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12 reasons why CATS rule!

Happy National Cat Day Everyone! As a proud feline fur-momma, I am thrilled to share 10 amazing reasons why Cats Rule. This blog post may or may not also be prompted by Poly-ana who is currently sitting on my desk purring and watching me type.

To celebrate National Cat Day, even though in Canada, we celebrate it on August 8th, celebrating feline awesomeness is too good not to share twice! So, without further ado, 10 reasons why cats rule!

1. Cats are very clean fur-kids. Cats spend a great deal of their time grooming themselves, so you will rarely have to bathe your feline friend. Compared to dogs, cats also generally tend to smell much better. Unlike dogs, your cat won’t go outside and roll in unpleasant things or pick a fight with a skunk. Additionally, because cats are so good at keeping themselves clean, they usually feel softer and cleaner than dogs and many other animals when you pet them.

2. Cats are very quiet companions, for the most part. Even the loudest, most insistent meows are much quieter than most barks. Even when your cat is trying her hardest to annoy you into giving her extra treats, her meow sounds are adorable. You will never have neighbors complaining about your cat meowing too much. It’s hard to be annoyed by such cute little sounds. Poly-ana was so quiet when I first adopted her, I was actually concerned she had issues with her vocal cords. She always had a very quiet meow for the longest time. Lisa-lee however, I'm pretty sure you could hear her meows through brick walls, especially after she started going deaf. Ironically, after Lisa-Lee passed away, Poly-ana's meow got noticeably louder. If noise levels are a concern in your living situation, cats are a great choice of pet. Depending on the cat, you may need to worry about other sounds such as them knocking things off of surfaces or running around at top speed, but they are still likely to be quieter overall.

3. Cats are very low maintenance companions. Kitties are much more self-sufficient than puppies. Cats don’t need to be taken outside multiple times a day for bathroom and exercise walks. Cats also don’t require nearly as much training as dogs, however, they are, contrary to popular belief, easily trainable. Cats are also self-cleaning. Though cats still need love and attention just like dogs, they don’t require quite as much interaction as dogs. A cat is content to curl up next to you while you work, while a dog may demand your undivided attention. Cats can also be left home by themselves while you are at work and are generally much less likely to destroy your house while you are gone.

4. Cat's don't need to go for a walk or go outdoors. Cats don’t need to be taken outside in the middle of the night to do their business. While no one enjoys cleaning the litterbox, for many, it is still much easier and less of a burden than having to go outside in the darkness or bad weather and having to carry around little baggies of your fur-kid's waste until you can get to a garbage can. Cats are small enough that they can generally get plenty of exercise while indoors, especially if you have plenty of vertical spaces for your feline friend to climb. Since cats don’t need to go outside, they will also never track in mud after you have just finished mopping the floor. What a bonus!

5. Potty training cats is generally, very easy to do. Most kittens already know how to use the litter box as soon as you bring them home. Even cats that were born stray or feral instinctively know to bury their waste after going to the bathroom. The most you will have to do to potty train your new furry friend is to show her where the litter box is and show her how to dig in the (clean) litter using your own hand. This can be a bonus to many as one of the biggest challenges dog owners need to overcome often is the process of house-training a new puppy.

6. Cats protect your home from pests. The mere presence and scent of a cat are usually enough to keep mice, rats, and other creatures away from your home. If a rogue rodent does find its way into your house, however, your cat’s natural predator instincts will kick in even in a feline who's never seen a mouse before. We found this out when we moved to the North Island with Poly-ana. She'd always been a city cat and never seen a pest bigger than a spider (although granted, some of those were large!). We had a few mice when we moved in and her instincts did kick in, at least to give chase, although she's never actually killed or even maimed one (unless a concussion counts, I'm pretty sure Lisa-lee was doing a great amount of facepalming at her sisters lack of hunting ability from the rainbow bridge.) Though it can be gross finding remains of your fluffy friend’s hunting victories, it still beats having vermin running loose through your home. Cats are also excellent hunters of insects, keeping your home safe from moths, houseflies, and other creepy crawlies (be warned, however; some types of bugs aren’t very tasty to cats. Your cat probably won’t do much to keep ladybugs out of your home.) Generally speaking, cats are hardwired to stalk, hunt, and pounce on their prey, which makes them perfect for keeping your home free of unwanted pests – be it mice, bugs, or something else.

