The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

This House would offer a free kitten to all newly-married couples

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,153 times Debate No: 34569
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




OK, this is my first attempt at a less serious, more humorous debate, so we'll see how it goes. Hopefully it'll be slightly less deep than some of my previous debates!

As the Government, I will be arguing in favour of offering the gift of a free kitten to all newly-married couples. My opponent must argue against or counter-prop.

4 rounds, 6000 characters per round, 1st round is just for acceptance / querying the rules. Sources don't need to be cited in the first instance but can be used to support an argument which is being challenged.

Debate format:
R1 is acceptance only.
R2 is opening arguments and definitions.
R3 is substantives and rebuttal.
R4 is rebuttal and summing up (no new arguments).

I hope for a fun, light-hearted, respectful debate!


I accept and look forward to this
Debate Round No. 1


Accepted within 10 minutes? I have a feeling this might become quite a popular debate! First I'll give my definitions, then my plan, and then my opening substantives demonstrating why this is the greatest idea since sliced bread.

: A baby cat, generally less than 18 months old. Often regarded as cute.
Newly-married couples: Couples who have tied the knot in the preceding three months.

Proposition's Plan
We propose that, within three months of marriage, newly-wed couples will be contacted by the new DFD (Department for Feline Deployment) by telephone, and they will be asked if they would like a free kitten as part of the Government's new Harmony Through Cats Programme (hereafter referred to as the HTCP). All newly-wed couples will be offered this unless one or more members of the partnership have a previous criminal conviction for assault, child cruelty, animal cruelty or a related / similar crime. Couples will not be obliged to take part in the scheme but all couples who do not hold criminal convictions will be eligible for the HTCP. At this point couples will be invited to their nearest DFD cattery, where an animal psychiatrist will determine which cat is suited to the couple. The couple will then be sent merrily off with their new kitten, some basic supplies, and instructions for how to look after it / what to do if they want to withdraw from the HTCP. All kittens given away by the programme will be given away at the correct stage of their development (post-weaning etc).

Argument I: Kittens = commitment
Recent studies suggest that a good indicator of whether or not a marriage will last is whether or not those involved choose to bring a pet into the home. Generally, bringing a pet into the home shows that a couple are in it for the long haul. But bringing a pet into the home requires a conversation beforehand where the couple must consider this potential course of action. We think all couples should have this talk. Therefore, why not give them the chance to have this talk right at the start of their married life by offering them the chance of a free kitten? That way all couples will have to seriously consider if the marriage is right, giving people who are unhappy the opportunity to talk things through.

Argument II: Kittens = an incentive to get married
Cats are the most popular pets in the world by number owned - fact. Therefore, we as a species do love our cats. Just look at the Internet: typing 'cat meme' into Google produces 19million more results than 'dog meme'. So if we assume that people, in general, like cats - more so than dogs, anyway - then surely the offer of a free kitten is the purrfect (apologies for the pun) way to encourage people to get married. Many couples nowadays no longer see any benefits in marriage, but this number will surely fall when people are offered the chance to get a free kitten! We think marriage between two people in love is definitely a force for good, so we should have people getting married. Commitment - between the right people - is the basis of stable human relationships, and we think cats create commitment (see Argument I).

Argument III: Kittens = the first step to children
Many couples start off their married life thinking that they will not want to have children, because they think they are hard work, or disgusting, or all sorts of associated reasons. We believe, however, that many of these people will take up the offer of a free kitten because of all the magnificent reasons why they are good for you (I will elaborate more on this in my third speech). They will see the companionship benefits of a kitten - when you're living with your spouse and they're working late, play with Tiddles! - and all the other brilliant reasons to take part in the HTCP. We believe that this will then make them think that child-rearing will be easy, and this will cause them to have children even though they might not have been planning to. You see, kittens are very self-sufficient animals - contrary to popular opinion most cats are not particularly needy as long as they have toys to play with, and they know how to use a litter tray - which will make couples think child-rearing would not be particularly difficult. The benefits of couples unexpectedly having children is that it leads to population growth, which is needed to reverse falling populations in western nations. Therefore free kittens are a good thing.

Argument IV: Kittens = a stable heart rate
When the western world is rife with obsese people who have a high heart rate, we believe that kittens act as a force for good. Studies have shown that stroking a cat stabilises one's heart rate, which we believe is a good thing. It is a good thing because it will make people calmer and this, in turn, will reduce instances of domestic violence in the home, which is something of a problem amongst newly-wed couples. Therefore kittens serve to protect people who could be stuck in potentially dangerous relationships. This is one of the many health benefits of having a kitten, and I will present more in my third speech.

