Americans Prefer Dogs to Cats. Discuss

This is a Public Policy Polling, poll on Americans and pets. Pubic Policy Polling claim to produce, “highly accurate polling across the country”. A confident statement. Yet, while it is agreed that there are more cats in homes in America than dogs, the poll tells us that:

52% of Americans prefer dogs while just 21% prefer cats.

The Humane Society tells us that:

  • 78.2 million – Number of owned dogs in the U.S — 1.7 is the average number of owned dogs per household
  • 86.4 million – Number of owned cats in the U.S — 2.2  is the average number of owned cats per household

The Humane Society figures fly in the face of the figures produced by the Public Policy Polling business. I think the apparent discrepancy is because a lot of the people interviewed do not keep a pet so their preferences are not necessarily based on first hand or any experiences. They may have preconceptions. This would make the poll less reliable.

I don’t believe, therefore, that we can rely on them but in the interests of fair play and amusement here are some more figures from the Pubic Policy Polling poll on American pets:

44%People who own dog(s)
31%People who own cat(s)
77%Cat owners who say that their cat is friendly towards visitors
81%People who like or love
58%People who like or love
2%People allergic to dogs
11%People allergic to cats
3%People afraid of dogs
5%People afraid of cats
23%People who agree that cats owners are weirder than dog owners
11%People say cats make better pets than dogs because cats make you work for their affection and don’t sell out like dogs.
37%People say a dog would make a better president than a ? (presume other pets) based on their personality
19%People say a cat would make a better president than other pets based on personality
31%People who say their pet sleeps on their bed with them


  • I have limited the stats to cats and dogs
  • The cat appears to fair less well in this poll, which once again contradicts the cat population numbers and households who care for a cat.
  • What is the saying? “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.  This well known phrase tells us to doubt statistics.
  • Polls, too are notoriously weak on occasions. What was the sample size and where was the sample taken? I cannot see answers to these questions on the source page. It may there nonetheless.

Google “public policy polling dogs cats” to find the poll results on the internet.

10 thoughts on “Americans Prefer Dogs to Cats. Discuss”

  1. Yes statistics distorted as usual.If so many American people prefer dogs to cats then why do they get a cat and cripple it by declawing?
    It makes me sick that some have both dog and cat and the cat has to be declawed to “protect” the dog,it’s time cats were no longer second class citizens.

  2. “T.I.C.A” recently posted a release on their newsletter that for the first time in U.S.A cat owners outnumber dog owners ! How can there be contradictions on a “CAT CENSUS” in U.S.a involving one of the World’s recognized Cat Association ,”T.I.C.A” ?

    • “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” 😉

      I guess there is quite a lot of extrapolation or guesswork that goes into producing the statistics. It is a bit like the number of feral cats or the number of cats that are killed or euthanised at cat shelters. People don’t really know the figures.

      One factor that results in distorting things a bit is that when a person keeps a cat he or she keeps several cats while when a person keeps a dog he or she only keeps one dog.

  3. Yes, when asked most Americans say they prefer dogs, but in reality more people here have cats. Why? Most cat ‘owners’ have multiple cats, while most dog owners don’t own multiples.
    Personally, I prefer cats ( and have 3), but have also owned dogs in the past.

  4. One question reminded me of an article I found a while back (last week).

    Mexicans rally behind mayoral cat-didate
    ‘Tired of Voting for Rats? Vote for a Cat’ slogan attracts support

    This mayoral hopeful in Mexico promises to eat, sleep most of the day and donate his leftover litter to fill potholes.

    Morris, a black-and-white kitten with orange eyes, is running for mayor of Xalapa in eastern Mexico with the campaign slogan “Tired of Voting for Rats? Vote for a Cat.” And he is attracting tens of thousands of politician-weary, two-legged supporters on social media.

    “He sleeps almost all day and does nothing, and that fits the profile of a politician,” said 35-year-old office worker Sergio Chamorro, who adopted the 10-month-old feline last year.

    • There is certainly a worldwide disillusionment with politicians. People are finally getting fed up with them. Even in places like the UK. The protests in Brazil supports that thought and the 25% of votes for the comedian in the recent Italian elections. There is a gradual change in attitude from the people and we are heading towards revolution….yeh 😉

  5. Just a brief comment, for now, Michael. I’d have to read more about the polls. One thing I learned in following public opinion polls of all sorts re: US politics, especially re: healthcare, is that the way a question is worded, and the sequence of questions can make a HUGE difference in the responses.

      • That was my conclusion, yes. It’s easier to see the introduced biases tho, when there are a large number of polls to compare at the time, and over the years- such for politics. Plus, it’s easier to see the biases, when you understand more about the polling process.


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