Many people define themselves as a "cat person" or a "dog person". Just because you have always had dogs doesn't mean that you can't have a cat companion. People who have never had cats may have misconceptions about what it's like to live with a cat.
Dog lovers may have never considered why they prefer dogs over cats. Sometimes, it's what we grew up with as children. If you have never lived with a cat, you may not know the joy and fun they can bring to your life. My family always had dogs when I was a child and it wasn't until adulthood that I became a bona fide cat lover.
If you're considering adopting or fostering a cat, I applaud you. Cats are sweet, gentle and sometimes mischievous animals that will bring much joy to your life. Cats are very fastidious and clean pets. They are very safe to have around children of all ages. In fact, a child who lives with a cat who learn to be gentle and caring with small animals.
Cats are very independent creatures. They are ideal for singletons and apartment dwellers. I started out many years ago with one cat who was my first feline friend. She gave me companionship and taught me a respect that I hadn't had before. Cats have a way of getting under your skin.
Dog people may not realize that cats can be trained as well as dogs. They are extremely easy to housebreak, it takes almost no effort. Compare that to housebreaking a puppy, having a cat is a breeze. Cats can be taught to walk on a leash, play dead, stand up (on command), beg for treats, walk on a high beam and fetch. Cats love games and it's fun to teach them new tricks.
Cats are very loyal to their owner and family. They can pick up on emotional turmoil in a home and will often try to comfort you if they know you are upset about something. They are very sensitive little creatures and you will be surprised how deeply they feel things. If you are sad or physically unwell, they will try to make you feel better. Last year, I broke my foot and my three cats never left my side. When I would hobble around, they followed me and did their catly Nightingale act.
Some dog people insist that cats aren't as loving and cuddly as dogs. This is flatly untrue. Cats are very loving animals and adore cuddling and purring with their owner. Whenever I am gone for more than a few hours, my cats will hop onto my lap and give me nuzzles and purrs. Cats love showing affection and will do so with little encouragement.
Cats have distinctive sounds they make when they are trying to communicate. It's more than the typical "meow". They also use body language and the position of their tails to let you know how they feel. If a cat meows at you, he generally wants something. Usually this is food or attention related. Cats only meow at their humans, never at other cats. So, if your cat is meowing, he needs something.
A cat that caterwauls is trying to tell you something is wrong. They may be ill or in pain. You should take this sound seriously, because it's a warning sign. The only other time you hear it is when a female cat is in heat. Once she is spayed, this behavior will stop.
The most pleasant sound a cat can make is the purr. It's a sign of happiness and well being. If your cat is happy in his home life, he will purr frequently. A cat may purr if he is ill and is being treated at the vet. It's his way of comforting himself. Generally though, a purring cat is a happy cat.
The longer you live with a cat, the easier you will be able to translate his sounds. Some cats are more vocal than others. Siamese cats are very vocal whereas domestic cats are less so. One of my cats loves to mumble under his breath. This is usually done prior to him solving some problem; like jumping to the top of the refrigerator.
If you approach having a cat with an open mind, you may just learn something. Cats bring so much to our lives, it's small wonder that most cat owners have multiple cats. I encourage dog owners to consider adopting a cat, they just might surprise you. For the record, I have two dogs and three cats and love them all.