Life is Improving for the Domestic Cat

This flow chart explains why I say life is getting better for the domestic cat:

Life is Improving for the Domestic Cat

Life is Improving for the Domestic Cat

The information comes from the AVMA 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. This obviously applies to the USA. However it could equally well apply to the UK.

The specific numbers (USA) are as follows:

  1. Among divorced, widowed and separated adults pet ownership grew by 17.7%, from 51.3% to 60.4%.
  2. The percentage of single men living alone with pets increased by 27.7%. From 34.3% to 43.8%.
  3. The percentage of single women living alone with pets increased by 22%. From 46.8% to 57.1%.

As family breakdown increases the quality of life for the domestic cat should increase because there are more single people who can give more quality time to their cat companion and who relate to their cat as a true partner.

It appears that the concept of marriage is failing in Western society. I appears to be incompatible with the human psyche. The relationship between man and woman is less stable than the relationship between man and cat or woman and cat.

Society in the UK is also becoming more secular. Religion is dying. This is possibly linked to the failure of marriage.

It is nice to see that the percentage of men building relationships with cats is on the increase. It is a substantial increase too. This is important. The figures fly in the face of the conventional notion of single women finding solace in their cat companion. Far from it. A cat is a good friend to either sex of homo sapiens.

“It’s interesting to see that more and more single people are discovering the comfort and satisfaction that owning a pet can offer,” (Douglas Aspros, DVM, president of the AVMA)

Where is this going to lead us? About half of all first and second marriages end up in divorce in the USA. In the UK there are more single people than married couples. If this trend continues the population of dogs and cats will increase but, in general, they should have a better quality of life than previously.

The status of the companion animal will climb as the pet becomes more important in society. This should lead to even better animal welfare laws and norms.

Associated page: Fighting over the cat in divorce.

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Life is Improving for the Domestic Cat — 13 Comments

  1. The only thing that worries me about this is that there isn’t as much stability in marriages or partnerships nowadays and it must get confusing to pets as well as to children when their caretakers split up and then often along comes a new partner.
    Sometimes the new person doesn’t care about pets and this can have a huge effect on their welfare.
    Children mostly stay with their mother but cats can end up with either of the failed marriage/partnership, if more than one pet they may be shared out and split from their animal companion too.
    There may be statistics of all those people who live alone but most people need people, so it doesn’t mean they won’t have various men friends/lady friends visiting/staying and in new relationships I should think the cat’s welfare and happiness isn’t a priority to many people.

    • Nice points Ruth. I sense the conventional marriage is disappearing. I believe people will not opt for marriage but remain single and have a cat instead. If that is happening it should be better for the domestic cat.

      However, as you say there factors that will blur the benefits for the cat.

  2. I am one of those statistics 🙂 I wouldn’t see somebody if they didn’t like my cats. If I am in another relationship she will have to pass my cat test. Simple as that.

    • “Proof in the pudding” as a well known English saying goes. You’re a classic fact that supports this statistic. I won’t work out all the time, not everyone is as good as you with cats. But I see the argument.

  3. I was just thinking of the problems people post sometimes about cats and it often comes up ‘My cat is jealous of my new boyfriend/girlfriend sleeping with me and won’t settle on a night’
    It usually turns out that the cat was the substitute ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ sleeping on the bed and being made a fuss of…until the new person arrives and then the cat is a gooseberry, so to speak.
    It makes me annoyed when some people advise shutting the cat out of the room…oh but they’ve tried that, the cat cries and scratches at the door to be in…..then of course next comes the punishment advice, put a scat mat outside the door, put something smelly to keep the cat from it, even declaw the cat to stop him scratching the door….
    Sorry to be so negative and I know there are people like you Michael and Marc who are ‘love me love my cat’ but there are many, in the USA especially, who are not!

    • I agree with you Ruth. You’re not being negative. You’re being realistic. It is more likely that the life of a cat with a single person will be disrupted by newcomers – new boyfriend etc as you say. Also the cat is likely to be left alone more often, perhaps. I would just hope based on the responses that overall there is an improvement.

      I can see the argument that cats do better in households that are occupied by single people or a non-family situation. Quieter and possibly more settled especially if the person is older.

  4. Yes you are right Michael, older and settled, not a chance either Barbara or I would start a new relationship, I’m past all that and Barbara says she could never find a man to match up to her John.
    Some people think it’s strange 2 sisters living so happily together, but why not when we are great friends as well and have the same interests, especially cats and trying to make the world better for them all and we both put our present two cats welfare and happiness first, last AND in the middle!

    • You are ideal cat companions. You’re arrangement is enviable. It works well. I can remember a UK Persian cat rescue organisation saying that their preferred adopters (by quite a long way) were older/retired couples or single people as they provided a more settled home and had time to care properly for their cats. Obviously great old age is not ideal as the person loses the ability to manage generally but until then older people are best.

  5. When my old man left me he didn’t get his hands on any of our pets,to lose one of us was bad enough for them,to be taken somewhere strange to a new partnership would be asking too much of them.
    No man gets in my house who isn’t an animal lover and no man will ever move in without proving it first by the cats and dogs getting to know and love him.

  6. The animals will always come first in my world.

    I tell you, it would give me so much pleasure if I were a rich person to bring Babz and Ruth Kattadora to the US for a look around. They might live with a little more peace of mind. Of course, we would only visit those perfect places and cities where animal welfare is forefront. And, it would be a very long tour. Maybe three to six months!

    Life for the domestic cat is truly getting better, I agree Michael. It certainly is in my garden!

    • What a sweet idea. Your garden is a little sanctuary for animals. I visualise a perfect Californian climate, warm and mellow, with your cats lounging around with full bellies, playing occasionally and Daisy overseeing things with marvellous Marv. Phew, heaven. You’d beg to be taken home if you were in London for long 😉

  7. How lovely you are Dorothy and it would be wonderful to meet such a nice kind and generous lady as you are but we couldn’t bear to be parted from our Walter and Jozef long enough to come to the USA.
    We may not always have peace of mind, who could nowadays with all the abuse of animals going on in the world, but our little family has love and contentment in our own home.

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