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In Australia, over 26% of households have one or more cats, with many having both a cat and dog.

Part of the reason for this popularity is that lifestyles and community relationships have changed dramatically over the last two decades. Increasingly, people are choosing high density living in order to be close to work, and the rise of the one and two person household has meant that many homes are empty during the day.

Cats are well suited to this lifestyle, as they require less space and less exercise than most dogs and are naturally clean and easily litter trained.

The fact that cats like to spend most of their day asleep is an added bonus! Many moggies will simply doze away the hours while their owner is absent, saving their active time for a bit of fun when Mum or Dad gets home.

Cats are especially popular with single working women who report that their cat is a "wonderful companion", providing high emotional returns for a small amount of time invested.

Because cats require less company and are smaller and more sedentary than most dogs, they are also suitable companions for the elderly and the incapacitated.

And of course the other reason for their popularity is simply that cats are fun to live with. The feline nature is quite distinct from that of other members of the animal kingdom. Cats are naturally playful and curious creatures, often to the considerable amusement of their owners. They are also particularly tactile and affectionate companions, providing many with the touch that psychologists claim we all need, but is occasionally hard to come by in our modem world.

Of course cats don't really make 'better pets'. You can no more compare cats to dogs, than you can apples to oranges or Beethoven to Madonna. But for many, a well cared for cat is a much loved and valued addition to the household.

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 06/02/07 16:21 Views: 2416

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