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Cats vs. Dogs? Divorce Lawyer New York, NY

Cats vs. Dogs – which is best for your marriage? Divorce Lawyer New York, NY & Visitation Lawyer NYC


Animals have been kept in the home for centuries – historically, for the purpose of protection (dogs) and home maintenance such as rodent control (cats).   While dogs and cats can still serve such purposes, these days they are most often kept as companions – and, increasingly, these companions are thought of and treated as part of the family.  How do these furry family members impact our romantic relationships? Does it help, or hurt, a marriage to raise a cat together? Divorce lawyer New York, NY chimes in.

Cats give you the space to be with your partner

Cats are generally easy to care for, quiet, and clean.  They can be happy in relatively small homes, and often like being the only pet.  They are independent but loving, a balance that allows a couple to share the joy of caring for an animal while also having the freedom to focus on other things.  If raising a dog together is like raising a toddler, raising a cat together is like having your adult child come home to visit – they love you, and they need you, and they are happy to see you, but they can mostly take care of themselves and won’t pay any attention to a curfew.  For these reasons, cats allow for a relationship that is not constantly centered around pet care.

Cats provide a structure

Cats adapt extremely well to routine and tend to reflect the routines of their owners.  Even though “having a routine” is often talked about negatively, a routine is a key component to a healthy, lasting relationship.  We all crave some form of stability and generally feel safest in environments where at least some things can be predicted.  It can be hard to establish a daily routine with a new partner, and so having a cat’s routine to adapt to together can help.  Something as small as feeding the cat at the same time each day can be just enough of an anchor to center a shared morning.

Divorce lawyer New York, NY says that cats also provide someone to “talk to” – a third party through whom thoughts and emotions can be externalized.  This can be an important outlet so that the focus is not on each other all of the time.

You can learn a lot about your partner from how they interact with cats

As independent as cats are, they do, of course, require care – and co-owning a cat can give you a sense of what kind of person your partner is.  Because cats are rarely “in your face” about what they want and need, a cat-owner must be able to keep pet-care in mind regardless of whether they see the cat in front of them.  A person who takes good care of cats will also probably remember your needs even when you are not right there asking for things.

Cat ownership requires kindness and respect for a being that cannot speak for itself.  Seeing how your partner interacts with your cats can give you some insight into how your partner might be with children, or how they might tend to you when you are sick or elderly.

Because cats are independent but loving, a person who gets along well with cats will likely allow you to have your own space and to pursue your own goals, as long as you pay attention to them and show them love when they need and want it.

Cats create a loving home space

Even if your partner falls short on some of the above, caring for a cat can foster these qualities over time.

Cats teach patience.  Cats wake you up by trying to sleep on your face.  Cats sit on your computer while you are working.  Cats follow you around while you walk, so close to your feet that you can’t help but trip over them.   They show their love through a constant, low-level insistence on being quietly near you, and this love, like water gently lapping at a lakeshore, makes your home an environment of affection without any effort or notice.

Spending time with a cat can be incredibly meditative.  A sleeping cat (adult cats sleep approximately 18 hours per day, so cats are almost always sleeping) encourages you to slow down, to sit still, to enjoy the sunshine and spend time with your thoughts.  Though this may be a somewhat indirect benefit to your relationship, it is an important one.  Partners who know who they are and what they care about – questions I believe are partly answered through the act of quiet contemplation – are more able to be good partners.   You have to love yourself to love other people fully, and cats can help you to learn how.

Conclusion from a divorce lawyer New York, NY – cat ownership is not for every couple, but the benefits are many.


Dogs are selfless, compassionate, and loyal.  Besides the routine commands, “sit”, “stay”, “come”, dogs and their humans share a language which only they can understand.  Arguably, they can be the glue which brings families and couples together. Would a divorce lawyer New York, NY agree?

In an advancing relationship, couples often opt to open their home and hearts to a dog, demonstrating another step in furthering their commitment to each other.  The decision to bring a dog home is not an easy one to make, and must be seriously discussed and thought out between the couple.  There will be extra costs, added stress, lack of sleep, and a loss of free time.  You no longer have the capability of whimsically planning last minute getaways, without first considering and coordinating your dog’s plans.  And, if you are raising a puppy, it is almost certain that you will lose some of your personal belongings to an inquisitive teething pup…but it is all worth it.

Raising a Dog Brings a Couple Closer

Raising a dog infers added responsibilities for a couple to share.  Puppies require constant care and attention to ensure they are not getting into trouble.  There are various aspects in training a puppy – crate training, house training, leash training, and teaching them basic commands and even tricks. All of this requires a great deal of patience, time and understanding, and should be done together so the dog learns that there are two masters in the house, and not just one.

A couple can have divided roles in their household: the disciplinarian, and the pushover.  A dog will learn these roles very quickly if you allow him/her, and capitalize on your weaknesses.  So, it is important to acknowledge these roles immediately, and alter however necessary.

Crate training and house training have the potential to be difficult and frustrating – which is why couples need to work together in advancing their puppy’s level of understanding and abilities.  There will be setbacks and accidents –remember, puppies are like babies without diapers.  So, it is important to remain patient with your new family member, and with each other.

Dividing the responsibility of raising a dog between you and your partner leads to consistency and stability in your roles as dog parents, and develops a deeper bond between you and your partner.  It also demonstrates your commitment to your growing family, and watching your puppy grow into a well-trained adult is extremely rewarding for dog parents.

Raising a Dog Offers Structure

Dogs require a consistent daily routine: sleep, walk, eat, exercise, repeat as necessary. Incorporating your pup into your daily routine will force you and your partner to stay regimented in your respective schedules and keep you on track to accomplish your daily tasks.  Being structured will better you and your family, overall.

Home is Where Your Dog Is

Divorce lawyer New York, NY says that dog ownership makes home your home the preferred place to be.  Being greeted by your dog when you arrive home is one of the greatest feelings –for you, your partner, and your dog because they are so excited to see you.  Being able to share in their level of excitement when you arrive home is a mini-celebration each time you walk in the house, and it is no surprise that being home with your dog, together as a family, is where you choose to be.

We Strive to Be the People Our Dog Believes Us to Be

Dog ownership is one of the most rewarding responsibilities we voluntarily choose to take on.  Dogs provide unconditional love, unyielding loyalty and affection.  Often times, we don’t realize the void in our lives which is quickly filled when they enter our lives.  Their ability to make us believe that we are the most important people in their whole world is invaluable, and inspires us to be better humans to those around us –especially our partners.  Yes, there may be trying times, and you and your partner may even question your decision, but if and/or when these moments happen, as yourself, would you have it any other way?

At the end, according to a divorce lawyer New York, NY, having a pet, cat or dog, is good for you and your marriage.

If you and your spouse are thinking about a divorce and want to share ownership of your pet, contact us today at Kleyman Law Firm to consult with one of our visitation lawyers NYC.

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