then it says a lot about you. It’s that way of thinking that breaks my heart because then humans abuse that kindness.

    • profile image

      Diane 

      10 months ago

      Cats and dogs are both awesome. Why do we have to demean one to love the other? I would take either one of them over any human being I know.

      This preference over humans also applies to ferrets, birds, squirrels, rodents, mold, ectoplasm, and bacteria. I'd rather spend an eternity pushing that rock than endure one more hour of the inane ramblings of another human being

    • profile image

      They can be trained. 

      13 months ago

      Cats can actually be trained. It just takes longer and more hard work.

      If you train them before 6 weeks old they can become very polite.

    • profile image

      Diane 

      14 months ago

      What kinda imbecile is this. Could rip this article apart. Ya dogs don’t get fleas, or destroy property, shit all over the yard and burn piss holes in the grass that after the holes r dug. Vet bills more than cats, can’t be gone as long cause the dog will shit in the house and or destroy things. As far as injury a persons dog just killed its owner last week in Calgary. Let me mention I have trained my cat to use the toilet, fetch toys, ride in a car and walk on a leash. Not even gonna talk about some dogs breath pumping outta them with the potency of a donzen plug ins fuelled by a thumping of heat to add to the stench.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      14 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I'm definitely not a cat lover (I've never owned one or even had a friendly relationship with one), so I'm not bothered at all by your 15 reasons. But in skimming the comments, it seems you have stirred up something of a hornets nest among those who do love their felines. If you were talking about dogs I'd probably be a little upset as well, but for cats, I'll just remain an uninvolved spectator.

    • profile image

      loopa 

      17 months ago

      none of these are true my cat never does these btw how do they get fleas and ticks if there inside cats

    • profile image

      Destiney 

      18 months ago

      I have 2 cats. A momma siamese cat and her baby. They are the most affectionate animals I have ever had. They are always in my lap or loving on me. Every time I sit down they are immediately in my lap, purring, and wanting me to give them attention and love.

    • profile image

      boby ray 

      18 months ago

      dogs are the best

    • profile image

      AIice 

      18 months ago

      Sorry but I stopped at "Cats see you as servant".

      Although they do attack their owner and try to eat their food .. they're still capable of eventually understand & stop if the owner fought back. If not, there must be a reason for it, it's owner's fault.

      EITHER WAY, ADOPTING PETS NEEDLESSLY IS WRONG, HUMANS MUST NOT INTERFERE WITH NATURE.

    • profile image

      catlover 

      19 months ago

      cats are better than dogs i have 5 cats i love my cats

    • profile image

      ayden 

      20 months ago

      dogs are better than cats

    • profile image

      LaFolleDesChats 

      22 months ago

      1. Dogs are stupid, that's why they're "happy" to see you. "Oh, another rock to push, another rock to push...".

      2. Living with YOU must be even MORE stomach-turning; clearly, you never had to work cleaning toilets or bedpans at hospitals, Richie Rich. Oh, the priviledged life of a special snowflake! BTW, my cats are all toilet-trained. When's the last time you saw a dog using a toilet? (Don't bother, it's rhetorical).

      3. Oh yeah, dogs don't pick up fleas and ticks, ever. Are you sure your last name is not Einstein? {insert eyeroll}

      4. Cats "claw up" (it's called *scratching*, genius) when a) they're not trained, b) they're not redirected, c) they're not motivated, d) they're not given their own scratchers or otherwise entertained.

      5. Unless your dumb "canine" is made of paper, YOUR vet bill also costs you "a fortune" if s/he falls ill, dimwit.

      6. There you go again, pushing the same rock, like your "smart" friends. Cats are excellent travelers, people just don't train them like they train dogs. Case in point, look up "Stovepipe, the traveling cat" when (if ever) you're done pushing your rock.

      7. Cats don't cause allergies; if people got off the ignorance and "poor me" excuse wagons, they'd know the allergy is to the substance in their saliva, and would know there are remedies. BTW, Einstein, many people are also "allergic to dogs".

      8. LOL. Natural-born killers. And dogs are not, of course, because their ancestors were... ah never mind, you're busy pushing a rock.

      9. Untrainable, eh? Your ignorance is even more astounding now. See my earlier reference, Einstein. Cats are not brownnosers, like dogs (which oftentimes emulate their owners, so... ya get the gist - I hope your bosses are happy w/you, you're a good boy), thus, their only goal is to please. Pretty pathetic.

      10. Vomit. Oh boy, that rock must be entertaining. Again, depends larely on age and the care THE HUMAN provides. But don't worry, I don't expect YOU to understand that. Dogs lick their asses and then you let them come over and lick your entire fece... er, face - or, by now, yours might be just one and the same. The right term (based on this) for people like you is not "LICKface"...

      11. Cats don't know "hate", Einstein. Just like dogs, they don't have that kind of discernment. And again, they don't put a gun to your head, if you want some alone in your dome, close the damned door at night. Unless you can't because... you're pushing a rock.

      12. Cats can scratch you?! OMG REALLY? You don't say. {insert another eyeroll}. So can dogs. Plus, dogs drool on you with their disgustingly smelling gunk and you can't HIDE that with your clothes.

      13. Dogs shed too. And did I mention they drool? Which is disgusting (which you dog people find 'cute' - but name the last cat you saw drooling). If you live with a cat and you are stupid enough not to take care of her/him, you deserve what you get (including the shedding evidence). And you don't "comb" a cat, you *brush* them. BIG difference, and explains why YOU would see the shedding unsolved).

      14. Einstein, ever heard of inside-only cats? Probably not. Gets old on who? The moron who can't install a pet door so they won't have to be "bothered" constantly? They wine? Oh, because dogs come to you and politely say, "Can we please go out? No worries if you can't now, I can wait".

      15. "Weird" - term used by the ignorant to define that which they don't know and are too lazy or scared to research. 'Nuff said. If you choose to be part of the human ignorance circle, be my guest - and congratulations, that's very dog-like.

      ***16! Cat people don't SMELL, dog people do. Cats don't have to be getting a bath not to smell like shit all the time, dogs do. I could go on and on, but I have other stuff to do... with my cats.

    • profile image

      George Dean 

      2 years ago

      I've owned cats and dogs my whole life and they both have advantages and disadvantages. Yes, my cat might thinks I'm his servant but he also likes to sleep with me every night as well as sit with me in the recliner every evening. He is not just a cold blooded killer. Also, the best thing you can do for a cat is make him an indoor pet. That saves the small birds and squirrels around the neighborhood as well as adding years to his life. A cat is an ideal pet for someone who has a busy life style as they are very independent animals. Every cat I've ever had displays a unique personality and has added much joy and love to my life. They are a true blessing as far as I'm concerned.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 

      2 years ago from East Coast

      First of all a cat w/not get fleas unless you intend to let it outside. Don't do it! Second, if you train your cat from kittenhood that he/she gets his/her nails clipped as part of the normal grooming schedule you will not get shredded furniture or a shredded you. Third, how in the world could you tell what a cat is thinking?:) I would have to agree, they can be pretty strange! Amusing article.

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