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Cat vs. Spouse: Who’s the Better Partner?

Posted by at 8:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (33)


catspousemikerzimmerman / CC

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise to PETA Prime readers, but recent surveys reveal that most people like their dogs better than their better halves. Among several findings-including the fact that most women think their dogs or cats are more affectionate and “cuter” than their human mates-is the assertion by two-thirds of respondents to a Petplan poll that they would rather be stranded on a desert island with a furry friend than share their coconuts with a human partner.

Maybe that is simply because folks know that their dog will never blame them for taking a wrong turn at the Bermuda Triangle, but Amelia Glynn, author of SFGate.com’s Tails of the City blog, seems to find these results alarming. She mildly berates those of us who would rather spend a Saturday night curled up with a book and the “Best Cat in the Universe” than pretending to care about who wins some stupid basketball game. She seems to imply that people who admit that they prefer animals’ unconditional love to “complicated” human relationships have their priorities skewed and are perhaps in need of psychological help.

I say we’re just being honest.

I mean, obviously, even though we may secretly think that our dog or cat is the cutest thing to come along since Hello Kitty, many of us dog- and cat-lovers do have rewarding relationships with parents, siblings, children, friends, partners, and other humans. And, yes, there are certain things you can’t do with your dog or cat-like laugh together over a joke or get into a heated debate over the relative merits of tofu versus seitan-that you would probably miss if you were stranded on a desert island with no human companionship. But when you get down to brass tacks, some of us have to admit that it’s hard to top the warm, fuzzy feelings that come from the knowledge that your dog will, as Bill Maher says, greet you like you’re the Beatles when you get home, no matter how bad a mood you are in.

So, what do you think? Are people who prefer their animal companions to their partners a few biscuits short of a Mr. Barky’s box? Or are they just honest enough to admit that all they need is puppy love?

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    Stephanie says...

    January 9th, 2009, 1:08 pm

    CAT – definitely!

    Susan Mullen says...

    January 9th, 2009, 1:25 pm

    I’m 59 and single. I have a 0% success rate with human partners. Given that, I am much happier spending private time at home with a cat than with a person. In 2008 I had my little cat put to sleep because of chronic health problems that suddenly got much worse. I grieved over her and am still grieving. My little Douce was a loving companion.

    I am much better off living with a cat, or even living alone, than I would be living with a bad human partner. People who care about me respect that.

    Christine Curtiss says...

    January 9th, 2009, 1:33 pm

    Before my spouse and I separated, I was often told the comment “I know you love Bella more than me” (Bella is my dog). I believe he was right. Now divorced, my Golden Retriever, Bella, has never let me down – she has showed me the most “agape love” I could ever imagine. We are growing old together and except for my job, we are inseparable. Everyone knows Bella and I are a team. I have her name tatooed on the back of my neck. Except for my 3 lovely cats, Bella is the most beautiful animal I ever adopted from the SPCA. I encourage everyone to adopt instead of buying.

    Kellie says...

    January 9th, 2009, 2:59 pm

    What’s wrong with CATS! I think you are on the wrong website if you have problem with cats ! This is PETA get it right!
    There is nothing wrong with caring about a CAT or dog more than your partner as long it dosen’t harm the animal or your partner.
    The reason some people like thier pets more than thier spouse may be due to past experiences or if they are in an unstable relationship. People can be rude, hurtful and inconsiderate. In short, lover’s will come and go but your pets and children are with you forever.

    kerry says...

    January 9th, 2009, 4:20 pm

    i think the perfect situation would be to have a purring cat on your lap, while your human partner is up on the roof shovelling the snow before he comes in to cook dinner and clean all the litter boxes.

    Kristen says...

    January 9th, 2009, 5:28 pm

    It all comes down to unconditional love. Our pets put us #1 on thier list 24/7 and how can we not love that? I think the survey just shows that there are a lot of faulty human relationships out there and people know that they are more likely to be hurt, confused, or betrayed by a human partner than by a simple, loving pet. There’s no psychological help necessary for acknowledging that feeling.

