Few animals are as polarizing as cats. While dogs inspire near universal affection, when it comes to cats, most people either love 'em or hate 'em.

Of course, Martha loves cats, and she wants you to love them too. So on a very special Cat Show, she assembled a group of feline experts and asked them for reasons why cats make such great pets.

Because They Choose to Be with Us

The cat is the only domesticated animal that will go from being in a wild state back to being a pet on its own free will, says pet expert Marc Morrone. They're very successful wild animals -- they can survive on their own by eating small rodents -- but domestic outdoor cats always return to our homes to be with us.

They can be trained just as easily as dogs. And they serve our emotional needs -- they're affectionate to us because they want to be, not because they were trained. A house without a cat is like a hug without a kiss.

Because Their Independence Resonates with Us

They might depend on us for food and shelter, but they nonetheless believe that we work for them, says Dr. Phillip Raclyn, veterinarian and founder of VETSnyc. Being with our cats and watching them control their world is inspiring. Also, since cats are so similar to the wild cats of the jungle and forests, we can watch our house cats chase or stalk a mouse, and we're instantly transported to the jungle, watching nature take its course.

Because Each Cat Is a Paradox

They give you unconditional love, but if you leave them for a few days, they'll withhold their affection to punish you for leaving them, says breeder Pam Rutan. They are known for their independence, but they rely on you to take care of them. People may believe that cats are stupid, yet look who wakes you up in morning when they want you up -- and you do get up. They have us trained us pretty well.

Why Do You Love Cats?

Are you a cat lover? Tell us why cats make the best pets in the comments section below.

Comments (1)

Martha Stewart Member
January 20, 2010
I was trying to put my feelings about cats into words and then a friend sent this poem, author unkown, which I think says it all: Gentle eyes that see so much, paws that have... the quiet touch. Purrs to signal "all is well" and show more love than words can tell. Graceful movements touched with pride, a calming presence by our side. A friendship that will last and grow - small wonder why we love them so. ~ Author Unknown ~