Cats vs. dogs? How about both?For some people, this cats vs. dogs thing is the great divide in America. An Associated Press-Petside.com poll recently found that 74 percent of people in the United States like dogs a lot, while only 41 percent say they like cats a lot.
By: Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald
Watch Desiree Lacher console Mojo, an 8-month-old beagle recovering from an operation, and you know that she loves dogs. She has two at home, springer spaniels named Lucy and Charlie.
“Such a nice puppy,” she says softly, caressing Mojo at Kindness Animal Hospital in Grand Forks.
But know this, too: Lacher also has and loves a cat, an 8-year-old domestic short-hair named Armani. (For the record, she also “has” about six barn cats at her farm home near Buxton, N.D., plus nine horses for the cats to act superior around.)
Some people who love cats sneer at dogs and call them stupid. Some people who love dogs sneer at cats and declare them to be evidence against the divinity of creation.
Forget North or South, original or deep-dish, red state or blue state. For some people, this cats vs. dogs thing is the great divide in America.
An Associated Press-Petside.com poll recently found that 74 percent of people in the United States like dogs a lot, while only 41 percent say they like cats a lot.
And while only 2 percent of the adults questioned said they dislike dogs a lot, 15 percent hissed at cats.
Some dog fanciers cite cats’ murderous tendencies toward songbirds, squirrels and other wildlife. They spray their territory and “screech like bad brakes on a car,” according to one dog lover cited in the AP poll.
Cat lovers insist that their favored animals are roughly 1,000 times smarter than dogs.
Nearly 60 percent of American households have pets, according to the poll, with three in four pet owners polled saying they had dogs. Just less than half of the households claimed cats.
A third of those who had only a dog said they didn’t care for cats, while just 5 percent of cat people disliked dogs.
Six in 10 said they like both cats and dogs, which brings us back to Lacher, 26, a veterinary technician who has worked at Kindness Animal Hospital for about six years.
Charlie, 7 months old, “is your typical puppy, boisterous and jumping,” she said, but he is “intimidated by cats, especially the barn cats. He always stays at least 6 feet away from them.”
Lucy, 2, is “very loyal, very easy to train, outgoing. She’s an inside dog, but we took her upland game hunting last fall for the first time, and she was very good.”
Her dogs and cat get along just fine, she said.
“My cat wants attention, but it’s always on his terms. He can be very stand-offish. I think it gives him personality. I like the attitude.
“They all play together,” she said. “Armani will chase Lucy, and they’ll turn around and she chases him.”
At the animal hospital, Lacher sees little difference between cat people and dog people. “Both are willing to put the extra foot forward for their pets” and don’t blink at paying big money for a necessary treatment or operation.
It didn’t surprise her to learn that more people prefer dogs to cats.
“Dogs show more gratitude,” she said. “People come home, and the dog is there to greet them. But a cat will wait until you shake the food bucket.”
The AP-Petside.com poll was conducted in October and involved telephone interviews on landline and cell phones with 1,967 adults nationwide, including 1,166 pet owners. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points for all adults. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples.
More detailed results are at Petside.com: www.petside.com/dogs-vs-cats
Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 102; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.