Cat People Vs. Dog People

The American Veterinary Medical Association notes differences between owners of felines, canines.

Posted: Nov. 3, 2008, 3 a.m. EDT

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Are people who like cats that much different from people who like dogs? A new study by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) points out some differences between cat owners and dog owners. The results are published in the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographic Sourcebook.

“Our surveys show that single people are more attracted to cat ownership, while dog owners are married with children,” said James Flanigan, AVMA head of marketing. In fact, 67 percent of dog owners are married, compared to 61.8 percent of cat owners. “While the demographic information is interesting, some of it is concerning, too.”

Flanigan points to statistics that show cat owners spend less on veterinary care than dog owners. In 2007, 82.7 percent of dog owners made at least one annual visit to a veterinarian, while only 63.7 percent of cat owners did the same. “Cat owners are much less likely to seek veterinary care for their animals … and this divide seems to be growing,” Flanigan said.

Other statistics revealed in the Sourcebook include pet demographics. While cats outnumber dogs as pets — 81.7 million cats compared to 72.1 million dogs — dog owners outnumber cat owners, 43 million to 37.5 million. AVMA says this is because cat owners are more likely to have more than one cat.

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Reader Comments

mira    athol, MA

2/17/2010 11:13:56 AM

Very interesting, however didn't care for the implication that cat owners care less for their cats. Perhaps fewer trips to the vet since dogs have to be licensed etc... where as cats do not. The point of cats getting so stressed over the trip is also true where as you tell the dog he is going for a ride, you have just made his day!

debby    oxford, NC

11/16/2008 10:54:41 PM

of course you tend to take the cat to the vet it costs all out doors! worst than going yourself.

Allie S    Abingdon, MD

11/14/2008 10:04:18 AM

I love both cat and dogs and cats but have 6 cats
but interesting article

Carol    Las Vegas, NV

11/12/2008 3:46:31 PM

I have 4 cats and one dog. My dog since he goes outside for walks and comes in contact with other dogs etc. does go to the Vets a lot more than my cats. The cats only go if they have an injury, or seem ill. They stress out so much when they are transported to the Vets that I feel that just taking them in for "wellness" exams is too much stress for them (or perhaps its actually too much stress for me). Also my cats are strictly indoor cats. They don't come into contact with strange cats or the dredded "car disease". So yep, I don't take them to the vets as much as I take my dog. But they are well loved and well fed and they are bright eyed and busy tailed. Of course if any of the animals appears to be ill or out of sorts I drag them to the Vet ASAP. I am single by the way, so I guess I'm 50% of the cat owner statistic...but being unmarried with no children and having a dog too I don't know what that makes me? Odd, I guess.

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