ST. CHARLES, Mo.
March 28, 2013
With more than 74 million pet cats and 69 million pet dogs living in
the United States
*, it seems to be "reigning" cats and dogs. A recent survey set out to determine America's favorite breeds, uncover how "dog people" and "cat people" really differ and reveal factors that come into play when making decisions for our four-legged friends.
The survey, commissioned by Royal Canin, the leader in breed health nutrition, reveals that when it comes to cats, looks have it! In fact, more than 55 percent of cat owners rank appearance as the most important factor when choosing a feline friend. By contrast, more than 62 percent of dog owners think size really does matter when choosing a canine companion.
However, when it comes to breed preferences, dog and cat owners agree that America's favorite breed actually isn't a breed at all – it's the mutt. Nearly half (40 percent) of cat owners and a third (28 percent) of dog owners chose "mixed-breed" as their favorite type of cat or dog.
"It's interesting to learn how different cat and dog owners can be when choosing, and making decisions for, their pets," said Dr.
, veterinarian and manager of education and development at Royal Canin. "Whatever factors come into play, understanding an animal's physical and physiological traits is critical to providing the best care."
Survey Dispels Stereotypes
Physical traits aren't the only factors owners consider when choosing a pet. In sharp contrast to the "cat lady" stereotype, more than half (53 percent) of cat owners identify most with the personality of a Maine Coon cat, which leads an active lifestyle, spending the majority of their time with family and friends. Additionally, 20 percent of cat owners compare themselves most to the Siamese, saying they tend to be outspoken, have lots of friends and an outgoing personality.
Foiling the myth that dog owners lead more active lifestyles, 59 percent of respondents identify most with the personality of the English Bulldog, which tends to be more laid back, easy going and prefers spending most of their time relaxing at home.