RESEARCH: Do American households have more cats or more dogs as pets?

Do American households have more cats or more dogs as pets? A recent 2022 research in America studied the types of pets in a household and whether dogs or cats were more popular as pets.

Studies show that, globally, dogs outnumber cats. The study showed that, in America, cats outnumber dogs. There are about 86.1 million cats and 79.7 million dogs in America. 

However, dogs are more popular as pets than cats in America – 36.6% of households own one or more dogs, whereas 30.4% of households own one or more cats. 

Why did more American households choose a dog instead of a cat? 

The answers included: Dogs are funny. Dogs are always happy and excited to see their owners. Dogs are loyal companions. Dogs are protectors. Having a dog is good for a person’s health. Dogs require walking which is good for humans too. Dogs teach responsibility. Dogs provide companionship. Dogs play games. Dogs don’t scratch furniture as much as cats do. Less people are allergic to dogs than to cats.

Dogs come in all sizes from big to small, whereas all cats are of a similar size.

Dogs typically live for around 12-20 years on average, and cats can live for about 15 years on average.

Dogs have been used in war, police work, search and rescue, hunting, and as service animals for people with disabilities. Dogs have a great sense of smell that can warn their human owners of impending disease, harm, and danger.

For households that did not prefer to exercise a pet regularly, they chose a cat for a pet.

Students in America prefer dogs as pets because they are easier to take care of.

Households in America adopt cats more often than dogs. In 2018, around 37% of shelter animals were dogs and 56% were cats, but 46% of animals adopted from shelters were cats and 39% were dogs.

Globally, the top 7 dogs that are adopted are: 1) Labrador Retiever, 2) Chihuahua, 3) Irish Wolfhound, 4) Poodle, 5f) Golden Retriever, 6) Bulldog, and 7) Beagle. 

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed as pets in America.

Research: Documented in 23 May 2022

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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