Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Millionaires Prefer Dogs to Cats; Should They Reconsider?

By Tamara McRill

As it turns out, the pet most likely to be shedding fur in the lap of luxury may not fit very well on a human lap at all. A recent survey done by the Spectrem Group shows that millionaires overwhelmingly pick dogs as their pet of choice: 58% own dogs, while only 37% are cat owners.

That's a big difference in pet ownership from the rest of the country. Humane Society statistics show that 39 percent of U.S. households own dogs, while 33 percent own cats. But those households actually own more cats total than dogs: 8.2 million more cats, to be exact. This is because feline households are more likely to have two cats, while canine households are more likely to have only one dog.

So why do millionaires prefer dogs over cats? Are they missing out on something the rest of the country gets about cats?

Looking for Love and Loyalty

One of the theories floating around is that millionaires might prefer the unconditional love and loyalty dogs give them. A love that is unattached to their ginormous bank balance. That is something you'll certainly get in spades from most dogs.

But here's a secret most cat owners could tell these millionaires: cats love deeply and faithfully too. Now I don't know if it takes longer for a cat to become deeply attached to its human, since I have always been a very hands-on pet owner. I do know, from having many cats in my youth, that kitties can love just as fiercely as dogs. Maybe it does come down to having the time to play and bond.

What about Time?

Having owned both cats and dogs, I would say that dog ownership takes far more time out of your day. Larger breeds can't get the type of exercise indoors that most cats can manage, and all dogs need to be walked. They also need to be taken out to potty.

Some wealthy people may choose to hire someone to handle those dog details, but I'm assuming they could just as easily hire someone to change the litter pan.

Travel Companions

Perhaps it comes down to being able to take their pets with them. Assuming that many wealthy pet owners travel frequently, they may choose dogs as their four legged companions because they can go more places with them. Although both cats and dogs can certainly travel, dogs are more accepted in hotels and other locations.

Of the other factors I could think of, dogs and cats came out even. Having a high-powered job is stressful, but petting either animal is a proven stress reducer. It's certainly just as fun to hand out a FELIDAE cat treat to a purring pal as it is to toss a CANIDAE dog treat to a drooling buddy.

Top photo by Puppies are Prozac
Bottom photo by Suzi Duke

Read more articles by Tamara McRill

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