In America, cat ownership does not predict political voting behavior but dog ownership does

Handsome dog

Handsome dog. Photo: Pinterest.

Dr Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC carried out a study on whether you can predict voting behaviour between Democrat and Republican based upon preferences for dog and cat ownership in America. He was able to acquire data from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association at 2018) on cat and dog ownership across all 50 states of America. Armed with that information he was able to see whether he could link cat and dog ownership with preferences for voting either Republican or Democrat.

Dog owners vote republican in idaho

Dog owners vote republican in idaho which is the most dog loving state.

He did find substantial differences in cat and dog ownership across America on a state-by-state basis. For example Idaho is the most canine loving state with 58% of households owning a dog compared to New Hampshire where 24% of families have a dog companion. Vermont is the leading US state for households with cats at 45% while Rhode Island families have the least number of families who own a cat at 17%.

For me, it is unsurprising that he found that there is a strong link between a preference for dog ownership and voting Republican. Conversely, a preference for cat ownership does not shed any clear light on families’ preferences for their political voting.

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This may be because cat owners are more independent minded and therefore less predictable although that is very speculative (this is my thought and not that of Dr Coren). Dr Coren is reluctant to speculate except to say that the reason why dog owners tend to vote for Republican candidates is because they are more socially dominant and that social dominance is linked to a politically more conservative attitude.

Another thought: dog owners are more inclined to be part of the establishment and therefore want to keep things as they are so they can remain dominant and milk the masses (provocative, I know). Therefore they are more inclined to have conservative values in order to prevent social unheavel. Of course many families are guardians to dogs and cats which no doubt muddies the findings.

“As you can see from this table [not supplied here because it is confusing], the states with the highest percentage of families who have dogs as their pets are massively biased towards voting Republican (averaging 90%). Conversely, those states with the smallest percentage of households owning dogs, are heavily inclined to vote for the Democratic candidate (averaging 90%).”

If you would like to dig more deeply into this topic of conversation then you can read Dr Coren’s article on Psychology Today.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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