In summary:
While I am sure that my opponent will tell you that this is a cat-astrophic idea which will cat-apult us into a gloomier tomorrow, we believe that having kittens only leads to good things, so they should be offered under the new HTCP. Over to you, Con!


Counter I: Cats are not much of a commitment, you can leave them outside only feeding them two or three times a day and they do fine. An indoor cat however will damage furniture, and is quite a financial burden.

Counter II: Marriage is an outdated institution being forced down peoples throats, and should be down away with.

Counter III: Cats are the animals that are least like children, as they are independent, clean and mind-less killing machines. A dog on the other hand, is dependent, dirty, and very loving. If you've ever been gone for a while and come back, a dog will jump on you and lick you and be happy to see you, a cat on the other hand will stand in the corner licking himself like that kid who your pretty sure is going to shoot up the school in a couple weeks.

Counter IV: Although it is true that having a cat will stabilize heart rate, so is having any other animal. However animals are tremendous time drains and are rather stressful to own due to health concerns. With that time, one could partake in many other activities such as regular sex, communicating with one's partner, or regular exercise are much better and proven to extend one's life as much as 10 years.

Argument I: Kittens are Evil
Having been raised Catholics, I can tell you one thing about cats, they don't have souls. Since they don't have souls they automatically worship Satan, "Cats are particularly damaging in island ecosystems that are home to species found nowhere else on earth. A lot of island birds and mammals evolved in the absence of cat-size predators. They nest on the ground and have no defenses against an invasive species that plays with and then decapitates its victims. Cats have endangered or caused the extinction of bird species in Hawaii, Australia, the Chatham Islands, and New Zealand, among others. Morgan points out that 40 percent of New Zealand"s land birds are extinct, and 37 percent of the survivors are endangered."

Argument II: Allergies and infection
Cat's assault us with their allergens, hurting our eyes, mouths, lungs, and skin. "Bartonella henselae is the bacterium that causes cat scratch fever. The first symptom of this infection is swelling of the lymph nodes near the area of a cat scratch; pain in the joint may follow. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat this infection.

The cat-borne bacteria Bacillary angiomatosis and Rochalimaea henselae are transmitted either by eating contaminated food or through blood (penetrating through untreated cuts or wounds). The former causes skin and bone lesions, while the latter can serve as the inciting cause of chills and fever.

Cats are also known to carry salmonella. These bacteria can cause nausea, gastrointestinal inflammation, cramps, typhoid fever, and septicemia (blood poisoning). Salmonella is risky, at times even fatal, for three specific groups of people: young children, the elderly, and those who are immunodeficient. Extra caution should be taken, especially since, aside from cats, salmonella can also be carried by other pet animals like dogs and birds."
Debate Round No. 2


I'd like to thank Con for his opening arguments, however, I will be seeking to rebut them in this speech. First I will issue my rebuttal, then my next two substantive arguments, and finally I will wrap up my rebuttal and substantives. I'd like to remind Con that his next speech is his final chance to offer substantives, as R4 is solely for rebuttal and summing up.

Response to Counter I:
Agreed, cats are not a huge commitment in practice. People, however, think that getting a cat is a major commitment, therefore getting a cat is still a sign of a commitment even if they turn out to be less work than originally thought. My source corroborates this. [1]. You say that cats are a financial burden, but Pro turns this point. Financial burdens are a good thing because they force people to spend more money, which will help stimulate the economy, which is currently in a bad way.

Response to Counter II: This is a subjective opinion which has not been warranted. Regardless, we believe that marriage is a good thing as it shows commitment to one's partner, cements the civil status of a relationship and creates legal guarantees for the partnership.

Response to Counter III: Again, agreed, but our original statement was that kittens act as a stepping stone to having a child. It would be a pretty lousy stepping stone if the kitten were as much work as the child is. The aim is to get people to think that children will be easy, so they have them, thus creating a stable level of population growth whilst also creating commitment.

Response to Counter IV: Cats are proven to be one of the animals which are most beneficial for one's health (see argument below), therefore they are a cut above many other domestic pets. [2]. Con also suggests numerous activities which will increase one's lifespan by up to 10 years however we feel that this is overkill. We want people to be healthy while they're alive, not live longer - we've already got an ageing population and Con's suggestion of regular sex and talking to one's partner (ignoring the fact that 97% of pet owners talk to their pets [3]) are overcorrection.

