Blessed be the home that welcomes a cat - Economic Benefits

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Exterminates house pets

Whether domestic or feral, we all know cats as efficient killing machines. Rodents, insects and even birds do not stand a chance when these cute predators are on the prowl. For almost 10,000 years, cats have been building a symbiotic relationship with civilized humans by using their natural talent as pest exterminators.

In exchange for the wholesale casualty of mice and insects that destroy people’s farms and libraries, cats get to enjoy surplus food, human pampering, and warmer shelters. Around 1/3 of all contemporary American homes are still plagued by rats. Curiously, cats often proudly present the gruesomely killed prey on the bedside of their endeared owners.

Yields lower carbon footprint

Like all commercial products, manufactured pet food requires industrial facilities dependent on fuel – which in turn generates COemissions. In terms of pet food industries, environmental impact is directly relative to rural land area (vegetable farm or livestock ranch). Due to their diminutive size and sedentary behavior, cats require a smaller calorie intake than dogs. In terms of the agricultural area needed to feed a pet, a cat only requires 0.15 to 0.19 hectares while a medium-sized dog requires around 0.84 hectares.      

Yields less annual cost

An even more personally relevant issue than environmental impact is the amount of money it costs to raise pets. By comparison, it is more expensive to keep a dog in one year than it does a cat. In a 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by APPA, cats are cheaper by an annual difference of approximately R8000.

The annual cost of owning a cat is around R14000 while dogs can cost around R20000. This calculation includes food, treats, kennel training, grooming aids, vitamins, toys, routine vet visits and excludes medical operations. There’s a huge difference in almost every aspect of spending. Curiously, however, the average cost to buy their food is practically the same. 

Safer for babies and toddlers

One can see from a viral Youtube video how cats display an incredible amount of patience when joyful babies and toddlers (and even puppies) ‘recklessly manhandle’ them. While there’s no distinction between cats and dogs in terms of their gentleness towards babies, the former certainly gain a relative advantage in terms of hygiene.

Cats spend around 10% to 15% of their day licking themselves clean. Unless they managed to sneak out of the house and get into a dumpster-diving or pest-killing spree, you’d feel at ease with an indoor cat snuggling with your baby. Warning: within 6 to 9 months of age, you must keep your cats off the sleeping baby’s crib. Any huge object could risk asphyxiation since babies are incapable of moving their head away from things that cover their breath.   

Requires less interior space

Dogs can greatly benefit from being free-range and they prefer to play around a spacious front yard. Unfortunately, young adults and other low-income grown-ups could not afford a suburban property. For those who can only pay monthly rent for apartments, cats prove to be a more preferable pet.

Apart from their diminutive size, cats are also very agile and flexible. If you think your 750-sq. feet one-bed apartment unit is too cramped, you’d find your quirky feline companion forcing itself inside a spare box or cupboard for fun. Even if the apartment space is wide, some homeowners are terrified of residing with their jumpy dogs above three floors. Cats, however, are known to survive a fall from 32 stories high!

Brings out creative interior design

Speaking of limited interior space, it is also possible to turn your living quarters into a cat-friendly zone. A cat-friendly interior adapts a modern minimalist concept. In addition to removing or securing damageable items (e.g. vase and picture frames), you could affix adornments that enthuse the acrobatic instincts of your feline companion. These decorative items include an alcove cat tree stacked up to the ceiling, empty shelves bolted firmly along the walls, and miniature bridges/walkways that connect poled platforms on either corner of the room.

They are lower maintenance

Cats spend up to 20 hours sleeping and around 4 to 8 hours doing anything else otherwise. But in all that time, a cat has rarely any need for human interaction to keep itself occupied. The fact that cats can be an embodiment of pure apathy means they won’t even slightly miss you even if you’re gone for an entire day.

They have a full schedule of independent activities (and for your sake, let’s hope it doesn’t involve unapologetically shredding toilet paper). Your busy 12-hour weekday career remains uninterrupted, granted that you won’t forget filling their food and water bowls or neglect cleaning their litter box. 

Offers huge business potential

Grumpy Cat (Tardar Sauce) and Lil Bub (Lilian Bubbles) were among the two most enduring feline celebrities in the online and mass media – rubbing shoulders with actual movie and television personalities. Their dwarfism brought a novelty appeal that made them viral superstars in both video (Youtube) and social media (Facebook) platforms. Their endorsement of the global pet product brands made their owners prosperous.

Other than a promising but highly competitive stardom status, your cats can also perform jobs and bring extra stable income. They can either become cat café/bistro co-hosts, assistant exterminators in a pest control company, or emotional support (therapy) pets in a special needs institution – as long as these establishments observe laws concerning the humane treatment of animals. 

Keeps other animals content (rural)

Country citizens who raise livestock can also reap the same advantages of urban homeowners. Farmers and ranchers uniquely enjoy the benefit of having ‘happier’ barn animals. Cats are also very drawn to large docile creatures like cows, sheep, and horses. Aside from the cats’ innate tendency to eradicate stable/barn pests, their playful demeanor helps relax these ‘meek giants.’ 

Fertilizes lawns/shrubbery

Other than rural residents, suburban homeowners benefit from having plants outside their houses. If you plan to have potted ferns or thorny shrubs to repel home invaders, you can use the carbon-rich cat feces for fertilizer. Successful hot composting (23 Degrees Celsius or higher) of cat manure could be used for propagating flowers and other outdoor vegetation.

Warning: Do not use cat manure for fertilizing the soil of garden edibles like veggies and herbs (at least not until undergoing a minimum of 2 years of composting)! The cat’s excrement contains toxoplasmosis – a parasite that causes recurring flu symptoms, migraines, and muscle aches. Pregnant cat owners must avoid gardening altogether to prevent the risk of parasite contamination.

They are economically strategic

Several hundred bucks a year is a good tradeoff when you think of the amount of money you’re spending in the same period for medical expenses (with or without insurance). The correlation between pet ownership and the superior physical condition is a fact mentioned by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Basically, cats and dogs are similar concerning the quality of wellness potential they give to their owners. The one comparative advantage that cats have is that they are economical not only in terms of the total amount of monetary expenses but also the overall time, attention, energy, and lifestyle adjustment necessary to raise them.

                             

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