    Alyssa says...

    January 9th, 2009, 7:17 pm

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to spend time with animals versus humans. Some people don’t realize that in marriages, the spouse changes from what they were in the beginning of the relationship. Some of these changes are extremely hard to deal with, like your husband only leaving the couch to eat the food you have to make. Who wants to deal with that every day? Atleast with cats and dogs, you get some interaction and response when you talk to them!

    d. moss says...

    January 10th, 2009, 3:34 am

    I think my sixteen year old cat is brilliant and a wonderful companion, but I like Kerry’s posting(see above). She has the perfect solution to include your favorite
    pet and human partner in your life.

    kerry nuuvali says...

    January 10th, 2009, 3:53 am

    I’ve had more than a few people in my life time tell me maybe I should seek co unseling because I prefer the company of my dogs and cats instead of going to clubs or vegas.I think they are losing out on the finer things in life.I do have a few strong friendships,but the thing is I’ve never met an animal I don’t like. I can’t say the same thing about people.So yeah if I was stranded on an island I’d pick the dog or cat hands down.

    Jadey says...

    January 10th, 2009, 4:06 am

    In need of psychological help? I dont think so people who know me well know that I’m a highly logical person and I would chose my pets over my boyfriend any time cause he knew when he met me that I came with ALL my pets. Once he putted me in front of an ultimatum ”it’s me or the dog” when the answer it’s the dog came out of my mouth he realized that he wasnt going to win and eventually started to love the dog… The reason why I dont think I dont need psychological help for that? Being responsible is a psychological problem now? I wouldnt give up on my kid for a man when I decided that I wanted a kid I knew I would take care of the kid as long as the kid would need me and it was the same when I decided that I wanted to have pets my man is an adult he can take care of himself if i’m not there my pets cant the equation is simple…

    Jo says...

    January 10th, 2009, 11:45 am

    I have been in a long term relationship and I am getting married to that person this year and I can definitely say that sometimes I would much rather spend my time with my animal friends over my companion or human friends

    Laura says...

    January 10th, 2009, 7:54 pm

    Definitely the animals have always won my heart. And my husband agrees. He seems to enjoy his time with our dog as much, or maybe even a little more, than his time with me, and that’s totally fine with me. They can go outside and mess around and do all that male-buddy stuff that baffles me while I am inside the house, hanging with my house rabbit, doing something productive, like baking cookies. It’s a win-win situation!

    Olga Zaric says...

    January 11th, 2009, 6:52 pm

    Why even compare two kinds of love?
    My husband and me, we have two cats and we both adore them. I’d never ask myself if I prefer my husband or our cats because these relationships can’t be compared. Furthermore, since our cats have different personalities, we’ve built two different relationships with them.
    However, if I should spend a day with a human or an animal that I haven’t met before, I would definitely pick the second option!

    Merilyn Phillips says...

    January 11th, 2009, 9:35 pm

    Wellll of course animals are better companions! They bring out a smile no matter what. I feel sorry for folks who have never known the love of an animal.

    kerry says...

    January 12th, 2009, 11:00 am

    This blog and the comments has been so much fun to read. I dont want them to end!!! I once met a guy who said he made his dog sleep outside because he didnt want to breathe “dog air” and he couldnt stand dog hair on his clothes. What a loser!!!! We parted ways and he went on to torment numerous women with his sick controlling mean self.

    Our furry friends are great relationship screeners.

    Starla Donaldson says...

    January 12th, 2009, 12:21 pm

    animals win – hands down!

    debbie says...

    January 12th, 2009, 6:04 pm

    i tend to agree that i enjoy the companionship and unconditional love of my cats than people sometimes. as a nurse, i am with people all day, and i love my job and most of my patients (lol) i love coming home, making a cup of green tea, putting on some relaxing music and as i sit on the couch to unwind, here comes my tuxedo cat felix who climbs high onto my chest, lays his head on my cheek and promptly falls asleep!