Response to Argument I
: This argument is primarily rooted in my opponent's religious beliefs. He speaks about how he was raised a Catholic, therefore kittens don't have souls... well by that logic, I was raised an atheist, therefore nobody has a soul. Point knocked down. Equally, cats do not worship Satan, as everybody knows they worship Ceiling Cat [4]. My opponent also speaks about how cats endanger birds. Birds are horrible. They drop their feaces onto unsuspecting land-dwellers, make irritating noises at unholy hours of the morning, and eat litter. Therefore cats killing birds is a good thing.

Response to Argument II: My opponent has cited Science, and I cannot disprove Science. What I can say is that my other arguments will show that the health benefits of cats massively outweigh the negatives provided here by Con. Also, I'd like to point out that his very source states that many of these issues also afflict other pets, therefore nullifying the heart of his argument: that cats, in particular are damaging to one's health. With regards to allergies, if you are allergic to cats just don't accept the offer of a kitten. It isn't rocket science. My opponent's use of Science still stands, but I will seek to counter it with other arguments.

Argument V: Kittens = good for your health
Whilst my opponent has been quick to point out issues with having cats, there are numerous benefits which I have previously outlined and appear in my sources. I have already mentioned that cats lower one's heart rate, and Con has not contested this. New evidence suggests that cats can help reduce the risk of cancer (see [2]). Con has cited various parasites associated with cats but our sources argue that the presence of these parasites does not provide an undue risk of infection (see [2]). Growing up with a cat reduces a child's risk of developing allergies or suffering from asthma [5]. This source also states that they lower blood pressure, cholesterol and anxiety. Our conclusion is that having a cat is good for one's health, especially for children.

Argument VI: Kittens = creators of harmony and happiness
Source [5] also supports our previous statement that cats provide a means of social interaction which can be accessed 24/7. Cats don't mind being woken from a nap for a hug or a snack (a benefit of primarily napping as opposed to sleeping) because cats do like social interaction - they just don't always instigate it around strangers as they are sensitive animals. Cats reduce one's chances of loneliness and depression, so all married couples and young families should seriously consider bringing a pet into their home.

In summary:
It would be cat-astrophic, dear voter, if you were swayed by Con's arguments. We have consistently demonstrated the huge benefits of having a cat in the home of a married couple or young family. I would advise you all to cat-ch on to the kitten fever, and support the Harmony Through Cats Programme (HCTP)!

Back to Con. Sources below.




MayorCheeseburger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


*sigh*... this debate had so much potential...

Since there is nothing to rebut, I shall move onto the two Points of Clash (PoCs) in this debate and will go on to demonstrate why we believe Pro takes the points on each point. Then I shall conclude and hand you back to Con (if he posts anything).

PoC1: Do kittens equal commitment, and is this a good thing?
Con have, quite correctly, made the argument that cats are very easy animals to maintain - they are capable of feeding themselves, know how to use a litter tray, do not need to be bathed and are just as happy on their own as when they are with human, or feline, company. Pro, however, have cited studies which show that getting a cat is a much bigger step on the road of solidifying a relationship, as people view getting a cat as being a step towards spending the rest of their lives together - more so, apparently, than marriage. Indeed, as cats are a financial burden - a point originally cited by my opponent - they represent an even bigger commitment for a struggling newlywed couple. So we've shown that kittens equal commitment. We believe that this is a good thing as it gives people an opportunity to start thinking about the future right at the start of their married lives. Marriage means that people are stronger when they stick together and make promises to each other. We're all for that, here at the HTCP. Therefore Pro wins this point of clash: that cats are a commitment and thus this idea of free kittens is a good thing.

PoC2: Are kittens beneficial?
Con has thrown about all of the same anti-feline arguments that we've seen time and time again in Cats vs Satan style debates. They've cited their parasites, which have been known to cause some damage to humans in what are exceptionally cherry-picked instances. We, however, have risen above this racism against cats to demonstrate that cats are hugely beneficial for one's health. Pro have shown that cats have a significant effect - more so than many other activities - on the lowering of one's heart rate. We have shown that having a cat in the family reduces a child's eventual risk of suffering from allergies. We have shown that there is even some evidence to suggest that cats can reduce the risk of cancer. Pro, therefore, takes this point.

The conclusion?
We have shown that the HTCP is the best idea since sliced bread and should be carried forward immediately. It will have huge benefits for newly-married couples both in the short and the long term, will provide homes for thousands of homeless kittens, will allow couples a chance to consider the commitment they're making to each other, and will ultimately create a better, more harmonious tomorrow.

I purr-litely beg you to support the motion whilst handing you over to Con for his summing up (no new arguments).


MayorCheeseburger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by orangemayhem 5 years ago
*sigh* why does every debate I do end in forfeit?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF! Sorry orange!
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F.