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Maps of the USA:
Which States Love Dogs or Cats The Most

[ 3 approaches and a conclusion ]

It is often said that there is a chasm between cat and dog lovers.

Because the two species are so different, pet lovers praise them for almost opposite reasons.

Dogs constantly express their love towards their 2-legged companions. They are dynamic, trustworthy, and affectionate. Some may point out they need much more care, are messy, always hungry and noisy. They also need more space. In the end, owning a dog costs more.

Cats are cute, especially when they are very young. They are calmer, softer, independent, even though they may seem sometimes indifferent or selfish. Some cats are playful. And also, think about protecting your furniture from cat scratches!

But, at the end, who wins the race? Cat or dog lovers?

Probably neither of them. They meet different expectations. But in this never ending debate, we can provide some food for thought: in what regions they are loved most.

We present here different approaches and a conclusion in the form of interactive maps.

First approach: cats and dogs population

The first approach is rather straightforward: which states harbor the greater proportion of dogs or cats!

At a national level cats have a slight edge: they are 73 million vs 69 million dogs.

[Hover on the map below to get the figures state by state]

Percentage of dogs compared to the total of dogs + cats population

source: opendatasoft

Second approach: pet ownership

Now that you've got an idea of the pet population in your state, we can go a step further.

As we're willing to grasp how many people love more dogs or cats, it makes sense to know if they actually own a dog or a cat.

As, in average, cat lovers look after more cats than dog lovers after dogs, it changes the figures quite a bit and the new map is noticeably different from the previous one:

[Hover on the map below to get the figures state by state]

Percentage of dog owners compared to the percentage of cat owners. The scale represents the difference

source: opendatasoft

Third approach: Internet queries

Some will argue that owning a pet doesn't mean that we love them.

Humm? Maybe!

Or does not measure the extent of the love we have for them.

OK then.

Let's figure a way of measuring how much we love dogs compared to cats using statistics. Got an idea: let's look at how many queries there are in Google for "dog care", compared to "cat care".

Should give a god idea, right?

This time it's a done deal. Dogs trigger twice as much queries as cats do:

This is consistent with the number of consultations in veterinary practices or with the turnover of animal health companies: dogs generate more activities. Dogs are actually more cared for.

Is this really because we love them more?

Not necessarily.

One reason is because they actually need more care. They age quicker. And, when they are ill, they exhibit their symptoms more evidently.

In addition, there is a greater variety of dog breeds. Some of them develop specific diseases or behavioral disorders that we don't see often in cats. When wounded or in distress, cats often hide or stay quiet: the owner not always notices these signs.

Anyway, as our goal is to highlight the differences between states, let's have a look at the map:

[Hover on the map below to get the figures state by state]

Proportion of web surfers asking for "cat care" vs "dog care" as a difference with the national average of 31%

Source: Google Trends as of November 9th 2020 over a period of one year.

The final: what states love cats the most [ and dogs too ]

Our conclusive approach consisted of mixing all the results from the previous maps fo find out our final winners.

Each state was awarded points according to how well it scored in each of the 3 previous analysis.

[Hover on the map below to get the figures state by state]

Our final winners are:

Of course, changing the way our grades were applied would have changed the final result. But by looking at the map you've got the general picture.

For your information, here is how the points were allocated: