10 reasons why cats are better than dogs

A cat and a dog lie together on the bed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are so many reasons why cats are better than dogs - which made narrowing this list down to just our top 10 a very challenging job indeed! Sure, dogs are revered for being man’s best friend, but if you’ve ever owned a cat, then you don’t need us to tell you that in so many ways, they’re softer, sweeter and smarter than our canine companions, not to mention quieter and cleaner.

Cats are the ultimate four-pawed pal. Happy with a bowl of the best dry cat food, a few toys and a cozy and sunny space to nap the day away, our feline friends can clean themselves, take up little space and don’t require daily walks and constant attention. They’re also cheaper to own and won’t cause you to burst an eardrum by making excessive noise every time the doorbell goes.

Yes, life with a cat is a wonderful one indeed. The ultimate low-maintenance pet, they’re affectionate and social without being clingy, are fastidious about personal hygiene and are content to watch the world go by from the comfort of a window sill. And that’s just for starters. While we love all of our furry friends, here’s why many people feel cats are better than dogs…

1. Cat’s are independent

Cats have earned a bad rap over the years for being cold and aloof, with many people holding the belief that all they really want or need from humans is food. But in actual fact, nothing could be further from the truth. According to a 2017 study published in the journal of Behavioral Processes, cats prefer human interaction to all other stimuli, including both food and toys. Our feline friends appreciate and practice independence, but they also deeply value time with their people.

2. They don’t need daily walks

Cat head butting man

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Rain, hail or shine, a dog will follow you around with those sad, pleading eyes until you pick up their lead and force yourself out the door to give them what they want most in this life - the opportunity to sniff and run about. Cats on the other hand, are more than happy to spend most of their day napping and when they’re not asleep, an indoor play session with the best cat toys, some time with you and a tasty meal is all it takes for them to feel like they’re living their best life. 

3. Cat’s don’t take up much space

With the average cat weighing around 10 lbs, our feline friends are so petite that you’d hardly know they were in the house. In fact, sometimes they’re such geniuses at tucking themselves away into little nooks and crannies, that you inadvertently find yourself spending ages in a game of hide and seek! Not so for our canine companions, with the American Kennel Club putting a medium-sized dog at around 50 lbs.  

4. Owning a cat is more affordable

Over the course of their lives, cats tend to cost less than dogs. In fact, in their 2022 True Cost of Pet Parenthood Report, Rover put the upfront costs of owning a cat between $695 - $3,100 vs dogs who cost somewhere in the vicinity of $1,050 and $4,480. Similarly, when it comes to annual essentials, cat owners spend a maximum of $1,450 vs dog owners who are forced to shell out as much as $3,470 - that’s quite a difference! 

5. Cat’s are happy indoors

Kitten stretching out and yawning

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It’s virtually impossible for a dog to have an exclusively indoor lifestyle and be happy. Our canine companions need regular walks, lots of outdoor play and opportunities to sniff and explore. Cats, on the other hand, are not only much safer being kept indoors, but they’re generally very content to sit in a sunny spot near the window and watch all the bird activity going on outside.

6. They make nowhere near as much noise

Let’s face it - most dogs aren’t exactly quiet. They bark when the doorbell goes, when their favorite toy is stuck under the couch, when they want feeding, when they’re excited to see you - the list goes on. All that noise can be pretty annoying and although cats will meow, chirp and purr, the sounds our feline friends make tend to be both cute and far less excessive. 

7. Cat’s clean themselves

If you have a cat, the occasions when they come in covered in something they shouldn’t will be very rare indeed, but the same can’t be said for our canine companions who love nothing more than rolling about in everything from poop to garbage. 

Our feline friends are fastidious about their grooming habits and while they’ll certainly appreciate a helping hand from time to time in the form of a pamper session with the best cat brush, they’re essentially self-cleaning machines who take great pride in their personal hygiene.

8. They understand the concept of personal space 

Cat sleeping on top of couch

(Image credit: Getty Images)

While it’s lovely that our dogs want to be close to us, sometimes when we’ve had a busy day or are feeling irritable or grumpy, the last thing we want is a pup trailing along behind us giving us those pleading eyes that signal they’re desperate to play or be taken out for a walk. 

Thankfully, unlike dogs, cats don’t require frequent attention, energy or affection. They understand the importance of space and independence in a relationship and are more than happy to quietly curl up beside you or to go off and do their own thing. 

9. Owning a cat might just make you more intelligent

We hate to break it to all you dog owners out there, but research has shown that cat owners tend to be more intelligent than dog owners - regardless of how intelligent their actual pet is. 

In a study conducted by Carroll University in Wisconsin, researchers looked for personality traits in 600 students that coincided with choices in pet ownership. They found that dog lovers tended to be more lively, outgoing, energetic and rule-abiding, but cat owners came out on top when it came to sensitivity, open-mindedness, non-conformity and intelligence. 

10. They’re not as smelly as dogs

Whether they’ve rolled in something disgusting or have simply got wet while out for a walk, there’s no denying that dogs frequently carry an odor that isn’t particularly pleasant to the human nose. Our feline friends, however, would rather die than waltz around the house dirty or smelly, and it’s that distinct lack of bodily aroma that makes us love them all the more. 

Looking for a fun and inexpensive way to keep your kitty physically and mentally stimulated? Then be sure to check out our guide on the reasons to use a cat puzzle feeder toy.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.