I'm comfortable recommending either. It really depends on your lifestyle and the look you want. From a heating perspective, both will do the job well. The cat has an advantage by being able to burn cleaner at a low setting during the shoulder seasons when temps are mild. Instead, we burn short hot fires and let the fire go out once the area is comfy. During the main heating season, they are on par. You'll have to decide what works best for your living situation. In our house my wife often runs the stove during the daytime. She is not as attentive as I am and is more timid about stoking a large fire, so she burns 2-3 splits at a time. I do all the maintenance. Given these parameters I opt for KISS. Our stove is very forgiving and very simple to run and maintain. There is no bypass to remember, nor do I have to worry about someone inadvertently damaging the cat. End of season cleaning is a 15 minute job. That said, if you are the only one running the stove and you are at work during the day and want to have a low burn going while you are away, a cat stove may be preferable.