Cats.

I meant legally speaking, you dick.

Oh. That is a bit harder to answer. Let’s look at this question in terms of whether dogs or cats are subject to more legal restrictions in Australia. The animal that faces the least legal restrictions is the winner. That seems as good a test as any to determine once and for all whether cats or dogs are the better animal.

Round 1

There a lot of laws dealing with which breeds of dogs and cats can be imported and sold in Australia. On a pure numbers basis, there are many more laws that restrict the importation and sale of dogs than there are for cats.

The only cats that are illegal to import and sell are hybrid kitties, like:

⁃ the Savannah cat, which is a domestic cat crossed with a serval cat;

⁃ the Safari cat, which is a domestic cat crossed with a Geoffroy cat (these guys are badass); and

⁃ the Chausie, which is a domestic cat crossed with a jungle cat (leopard-cat!).

The list of banned dogs, on the other paw, is much longer, mainly because so many breeds of dogs are big, strong, and less lazy, compared to cats (even cool hybrid cats). To take just a very small sample, all wolf-dog cross-breeds are banned, as are breeds that I have never heard of including the Dogo Argentino, the Fila Brasileiro, the Japanese Tosa, the Perro de Presa Canario, and the Presa Canario. After a quick look at some photographs of these breeds on Google, I’m intimidated by the size of the males’ testicles, before I even look at their salivating jaws and sharp, flesh-ripping teeth.

Also, most states and territories have laws that allow for any breed of dog, even the most stupid dog of all – the Pekinese – to be declared ‘dangerous.’ If you own a dangerous dog, you are required to take additional steps to ensure your dog remains under control and cannot harm the public. This includes the use of muzzles and special collars, which I am sure is great for your dog’s self-esteem. Cats don’t suffer the shame of being labelled ‘dangerous’ by our laws, although our native wildlife may beg to differ.

I guess this makes cats the winner, using this test. Go cats!

Cats 1. Dogs 0.

Round 2

But wait, dogs have come out biting…err, I mean fighting in the second round.

They can use the law to legally access many more venues, stores, and public spaces than cats can. Well, certain types of dogs get this privilege, anyway. Yes, I am referring to guide dogs, or seeing-eye dogs. I am not quite sure of the politically correct description, sorry. ‘Companion animals’ my beautiful wife just informed me. Well there you go.

Our anti-discrimination laws make it illegal for any person, or any business, or company, to deny someone access to a public or commercial building, or to refuse to provide a paid or volunteer service, simply on the basis that the person requires the use of a companion animal. That means that, for example, a supermarket is allowed to have a store policy that bans all animals from entering, but it cannot enforce such a policy if to do so would discriminate against someone with a visual impairment using a companion animal while in the supermarket.

Those who use companion animals are also allowed to use their four-legged friend on public transport, free from discrimination.

It is even possible for companion animals to accompany their human friend on a plane, and having seen this in real life I can confirm that companion animals are much better behaved than most passengers, and never recline their seat violently during mealtimes.

For benefiting from anti-discrimination laws that improve the life of those with physical disabilities, and for protecting and enabling those who have sight, hearing, or other physical or mental impairments, dogs win.

Cats 1. Dogs 1.

Final Round

Tie breaker time – let’s settle this based on how many laws prevent dogs doing what they want (sniffing bottoms of other dogs), versus how many laws prevent cats doing what they want (killing us all and taking over the world).

When I counted the number of laws that regulate dog and cat ownership in all states and territories of Australia, I found

⁃ 695 laws that regulate dog ownership and dog behaviour; versus

⁃ 44 laws that regulate cat ownership and cat behaviour.

Yes, this was a fun Thursday evening activity. No, I do not have any friends.

I love maths, so I could not stop myself from converting this result into percentage terms. My analysis concludes (how science-y do I sound right now? Hot, huh?) that 94 percent of animal laws in Australia regulate dog behaviour and ownership, while only 6 percent regulate cats. Even if my count was out, and let’s say it is an 80/20 weighting, that is still a very bad result for doggies.

And two states have laws that apply only to dogs – Western Australia and Tasmania. Dogs are, it seems, right to be barking mad about the vast number of laws that apply to them, compared to kitties.

Ultimately, I think the law favours cats, making them today’s winner. Just like our professional rugby league players, cats are stupid, arrogant, smelly, and often poo in the wrong spot, but are well protected from a legal point of view. So much so that sometimes it seems that the law just does not apply to them. And don’t cats (and rugby league players) just know it?

Cats 2. Dogs 1.

Cats win!