Cats vs. babies — which is better?

If you’re childless and petless and you’re trying to decide whether you should get a cat or have a baby, this article is for you!

ARCH RIVALS: Cat and child
Photo by Ernst Vikne via Flickr

If you’re childless and petless and you’re trying to decide whether you should get a cat or have a baby, this article is for you!

To be honest, though, this column came about because my son is an only child who is blissfully unaware of the rivalry that exists between him and my cat. When I first brought my son home, my cat was much more interested in my overnight bag than in him. But over time, she has striven to usurp him as the Centre of Attention. In light of this fascinating history, I think it is time to settle things for once and for all and determine what’s better: cats or babies.

Babies have nicer poop
When I was pregnant, people told me that changing diapers really sucks. As it turns out, it doesn’t suck as much as changing the litter box. Cat waste is nasty. It’s full of bacteria, and you’re not even supposed to change the litter box yourself if you’re pregnant because the bacteria in the cat shit could harm your fetus. There is even scientific theory suggesting that cat shit makes people crazy. It also really stinks. Baby poop, on the other hand, is not so bad. When my son was a baby and still breastfeeding exclusively, his poop smelled like popcorn. Who has poop that smells like popcorn? Babies, apparently.

Cats are better at taking naps
Perhaps you’ve noticed new parents who look like they’ve just been electrocuted comparing notes about whether or not their babies sleep through the night and how nap time has been going for them. Cats, while nocturnal, generally don’t keep people awake all night. Sometimes they run around and jump on things, but that doesn’t get you out of bed like a baby crying. You never even have to try to get a cat to go down for a nap during the day. No, they do that on their own.

Babies can’t do anything
When comparing cats and dogs, people often say that cats are more independent. Well, they’re more independent than babies, too. Babies can’t do anything. They would just sit around in their own shit all day if you let them. Cats don’t need to be spoonfed. They also clean themselves. You don’t have to find a daycare for them — you can just leave them home alone when you have to go to work or something.

However, that being said:

You can’t take cats anywhere
There are many places you can’t bring a baby, but babies are still more flexible than cats. There are movie theatres that offer mom-and-baby showings. None, however, will welcome your cat. If you go on a trip, you have to find someone who will take care of your cat while you’re away because you can’t really take them on trains or airplanes. You can’t take them grocery shopping. You can’t even take them to the beach. The only place that you can really bring your cat is to the vet.

They’re both nice
Maybe your cat is trying to kill you, but some of them seem to possess empathy — like these cats, who kept a 1-year-old homeless boy alive. Contrary to popular opinion, as influenced by Family Guy, babies aren’t plotting to kill anyone. They’re cute, and they laugh at all of your jokes. They also enjoy hugs and being sung to,  two things that cats hate.

In conclusion
Well, when you put it on paper, it looks like a tie. But I have to admit that I do love my son more than my cat. I’m not saying I would leave her in a burning building, but I wouldn’t sit down and watch a 30-minute Barney DVD with her, either. ■

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