Friday, January 8, 2010

...But Cats are America's #1 Pet

A recent associated poll found that respondents has a strong preference for cats over dogs.

The poll found:

  • 3 out of 4 adults (74%) said they like dogs a lot
  • 2 out of 5 respondents (41%) said they like cats a lot
  • 4 percent of adults said they dislike dogs "a little" or "a lot"
  • more than 1-in-4 (26%) said they dislike cats "a little" or "a lot."

Of all the groups that answered, married men were the most likely to say they dislike cats.

Why such a stark difference between our top two most loved family pets? Other recent studies show that cats are actually the most popular pet in the country. While there are more dog owning households, it is more likely that a household with cats will have multiple cats.

Many people who have never lived with cats, or had a close relationship with them may believe that cats are aloof and don't desire or require human attention. My cats would beg to differ. While cats interact differently than dogs, they desire human companionship and love as much as any other companion animal and depend on humans for care.

The difference in society's perceptions of cats is reflected in our animal shelter. Over 65% of the animals brought into the Humane Society are cats and our local experience reflects a national trend. Even cat lovers seem to perceive their pets differently than dogs. Cats visit the veterinarians office about half as much as dogs resulting in cats missing out on their annual preventative health screenings. Surprisingly, while cat ownership has been rising over the past several years, the number of cats visiting veterinary offices has declined.

Don't loose hope cat lovers, there are many out there just like you. Animal Shelters and other groups have recognized the feline's image problem and have come together to work on it. Out of this effort the CATalyst council was created. Their website can be found at

The goal of this group is to educate the public about the true nature of cats, their need for human companionship and care, and the wonderful companions they can be. At the Humane Society, we have promoted the importance of cats in our lives with our annual Feline Fest. Every year we celebrate the importance of cats in our lives and try to find new homes for homeless cats.

What is your experience with cats and how do you feel about the poll?

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