This flow chart explains why I say life is getting better 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:
- Among divorced, widowed and separated adults pet ownership grew by 17.7%, from 51.3% to 60.4%.
- The percentage of single men living alone with pets increased by 27.7%. From 34.3% to 43.8%.
- 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.