Are Cats More Popular than Dogs as Pets?

Cats are estimated to be three times more popular than dogs as pets worldwide. In the United States, there are more pet cats than pet dogs, even though more households own at least one dog. As of 2012, there were about 74 million cats and 70 million dogs kept as pets in the US, while more than 36% of US households had dogs and less than 31% had cats. This difference is thought to be because cats do not need the training, grooming or close attention that dogs can require, which might make it easier to have multiple cats in one household.

More about pets:

  • More than 60% of American households own at least one type of pet.
  • A little more than half of the dogs and cats kept as pets in the US are considered to be overweight or obese, which might be because indoor animals get less exercise.
  • The most numerous pets in the US are freshwater fish, with well over 120 million of them kept in household tanks.
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Discussion Comments


@Chmander - I agree with you on that. However, I'm more surprised at how so many people keep fish as pets. In my opinion, they aren't pets, they're exhibits. Unlike cats, who will rub against your leg as a way to greet you, or dogs, who will jump up and knock you on the ground, you really don't do much with fish. However, it really shows how people have their preferences, and that there's not a right or wrong opinion.


Wow, I didn't know that there are more pet cats in the United States than there are dogs. I find this fact very interesting because generally speaking, people love dogs a lot. On the other hand, a lot of people I know consider cats to be boring and lazy.

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