Dogs vs. Cats

from http://lh5.ggpht.com
from http://lh5.ggpht.com

The Debate: Dogs vs. Cats

About a week ago I decided to look up the terms "cat" and "dog" on Google (http://hubpages.com/hub/Dog-A-Mans-Best-Friend-Not-the-Googles). Much to my surprise, "cat" returned much more search results than "dog". However, what does this mean? It only tells us that more people make websites/blogs/hubs/comments/etc. on cats than on dogs. So I decided to research the topic of cats vs. dogs in the real world rather than focusing my studies on the internet alone.

First of all, I decided to focus on the US alone just because this data is easily accessible. Plus, people own dogs in countries like China because they plan on eating them rather than playing with them. Anyways, this is what I found:

"Number of U.S. Households that Own a Pet (millions)

Bird 5.3

Cat 38.2

Dog 45.6

Equine 3.9

Freshwater Fish 13.3

Saltwater Fish 0.7

Reptile 4.7

Small Animal 5.3

Total Number of Pets Owned in the U.S. (millions)

Bird 15.0

Cat 93.6

Dog 77.5

Equine 13.3

Freshwater Fish 171.7

Saltwater Fish 11.2

Reptile 13.6

Small Animal 15.9

* Ownership statistics are gathered from APPA’s 2009/2010 National Pet Owners Survey" (http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp)

To sum this data up, there are more households that own dogs than those that own cats. However, more cats are owned than dogs. This would suggest that when purchasing a cat, people often buy more than one. This probably results from the effort required to take care of cats. Let's be honest, cats are a lot less to handle than dogs. The most popular breed of dog is the Labrador Retriever. Now, it is much easier to take care of a little indoor cat (changing its litter, stroking it every so often, buying a few balls of yarn, etc.) than a bige lab (walking it daily, constantly requires attention, etc.). Plus, cats require a lot less food than dogs do. I have two Golden Retrievers and they eat more than 2 cups of food each every day whereas cats are often satisfied with half a cup or less of food. Based on personal experience, people don't always buy cats because they like them better than dogs, they often buy them because they are ultimately less expensive than dogs.

Am I trying to say that more cats are owned only because they are less expensive to care for, and that dogs are really more popular than cats? Not at all. In fact, a lot of people like cats better than dogs, yet they buy dogs because of allergies. About 7 million people in the United States are allergic to cats, and "Cats tend to be more allergenic than dogs for allergic people" (http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/allergies_to_pets/). Still, "An estimated one-third of Americans who are allergic to cats (about two million people) live with at least one cat in their household anyway" (http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/allergies_to_pets/). This, to me, shows how dedicated people are to cats. It is amazing that so many people will still buy cats even though they are allergic to them.

I always thought that dogs were more popular than cats, but based on my recent research, I am not so sure. Though many of you are probably convinced that cats are more popular, I would have to see some more evidence. Why? Well, I have more friends with dogs than friends with cats. Plus, I was walking in Petsmart the other day, and I noticed a rack of birthday cards near the exit. I was a little confused as every card had a picture of a dog in a funny pose while no cards displayed cats on them. As I thought about it for a while, I realized that I have seen way more dog cards than cat cards in my lifetime.

At this point, I decided to further my research. I looked at about 10 polls online and found that in 7/10 of them, dogs received more votes than cats. The uncertainty, though, is too great as only about 50 people voted in each poll. In conclusion, I don't think dogs are more popular than cats. I also don't think cats are more popular than dogs. I know plenty of people who love both animals and plenty that hate both. I know plenty of people that love dogs and hate cats and plenty that love cats and hate dogs. If you look at numbers alone, you can't tell which animal is more popular. If you base your theory on personal experience, there is too much uncertainty. Both animals are great pets, and I do not have enough evidence to argue that one is better or "more popular" than the other. But just for kicks, place a vote in the poll below, and we can see which animal is more popular on Hubpages. Thanks!

Which do you like better? Dogs or cats?

See results without voting

Can't We All Just Get Along?

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Comments 22 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

IDK, Marshall. It sure does seem like there are more dog owners than cat owners, but cats are are certainly easier to take care of and more appealing in terms of ownership: For instance, most people aren't allowed to have dogs in apartments, but cats are usually welcome. I hope that gives you more insight.


