STAFF OPINION: You should be a cat person

By Emma Sells | October 13, 2022 10:00am
by Emma Sells / The Beacon

Hot take: Cats are better than dogs.

Cats are less work and just as much fun as dogs. They are cuddly and affectionate and love you just as much as any dog could, but they’re also more independent and not nearly as high maintenance as puppies. Just imagine no slobber, no doggie bags and no waking you up at 3 a.m. to bark at a squirrel running across the front lawn.

Cats are sweeter than dogs. They are quieter, smarter, cleaner, more cuddly and just better than dogs.

Just kidding, you don’t have to agree with my humble (but passionate) opinion that cats are superior to dogs. But I do firmly believe that we should all be cat people.

“Cats are too mean,” they say. “Cats are boring and judgemental and unfriendly,” they say. But they, in fact, are wrong.

In today’s culture, cats are given a bad rap. Cats are independent, yes, but that doesn’t make them any less loving or friendly than dogs. They purr, greet you when you come home, enjoy receiving pets and form bonds with humans.

Dogs descend from wolves and were bred to live with humans, so they obviously are more extroverted and more inclined to interact with other beings. Just because cats are naturally independent doesn’t mean they’re unfriendly. Once they gain your trust, cats are extremely affectionate. 

Ask any cat owner and they can tell you about how their kitten sits on their keyboard when they’re trying to work, sleeps on top of them or follows them from room to room just to be with them. And anyone who has seen a cat get the zoomies can attest that cats are energetic and playful.

Dogs aren’t alone in their affection for their owners. It’s true, cats often put up a facade of ambivalence, but most house cats secretly love their owners. They just show their love in more nuanced ways

Look for a slow blink from your feline friend or recognize how they communicate with their tails. Cats also rub against you or give you a gentle headbutt to show happiness and fondness. It’s untrue that dogs are better at expressing their endearment for their owners. 

Perhaps people just haven’t taken the time to get to know the cats they meet or understand the ways in which our cats express their love.

 Needless to say, stereotypes about cats simply aren’t true for every single feline. But the joys of owning a cat don’t end there. 

Cats can improve your well-being. Studies show that cat owners feel happier and less anxious than those without these furry pets. I know that when I’m around my cats, I feel more at ease and content.

Alongside the emotional benefits of cats, these pets provide a myriad of health benefits, too. Owning a cat can lower your heart rate and even prevent you from dying of a heart attack. Cats also have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, helping keep your heart in tip-top shape.

Cats' purrs have almost miraculous healing properties. The frequency at which they purr can heal illnesses, strengthen muscles and bones and lower blood pressure. 

Kittens can also provide healing for your mental health. Owning a cat can reduce loneliness and provide a sense of calm to your life. In fact, petting a cat even for several minutes lowers your body’s cortisol levels, aka your stress hormones.

Spending time with kitties releases oxytocin, or the “love hormone,” that increases feelings of trust and companionship. 

Overall, cats are good for heart health. They lower stress levels, provide emotional support and can heal your illnesses. So science is basically telling you to get a cat.

The negative stereotypes about our feline friends are untrue. Cats are loving and playful. They are caring and sweet. 

These animals are curious, adorable and have such unique personalities. I truly believe that everyone should be a cat person.

In the United States, over 50% of the animals brought into shelters are cats. Of the approximately 3.2 million cats brought into shelters annually, only about 2.1 million are adopted

People who do adopt cats often only look for kittens. Adult cats accounted for 20% and senior cats accounted for 3% of cat adoption in 2020. 

Kittens are adorable and I am in full support of their adoption, but big cats need love, too. With all the emotional and physical benefits of owning a cat, it seems like a no-brainer: If you are looking for a new pet, choose a cat. 

I’ve owned cats since I was in elementary school, so I might be biased, but I firmly believe that cats are better than dogs. They can provide health benefits in addition to being amazing companions.

Getting a furry friend will improve your life tenfold.

Each year, millions of cats are surrendered to shelters and remain unadopted. These animals could be living with you and enhancing your life instead of living in cages or compact rooms.

So, if you're able, do yourself and shelter cats a favor: Go adopt a cat.

Emma Sells is the Multimedia Editor at The Beacon and can be reached at

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