Cats vs. Dogs | Speech & Debate

Everyone has a favorite. So, which are better: Cats or dogs?

Everyone has a favorite. So, which are better: Cats or dogs?

I admit I used to think I was a dog person. But I never had a dog. The thought of having a golden retriever when I got a place of my own was my dream.

Well, I finally got the house. But two weeks after I moved in, instead of a dog, I welcomed a cat into my home and my heart.

I immediately fell in love with the furry guy and quickly learned just what makes cats so awesome. I’m not sure why they get such a bad rap. They’re self-sufficient creatures, but they crave love and attention. Leave for a week, and they’ll be so happy to have you back. You’ll see it in their eyes, and they’ll block the door so you can’t leave again.

And it’s not just because you’re the one who feeds them. You’ll know if a cat has chosen you as “their” human. If they stand by you and rub their body against you, that means they trust you. Another way of knowing they trust you is if they lie on their back with their belly completely exposed. That’s the most vulnerable spot on a cat, so if they expose it, that means they’re completely comfortable with you.

Cats are also superior because they can take care of their own poop. Leave for a whole day to go to work and run errands and you won’t have to worry about coming home to a mess. Cats will do their business in the box and cover it. No late-night or early morning trips outside in the elements. And no dirty poo bags.

Speaking of litter box habits, cats are very routine. They’ll eat, sleep, play and use the litter box around the same times each day. No guessing games there.

On the topic of games, cats might not play fetch—what human enjoys that anyway with all of the drool?—but they do play a lot. Whether they play alone or with you, you can tell they’re having fun. Usually their games are much more entertaining than dogs’ one game—fetch.

And if you have an outdoor cat, you’ll be showered with presents. While they might be in an unglamorous form—ahem, dead mice—they are presents none the less. Cats bring you these trophies as a form of taking care of you. That means they have formed an attachment with you and feel that you are their family and they must provide for you. Show me a dog that can do that.

I didn’t think so.

—Kelsey Reinhart

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The major reason I like dogs is because they aren’t cats. Wait, that sounds unkind. I’ve lived with cats, and I like cats. I’m just never sure if they like me. I’m rarely sure if they like anything except cat food and kitty litter and, sometimes when they choose it, a warm lap.

You know very easily if a dog likes you. If he doesn’t, he’ll growl. If he does, all sorts of things happen. He’ll wag his tail. He’ll make delighted whiny sounds. He’ll run right up to you and lick you or jump on you or maybe bring you a ball to throw so the two of you can play fetch.

Ever try to play fetch with a cat? Sure, you can throw a yarn ball and a cat will go get it. And he’ll keep it, kick at it, roll around with it and do everything with it except bring it back. Throw a ball at dog and he’ll grab it, cart the slimy thing back to your hand and keep the game going—for days if you’ve got the time. Dogs are great pets, if you don’t have any other life.

But, if you do have important non-pet parts to your life—work, for example, or some time-consuming hobby—dogs will wait. You can yell at a dog in the morning for leaving the yard and he’ll still be thrilled to see you when you get home in the afternoon. Yep, there’s that tail wagging again. “Hey, Bud, want to go for a walk?”

Whoa. You said the word. You’re bolting out the door. What happened the last time you said “walk” to a cat? Yeah, you got indifference, at best. It’s why cats won’t heel. They know they’re in charge. You heel, for heaven’s sake.

What it boils down to is dogs are companions—members of the family—and cats merely cohabitate. When I lived with cats, I always got the feeling they were looking for a better family.

A dog will make sure you never feel alone. He will lay beside you while you write a letter, participating in a subtle sort of way, waiting for you to pet him. A cat will lay on the letter, preventing you from writing it. This is his time. Deal with it.

A loving dog will lower your blood pressure, except for the moments that you step on the wrong spot in his bathroom in the backyard.

A dog can be convenient. He’ll eat anything you put in front of him, along with some of the things you just leave on the counter in front of him.

A dog—especially big ones—will protect you and your home. He’ll intimidate intruders and wildly welcome friends, and he’ll instantly know the difference. I’m not sure what it is, but dogs seem to be a good judge of people.

And, for the most part, dogs don’t seem to like cats. That’s good enough for me.

—Gary Brown

We’re siding with Kelsey this month.

Both Kelsey and Gary debated their sides well, but Kelsey’s points just seemed stronger and more valid than Gary’s. Plus, cats are more self-sufficient and can entertain themselves more easily, and who doesn’t love that?