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

dohn121: Thanks for your comment. I am not sure if there really are more dog owners than cat owners, but I agree that it does seem that way. I didn't think about the apartment thing. We'll see how the hubpages results turn out! Hopefully I can gather some more conclusive information in the future.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Great job with the research, Marshall. I was looking forward to his Hub.

One speculation we can make from the numbers you quoted is that even though there are more cats than dogs in the US, dogs get the better press. So, all you cat fanciers out there, start making more noise!

From the numbers we can conclude that the likelihood of owning more than one cat is greater than that of owning more than one dog. I wonder if this has something to do with "hoarding": when animal populations get out of hand in a household, are the animals more likely to be cats than dogs?

I think it's also safe to say that there is a correlation between the number of cats or dogs owned and the number of Internet references to each: more cats, more references.

If you defined "popularity" in more concrete terms, would you be able to shed more light on your results?

Great video! It set the tone of my day.


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

Sally's Trove: Thank you for your comment. I agree with your saying "dogs get the better press." I assume you are a "cat fancier"? I have never heard the term "hoarding" before, and I think the animals are more likely to be cats. Cats are smaller and easier to take care of so people think they can handle a lot of them to the extent of "animal populations get[ting] out of hand in a household." I don't think you can more concretely define "popularity." I looked "popularity" up on google.com: "the quality of being widely admired or accepted or sought after." It's hard to say whether cats or dogs are more widely admired. I will continuously check for any updated studies on the matter, and I will keep you posted!


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

Interesting stats...I've owned many a different pet (from fish to turtles to horses and goats to dogs and cats) and I'm still a horse fan with dogs following right behind!


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

Beth100: I used to live in Santa Cruz, California where my neighbors had horses. They are really nice, unique animals. I personally like turtles.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I love dogs when I was small we were raised by both but dogs seem to be a lot smarter don't get me wrong I have seen some interesting things that cats can do, but cleaning a litter box and disinfecting it along with cat hair all of your furniture is not my cup of tea, but it is only my opinion. :)


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

AEvans: I was raised with both as well. I have two golden retrievers now, and I am constantly cleaning up the hair they leave behind. But dogs do seem smarter. Thanks for the comment!


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 7 years ago

Hi Marshall92; I've had both dogs and cats but cats have one

main advantage over dog; they don't bark!

LOL

:=)


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

Stacie L: Haha, very good point. I didn't even think about that, but I imagine there are many people out there who don't buy dogs because they bark. Thanks for the comment!


Crazdwriter 7 years ago

Oh Marshall I LOVE the video you posted. It's soooo cute!And sorry I can't vote because I love both. :-)


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

Crazdwriter: Thanks for your comment. I am glad that you "LOVE the video." I like your new profile picture.


peterander profile image

peterander 7 years ago

I go for a cat, since I already have one. Good post.


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

peterander: A lot of people here at hubpages seem to like cats. I'm glad you enjoyed my hub.


marshall92 profile image

marshall92 7 years ago Author

peterander: A lot of people here at hubpages seem to like cats. I'm glad you enjoyed my hub.


eveconsult1 6 years ago

i have a cat


VivekSri 6 years ago

so, who's gonna make it! great intriguing hub. that was a cool pick.


shemakesmesmile@yahoo.com 6 years ago

I have a cat but also love and would much rather a dog however the entire apt doesn't help. Yes I agree advantage cat...they don't bark advantage dog the protection


James 4 years ago

here are pros and cons of cats and dogs cat pros: hunt pests, dont shed alot, groom them selves, smaller and easy to take care of cons: may eat your small pets such as hamsters, may knock stuff over of the table or something, will scartch furniture dog pros: gaurd homes, also hunt pests but also hunt bigger game, herd sheep, will stand up to any threats,are loyal, will protect sheep from wolves and mountain lions, save people, do neat tricks not like sit or roll over but fetch you a soda or something, cons: barks, sheds (depends on the type of dog), are large (depends on breed) agressive (depends on how owner treats them) so over all when it comes to cons with dogs it depend on the breed or how the owner treats them and theres a reason why they are called "Man's Best Freind" but if you dont like neither and like the smaller pets i think either bird or hamster


Julia Yang 4 years ago

I, personally, don't really care if I get a dog or cat, but this thing was really interesting! It wasn't very useful or anything (due to my parents, they'd never let me get a pet! Well, except a fish.) but it sure is interesting!

Yeah, i already said that.


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