Dogs vs. Cats: Are You a Dog or Cat Person?

Okay, it’s confession time: I’m bi-petual. I adore dogs and cats and both have always been beloved family members. It’s a growing trend as more pet lovers in America share their homes with at least one cat and one dog and possibly a bird and a rabbit, too.

Canines and felines can cohabit peacefully and become besotted with one another. However, it’s important to remember to do research and proper introductions to ensure that they will get along. This means understanding your dog’s characteristic traits and natural instincts. It’s never a matter of just bringing in a new cat or dog family member and letting them “work it out” with incumbent pets in the household.

For example, a dog with a high prey drive may find your cat irresistible to chase and harmony will never exist in such a household.

Behaviorists recommend introducing new bi-petual family members to each other first by smell. This is simple. Keep them in separate parts of the home, rub each pet with a sock and them swap the socks so that they are introduced this way before they actually get to meet face to face. Further, initial meet-and-greets must be supervised. It’s a good idea to keep your cat in a carrier and your dog on a leash and slowly let them get to know one another.

A couple of years ago the American Veterinary Medical Association published results from a survey that included 50,000 households and their pet ownership information in their Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.

Their research indicated that dog owners are more prevalent throughout the country as a whole. The New England area showed up as very feline centric, with the majority of households in Vermont and the majority of the states in the Pacific Northwest following the same trend.

States in the South, such as Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky, each have dog-in-household rates in the 45-50 percent range. There’s also a strong dog presence in other southern states, and definitely less cats in places like Utah and Arizona.

The good news is that the country’s capital, Washington, D.C., is bi-petual. Somebody needs to do a survey to see which species “rules” the Senate and the House of Representatives!

If you are not sure whether you are a dog person or a cat person, always remember that dogs have owners and cats have staff.

And, if you are planning to bring either a cat or dog into your home, please adopt!



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