    Dr Barry Kipperman says...

    January 12th, 2009, 7:49 pm

    Could it be that people are more apt to disappoint us because we expect more of them than we do our animals? Dont get me wrong, my animals are my family,but we dont expect them to give us holiday gifts or call us to apologize!

    cynthia says...

    January 13th, 2009, 8:33 pm

    who cares about holiday gifts or calls to apologize? animals win, hands down. We can’t live w/o them but we certainly can live w/ them.

    Ami says...

    January 13th, 2009, 10:11 pm

    I love my dog, and I love my spouse, and sometimes my spouse gets a little jealous when I’ve been away all week and I come home and greet him with “Hey” and a hug, then proceed to greet my dog in the usual super-excited, dancing-around, baby-talk laden manner. I do this because it just feels right. I can talk to my spouse over the phone whenever I want when I’m away, but as far as my dog knows, I might not come back. People love their companion animals in a very different way than they love their humans. Dogs and cats are never spiteful and they will never be mean to you just because they are cranky or you did something wrong, and for many people that kind of relationship is more rewarding than one with a person. But, honestly, I would probably bring my spouse if I were to be stranded on a desert island, mainly because people at home can take care of my puppy-dog better than I could on a desert island, and my spouse would be better at taking care of me if we were on a desert island. And I can’t have a conversation with my dog, sure I can talk to her, but she doesn’t really talk back.

    carl says...

    January 24th, 2009, 1:44 pm

    Cats every time. They don’t argue with you. They don’t complain. They don’t the complete opposite of what you suggest. They don’t…..Drat! She’s coming! Bye!

    claudia says...

    March 6th, 2009, 6:43 pm

    cats!!!!… tehy are the bests!!!

    DonnaLynn says...

    April 24th, 2009, 3:10 pm

    My cat ‘Baby’ is awesome, she plays fetch chases you around and loves people. I got her as a very small kitten, soooo I took care of her, I bathed her I feed her I clean up after her, and she loves me for that….When I come home from work she greets me at the door and rubs all over me.. {she also knows its dinner time lol}.. ..At bed time she likes to lay on my chest and I pet her….she has done this since she was a baby….One day the boyfriend and I got into an arguement and he said: That cat means more to you than I do….It’s like he was jealous of her…I told him she depends on me…and I’ll always take care of her…. Now he finnaly understands the love that pets give you…. he plays with her, and sees how fun she is……She will never argue, or be mean, unlike the the human partner… Soooo GO PETS!!!

    Rick says...

    May 26th, 2009, 8:09 am

    After 30 years of an ideal partnership that was admired and envied by nearly everyone in the community,I bought my beloved wife a bassett hound. We are getting divorced this week. Women and dogs seem to be a
    mentally unhealthy sickness. Within 3mos, in her mind I became a nobody.

    Charles says...

    June 5th, 2009, 9:51 am

    I think anyone who would put an animal before the person that they VOWED to love unconditionally is a bit off their rocker. Animals only show unconditional love because they are too stupid to know any better. If you treat your spouse like you treat the family dog or cat, maybe they will be as nice to you as the dog or cat! Remember, all pets have to do is eat, sleep, and be rubbed. Give em a little excercise on top of it, and they are good to go. They dont have to go to work, pay bills or deal with YOUR unstable moods and attitudes. So yes, they have no reason to be upset about anything. Plus they can’t TALK!! If they could I’m sure that they would tell you thing or two about your mood swings, or when you’re having a bad day and take it out on them. I think that I’ve made my point. I simply say, If my wife told me that I had to get rid of my dog or she was leaving, he would be on his way to a shelter faster than he could lick my face!! Of course, that’s just me. I’m a realist, and put things in their proper perspective. I love my dog, but I’m COMMITTED to my WIFE! Oy Vey!

