If you are in your 20s or 30s and thinking of adopting a cat into your home, here are some real reasons why you should. Adopting any pet is not a glamorous decision. It’s another family member and will be part of your life for a long time (average indoor cat life is between 13 to 17 years, according to the ASPCA, however, it isn’t uncommon for indoor cats to live to at least 20). As a fellow millennial, cat lover, and dog lover – I’m going to share with you five reasons why owning a cat is the better choice in your 20s, especially if it is your first pet. Now, that does not mean it rules out from having a dog in the future. As a dog lover, too, I also want to get a dog, but when there is enough space for the doggy to live happily and not have to feel confined. This suggestion on getting a cat rather than a dog is more in an instance where you are living alone but would like a friend.
Cats are the best choice as your first pet for those who are like us – in your 20s or 30s, love to travel, lives in an apartment, might come home late from work, and a procrastinator in chores!
When rescuing a kitten, try to get two kittens (if can, from the same litter). The two kittens can learn to play together, not be bored, and teach each other lessons on how rough to be with anyone else i.e., no biting, scratching.
1. Cats Clean Themselves
Depending on the dog’s coat, my nostrils can get pretty sensitive when their owner hasn’t washed them in a while. You can smell that lovely, light “dog smell” on them. Get this – for cats, they never smell. Ever. Their tongue is specially designed to remove dirt and other particles that might lead to odor. And that is why you see them licking themselves all day. It’s their #1 job aside from sleeping all day.
Even though our cats are indoor cats (we only let them out in the balcony once in a while), we wash them probably every month or every other month. However, if they were outdoor cats, we’d probably clean them up a bit more frequently.
We snuggle with them all day and all night (they sleep on our beds, right next to our faces), and we do not have any issues at all with how they smell. Kit Kat’s breath might be another story – but there is no stench coming from their coat.
2. Cats Go To the Bathroom By Themselves (both pee and poo)
So for someone who is working 40+ hours, hanging out with friends after work for a couple of drinks or dinner, you won’t need to worry to “go home” and take care of business, then make your way to meet your friends. You can leisurely enjoy your life, and not feel anxious that your doggie is going to poop or pee in the apartment.
With cats, it’s different. As long as you have a litter box for them to go to the bathroom, they are sweet. They don’t need to be “managed.” They are already potty trained for both #1 and #2. As an owner, you have only a few tasks (during your own time) to make sure they can go to the bathroom themselves whenever they need to.
- Ensure litter boxes are clean. Scoop up every couple of days!
- Ensure the litter is changed every month with fresh new litter.
- Ensure you have two litter boxes per cat. So if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes in your home.
3. Cats Can Be Left Alone Overnight and Be OK
Ok, this is probably the biggest reason. This is HUGE. For us, we tend to go on short trips over the weekend for hiking trips, see family and friends, or for mini-vacations. If we are gone for more than two nights three days, we will hire a cat sitter or ask a friend to watch our cats by popping out to our place to feed and scoop. Cats are lovely by themselves if they have enough food and water in the house. So how we prepare this, is that we put aside the total amount of food that will cover those three days and a little bit extra, just in case, for our little kitties.
How is this different from having a dog? I would have to board the dog, like a baby, rather than a cat sitter can pop into our house for 15 mins and take care of their food & water bowl, and help scoop the litter. Cat sitting is like taking care of an older adult, they can do most of the basics by entertaining themselves all day, but they have specific needs they can’t do alone. But dog sitting, there is no way you can leave a dog by themselves for a weekend. They need someone to help them go to the bathroom and have meals.
To be honest, at first, I was a little weirded out that it is OK to leave our cats by themselves, but after understanding how they behave (i.e., they don’t get mad and tear up the house), I realized that these cats are independent AF.
4. Cats Are Affectionate AF (the stereotypes are not valid)
“Man’s best friend is a dog.” “Cats don’t love you.” Yeah… I highly disagree.
Our cats follow us around our small 1,000 square foot, two bedroom apartment. If we are in another room, they come to join us. If we are sleeping, they sleep next to us. And not just at the foot of the bed, in our arms or even on our chest.
They also greet us whenever we come home. They talk to us (meowing) and have conversations with us because they have feelings too. While we are eating, they are by our side, whether sitting on the next chair over, or under the table. They hang out with us by sleeping next to us on the couch, or our computer desk. And most of all, they truly will never leave your side when you are even going to the bathroom or taking a shower. They care about you because to them you are their family, and to us, they are our family.
We love these fur babies, and we can’t wait to grow our fur baby family when we get a house one day and add another kitty and a dog to the pack.