7. Cats can generally be left on their own a little longer than their canine counterparts. This is mainly due to the fact that cats don’t need to be taken outside to use the restroom so they can be left home alone all day while you are at work without having to worry about coming home to any nasty surprises on your living-room carpet. Cats are also less prone to separation anxiety, so they can tolerate being home for longer periods of time without their human. That said, if you know you're going to be leaving them alone often, it's often better to adopt a pair of feline's to keep each other company while you're away. In fact, Poly-ana was adopted to be a companion for Lisa-Lee and, while sometimes they didn't get along, they did keep each other great company whenever I had to head out for the day.

8. Cats are ideal apartment companions. If you live in an apartment, you are usually more likely to be allowed to have a cat than a dog. Many apartments don’t allow pet dogs but will sometimes still allow tenants to have a cat or two. Cats also take up less space, so they will be happier living in an apartment than a dog would, especially larger breeds.

9. Cats are AMAZING companions. I can't imagine my life without my feline companions. Falling asleep without hearing their little snorts, snores and purrs can often be difficult these days. Cats like to be where their favorite humans are but are sometimes less needy than their canine counterparts. Poly-ana does have her demanding moments, usually when I'm working at the computer, however, she's generally pretty quiet in the morning and part of the afternoon preferring to curl up on the bed inside her favorite cozy blanket and when it's available, a ray or two of sunshine. Cats are usually content to sit quietly near their favorite human while they work or read a book. There is nothing better than a cat purring on your lap after a long autumn day, while curled up in your favorite spot with a cozy blanket, a cup of tea, and your favorite book or movie. Cats often can be every bit as affectionate and loving as dogs but aren’t as high maintenance.

10. Cats are often very Independent. One of the best things about cats is that they are very independent creatures. Unlike dogs, who require quite a high level of attention each day, cats are quite happy to have time to themselves. In fact, cats will sleep for about 15 hours a day so you don’t have to worry about them being too bored when you’re at work. When you are home, cats are also more likely to be content with just being in your company, whereas dogs may demand your undivided attention. Fair warning, however, cats are nocturnal creatures and while they sleep all day, they often tend to explore during the nighttime hours.

11. Cat's tend to have a very long lifespan. Any pet owner knows that losing a pet is a truly heartbreaking experience. Fortunately, when it comes to house pets, cats have quite a long life expectancy. The average life span of a cat is 12 years, but it’s not uncommon for them to live into their high teens or even early twenties. In fact, Lisa-Lee was 16+ (she was adopted so we don't know for sure her exact age but our amazing vet at Fraser Valley Animal Hospital estimated her age to be at least 16 but likely a little older.) when she crossed the rainbow bridge. I am very hopeful that her sister, Poly-ana lives every bit as long of a life. Poly-ana is already 12 and doesn't act a day over 5.

12. Cat's are great for our health! Studies have shown that cats have a calming effect on their owners, from the soothing action of petting to purring being an aid in falling asleep. Cats can even play a part in lowering your blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack. One 10-year study has even shown that cat owners were 30% less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners.

There you have it, 12 great reasons why CATS RULE for National Cat Day! If you love felines as much as I do, but can't bring one home, be sure to check out your local rescue group to volunteer. They're often in need of feline cuddlers and those to help care for these amazing felines while they wait for their happy tails.

If you are looking for a feline companion, please, please adopt or even foster from your local feline rescue group! There are a ton of amazing feline's out there in great need of finding an amazing happy tail, and who knows, that happy tail may just be with you!

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