Both cats and dogs make wonderful companion animals and can add a lot of joy and amusement to a person’s life. For children, it’s great for them to grow up with pets because they are able to learn how to take care of another living creature. For older seniors, having a dog or cat can be a wonderful way to reduce stress, anxiety and depression that comes with aging and living or being by themselves. However, the age old question always comes up: are dogs or cats more popular? The answer isn’t 100 percent clear and it varies from one area of the world to another.
Are Cats More Popular?
In short, yes, cats are the more popular animal of choice when it comes to pet ownership. However, in the United States, more homes have dogs than cats (1), so nationally, dogs are the most popular household pet. On an international level, however, cats outnumber dogs in households by nearly two million and this number is closer to four million if you go by the Veterinary Medical Association’s estimate. So when you look at it, dogs are more popular in the United States but cats are more popular internationally and more households have cats than dogs.
Why Do More Homes Have Cats?
There could be a few good reasons for why more households around the world have cats rather than dogs. Most households have more than one cat and just one dog. Other families find that cats are easier to handle than dogs. Even dog owners will admit that their beloved pets require a lot of attention and training. From walks to baths and constant play, dogs will keep you on your feet all throughout the day. Cats, on the other hand, are relatively self-sufficient. Give them a bowl of food, water and a clean litter box and they’re fine. They also make great hunters and can keep a home free of pests and rodents. Unlike dogs, cats tend to be quiet and ideal for apartment living. Because of the ease of ownership, cats tend to be better for first time pet owners and are easier to handle in multiples. This is why a lot of homes that have cats are multi-cat households. As they say, cats are like potato chips: you can’t have just one.
The love for cats varies from one area of the world to another. In Latin America, having a dog is simply part of life, with most households having dogs and cats being an animal that simply lives outside in the alleys. In areas like the Middle East and Africa, cats are regarded almost as royalty and many homes have at least one. In America, the amount of cats versus dogs is also dependent on the state. For example, states like New York and Minnesota have more cats per household and states such as Texas and Arizona have more dogs per household.
When it comes to whether or not cats are more popular than dogs, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people are just dog people while others adore only cats. The key to choosing the right animal for your family is deciphering how much time you have to devote to the animal and how often the animal will be left alone. For example, an older indoor senior cat can be left alone for most of the day while a puppy needs constant care throughout the day. Even if you buy your puppy the best dog crate, you’ll have to make sure they are let out to use the bathroom, eat, and run around every couple of hours. Internationally, cats are the more popular pet of choice and when you consider only the United States, dogs are the more popular option. Keep in mind that a good majority of these households have both cats and dogs, so it comes down to whether the home has more of one animal versus the other. It’s crucial that you only keep the amount of animals you are able to easily and affordably handle to provide optimum care.