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

The following article originally appeared on PETA Prime. 

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’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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  • KC Karen says:

    I got divorced and then I lived with just a very loving dog for almost 20 years before I got married again. I love my husband and we just reached 20 yrs together, but I don’t know if I could have stayed with him if we hadn’t had the dog and then cats to replace the dog when he died. Life wouldn’t be the same with just a human around!

  • Cat Grooming says:

    Pets are very loyal. They will never betray you.

  • Peace says:

    I love my husband. He and I have had our troubles but having my dog and cats around has always helped me through tough times. I’m certain he feels the same. The pets never take sides, are supportive to each of us just how we need and we never have to ask for their help. I have no doubt that our marriage has become stronger with their help. For me, I can have pets or I can have a husband and pets. I don’t think I could only have a husband, I’d go insane 🙂

  • sandra mason says:

    Cat!! always the cat!!! when I got a divorce I replaced him with two kittens. they did a beautiful job. I now have ten cats and no husband and could not be happier and more peaceful. I couldn’t live without a purr in the house!!

  • chander kumar soni says:

    offcourse, spouse with wild nature as cat.

  • Chelsea says:

    Yet to find my other half, but I really love this article. I don’t feel bad anymore with being “lonely” old pet lady. Although I’m still open to dating fellow animal lovers (:

  • Keri says:

    I have a pet bearded dragon who is my baby and the love of my life. I will not even date a guy who is unwilling to give her a chance. ‘Must love lizards’ is on my list of characteritics in my dream guy.

  • Patty Bowers says:

    I would never even CONSIDER dating a guy who didn’t adore animals and want to help end their suffering! It narrows the field TREMENDOUSLY, but oh well! I definitely would take a dog over a guy anyday if that was the choice! The not loving animals is a total DEAL BREAKER for me!

  • Sophia says:

    Although I love my boyfriend, my dog is my life. I don’t think that’s crazy. I can tell my dog anything without fear of a disagreement. There’s something great about having another living being to love you unconditionally. Love my dog!

  • Daniel Knopov says:

    I am exactly like that. I have a dog whose name is Dik and he is closer to me than my own brother. When people ask me if I have brothers or sisters, I asnwer: “Yes, I have two brothers, Alon and Dik”.
    I love him so much and I really don’t see any difference between him or the other members of my family. He loves us no matter what, he is always happy to see us, and he is the best thing in my life.
    Also, let’s admit it, he will never think how to make us feel bad, or how to steal something from us. He will never hurt us on purpose, like most of the human beings do. He is honest, kind and loving.

  • Steph says:

    I have to admit that I am one of these – as the old saying goes: love me, love my cat. I have always been clear about this in my relationships and don’t think I could be with someone who didn’t care for animals.

  • Lea Harris says:

    I had a boyfriend tell me I had to get rid of my dog because it was too big. The boyfriend left to go fishing and when he got back everything of his was in a snowbank outside the door and the locks were changed. My beloved dog and I were nice and warm inside eating dinner.

  • Cristina Cassinelli says:

    I love the part that says they greet you like you’re the Beatles when you get home!!! Soooo true! If people who don’t love animals think we’re bonkers, that’s their problem. They don’t know what they’re missing! ha,ha ha

  • Catherine Tingley says:

    Animals are who I am, if you don’t like animals I’m probably not going to want you in my life. We would not share the same values, not care about the same things on this planet.

  • Val says:

    My animals have been my life.I love the animals because they give me unconditional love.

  • cheyre says:

    NO doubt animals and especially cats are far more loving ,reliable and grateful than men !!!

  • Felicity says:

    I love it when this article mentioned Hello Kitty (lol)! My cat greets me heartily whenever I get home after my few weeks of vacation from other town. He is very vocal and social. I was not in the poll survey but I concur with majority of pet owners in this survey about preferences to animal companions rather than human partner.

  • Patty Bowers says:

    PRICELESS! Just love this! And thanks for the laughs!
    Certainly was true in my case! :o)

  • Sally E. says:

    People are always talking about how everyone should be more honest. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone perferring the companionship of an animal over another human. In fact, it’s a running joke in my household that my husband will go before any of my cats, dogs, or other furry friends in our house.

  • Susan Wolinsky says:

    I have rewarding relationships with humans, but that doesn’t mean I want to be stranded on an island with them. I would take my cat any day. She’s more of a companion than any human has ever been. I have a t-shirt somewhere that says, “The more I know about men, the better I like my cat.” My sentiments, exactly.