    Jeff says...

    July 8th, 2009, 2:11 am

    Note to charles…
    Man you hit this on the head…of course this web site is going to have skewed opinions on the matter.
    I have no problems with dogs…i really dont, but I do experience often this syndrome with my wife who i really do believe would mortgage the house to spend money on the dogs. Our annual dog bills are over the top with 4 inside dogs who eat the finest foods, and must always have new toys. This not to mention regular new beds. Then there is the denial of the damage to our home that dogs cause when they urinate or defecate inside. Oh guess what…I am the one who relentlessly steam cleans. She wonders why after a week away on business, I am not jumping for joy when all I want is some quite in the kingdom, and instead take 20 minutes of schnauzer yapping any time the door opens in the house.
    Its killing me.

    Karin says...

    July 10th, 2009, 2:09 am

    Interesting to note the difference in opinion between the men & the women who have commented! The ideal solution is – note to the women – find a guy that loves the cat/dog as much as you do! Note to the men – the world does not revolve around your needs, that’s the reality, face it. Show a little more love – towards your woman & the dog/cat & the love will come around your way too.

    lucie says...

    September 7th, 2009, 1:07 pm

    Well said Karin…
    With an attitude like that guys, it’s no wonder many women will choose their pets over you, who could blame them really…
    What pet lovers usually and mostly love in their animals are the innocence and vulnerabilty and many other unique & sweet character traits that most men just can’t compete with, nor should they try.
    My cats are my children : any man who’d ever dare suggest that I’d have to make a choice between him and my furbabes would be out the door, fast & straight to the shelter (for human chimps), a lot faster than he could lick my… face and beg for mercy. I love my man but I am COMMITED to MY CATS for better or worse !!

    Dana says...

    January 25th, 2010, 10:03 am

    “Note to the men – the world does not revolve around your needs, that’s the reality, face it. Show a little more love – towards your woman & the dog/cat & the love will come around your way too.” Karin, why the automatic assumption that the men *don’t* already show the women love, or that they expect the world to revolve around them? This has to be the most absurd thread I have read on the internet yet. Congratulations, folks, you have encapsulated the flat man/woman relationship stereotypes perfectly.

    Marsha Kappelman Kravetz says...

    January 25th, 2010, 10:59 pm

    Animals give unconditional affection and love. They are not impressed by what you wear, what your career is about, how you may look, or your financial situation.(As long as you have enough money for food & treats ) !!!
    Animals have no agenda’s…. hidden or otherwise.
    Now …. people are entirely the opposite !!!!!!!!

    Jaina says...

    January 26th, 2010, 8:04 pm

    Oh, please. Animals for sure. Charles, you seem to be a bit “off the rocker”. People get so frustrating. And animals are not stupid (well, if you can count yourself, CHARELS.) I am COMITTED to my PETS. Oy Vey!

    Carrie says...

    February 8th, 2010, 1:36 am

    I have to agree with Jeff. I am a pet lover. I had a Chihuahua and my husband has 4 Schnauzers. They can be good dogs, but I get tired of being the one cleaning up after them. My Chihuahua had to be put to sleep. Before that I had even offered to sell her because we had too many pets. His dogs have ruined my furniture, clothes, and ruined my carpets and he just shrugs it off. He doesn’t take responsibility for HIS pets. He doesn’t like me to scold them, and If I do scold them he makes me out to be the bad guy. He sticks up for them every time they urinate or destroy something.
    I agree pets have an unconditional love, but I figured spouses could at least take accountability for their pets actions. I feel this is disrespectful to the spouse. I’m not asking to get rid of them, I just need a little respect, discipline and accountability! The same as if it was children!!

    cheryl says...

    June 13th, 2012, 10:03 pm

    Never met a person who loves me more than my cats love me. Need I say more?

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