- Pets and Animals
Dogs vs. Cats
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)
Freshwater Fish 13.3
Saltwater Fish 0.7
Small Animal 5.3
Total Number of Pets Owned in the U.S. (millions)
Freshwater Fish 171.7
Saltwater Fish 11.2
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!