  • Catherine says:

    Tehe, I am very guilty of this. Firstly, let me state I have a wonderful, healthy and happy marriage. However, my husband only the other day was in conversation with his dad and jokingly but knowingly remarked that if he and our(my) beautiful Cavalier were both in front of a train and I could only save one of them that it wouldnt be him left standing. I just cannot understand people who dont love animals. My dog is my best friend, my husband is my soul mate! Its a win-win really!



  • rosa says:

    What a good article. My cats love snuggling with me. I even think hubby gets jealous at times.

  • holly says:

    I totally love my animals more than any significant other I have ever had

  • Chris says:

    It’s just the motherly instinct because to those who truly love animals, they are just our “babies”. Anyone who does not truly love animals would never understand that love anyway so no use explaining a love so strong it hurts. My pets are mauled with kisses umpteen times throughout the day…….my hubby knows they come first 🙂 Others may say those of us who feel this way are nuts, well so be it……I wouldn’t trade that wonderful feeling for anything else in the world.

  • Sandi Shocket says:

    I lost a boyfriend over my cats. And i don’t like sleeping with anything other than my cats.

  • Kate Kenner says:

    I certainly hope I would pick my animals. They have been here and if doesn’t like my animals than I am not the person for them. They wouldn’t last long enough to become a spouse.

  • A Inchaurregui says:

    I don’t think those that say that they’d prefer their four legged friend to the two legged lover are bonkers, but I wouldn’t call them honest, either.
    I love my pets unconditionally, and they reciprocate, but I love my husband, too. I’d rather be stranded with him, and we can just tame some wild beasts on that deserted island. I’ve heard rumors that monitor lizards make great pets, once you get past that awkward, scaly lizard-ness.
    Don’t get me wrong, if I were dating (and not married to the best vegan, animal lover I’ve ever met)I wouldn’t hesitate to kick a guy to the curb for not giving my dogs their due, or for making a snide comment about the cats that I pretend are mine but really just stay near my house because I have the best treats.
    Honestly, if someone held two guns, one to my dogs’ heads and one to my husbands and told me to choose, I’d choose my husband. Then he’d be there, and we could console each other through the loss of our pup. Thank goodness it’ll never come to that, though. Phew!

  • Eve Norman aka Oakland Eve says:

    Our pets are our faithful friends. OK, so PEOPLE are “personal assistants” to our cats. They are honest and sincere. Not a manipulative or hypocritical bone in their bodies. They sense our emotions without any explanation. Tired? They entertain us and make us laugh. Sad? They are attentive and gentle. Humans? SOME are nicer then others. Take a lesson from our pets.

  • fancythecat says:

    With eight cats it is very obvious that at our house the cats win!

  • Stephania says:

    My boyfriends jealous of my cat because his always getting a lot of my affection. But lets face it, Pets know right from wrong and they don’t answer back! Plus they are super cute, so on the rare occasion they do get up to mischief its easier to forgive them. Terrible isn’t it! Sounds like favouritism to me…

  • Marsha332 says:

    Yes, I definitely agree that if I had to choose between my dog & my husband, my dog would win hands (or paws) down. No question!

  • Ragdoll says:

    Cat would win. The animals are dependent on us and if we take on the responsibility of being a guardian for an animals, it has to be for their entire life. Americans are a throw away society including an animals life if it inconveniences them. Fy husband is not dependent on me or I him. We could get along without each other, but choose not too.

    Every life has a purpose. All animals are individuals and they have feelings and thoughts and they suffer the pain and the joy that we do. They are entitled and they deserve an opportunity to live in a safe environment.

  • ANGELA45 says:


  • Joy & Medallion says:

    I have never been let down by an animal compannion in my life. And if they are willing, then yes, I would share my coconuts with them on a deserted island or anywhere else for that matter. We take these sweet deserving bundles of fur for granted, and seem to forget that they don’t ask for much in return. So if I’m a few biscuits short, so what, my cat Medallion dosen’t seem to care! Get over it Amelia, for your findings don’t alarm me at all!

  • DeanneO says:

    My dog is my constant companion. She is kind, tolerant and loves me no matter how I look or how I feel. She is comforting to me when I am unhappy, lonely or not feeling well. She would give her life for me without hesitiation and I would do the same for her. I could easily live without a man, but I could never live without the love of a wonderful animal. So maybe I’m a few biscuits short but I’m happy to be so.

  • Ellen Emerson says:

    I wish I could find a significant other who gave me as much love and affection as my cats 🙂