Parents have more photographs of their pets than their kids or partner

A survey by OnePoll concluded that the British people have more photos of their furry friends on their phones than they have of their kids or partners and they take an average of over 400 photographs every year of their pets! In an apt turn of phrase on the passing of the Queen, it is said that the British people treat their pets like royalty. Note: I believe that the poll refers to British people. This point seems to have been overlooked because the attitude of people towards their pets depends on the country in which they live to a certain extent and maybe to a large extent.

A photo of my cat on my phone. I took this photo of a photo while writing this article. It was dark outside.

A photo of my cat on my phone. I took this photo of a photo while writing this article. It was dark outside.

You can draw your own conclusions from the survey. If people have more photographs of their pets on their phone it means that they are more interested in photographing their cats and dogs than they are their kids. Does that mean that they find their cats and dogs more interesting than their children? Does it mean that parents are more connected to their cats and dogs than they are to their children? Are they more interested in the welfare of their pets than they are of their children? We’re not sure but what is clear is that this simple survey seems to get to the heart of what is perhaps a quite difficult topic to digest: that people prefer their pets to other people but this is not universal.

Perhaps the excess of photographs of cats and dogs by their owners is not due to the fact that they love their cats and dogs more than their children but because they are more photogenic. People are drawn to photographing animals because they are entertaining. They make good subjects, better subjects arguably than other people.

The OnePoll survey involved 2,000 dog and cat owners. They found that 35% of people (British people?) had more photographs of “fur babies” then “human babies”! I mean humans. Although, apparently, 27% of people said that they have mainly photographs of their kids. And finally, 16% said that they mostly had photographs of their spouse or partner. The spouse or partner comes last in this list of three!

About a quarter of pet owners say that they have birthday parties for their cats or dogs. And also, about 25% like to kiss their pets on the mouth (danger of toxoplasmosis?). Forty-five percent said that they slept with their pets. Well, that last statistic tells me that 55% don’t allow their pets to sleep with them on the bed. Cats and dogs like to be on their owners beds as they are smelly objects.

But the survey results also seem to support the idea that people who think that 4 legs is better than 2 legs are not that unusual. They are not oddballs. It could be logical to prefer an animal than a human as a friend as many people find that they are better companions. It is the beautiful innocence of animals which is attractive to many. There is no gameplaying or underhand behaviour. They wear their heart on their sleeve (if they wore a sleeve!).

There are downsides as there must be. It’s the fur. Both cats and dogs shed fur and you have got to get used to it being around the home. Little fur balls blow across the hard floor into the corners of the room like tumbleweed. The manufacturers even make vacuum cleaners specifically for the task of cleaning it up. Fifty-nine percent of cat and dog owners say that shedding is a big problem.

Eighty-five percent of pet owners said that they need to vacuum their floors at least twice a week to get rid of that pesky hair. I vacuum my bed at least once a week because there’s hair all over it (not that bad actually). Oh, and the specks of mud, too! Or leaves or anything else that my cat walks him from the garden. These are things that you have to get used to but they are a small price to pay for the love of a cat or dog companion.

I must say that I don’t think that I could care for a dog during the winter months! Too much mud. It is impossible to keep your home or your car clean.

Apparently, cat and dog owners keep a lint roller in their car or to hand to remove fur from their clothes. Fifty-five percent of dog and cat owners keep a lint roller in their purse. Another device you can use is a velvet brush (‘Buzy Brush’ – see below) which is very effective in picking up hair from furniture and beds.

Brush for cat hairs

Brush for cat hairs

Below are some more articles on cat ownership.

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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