Cat owners and dog owners will often fight like, well… cats and dogs. But the eternal struggle between these two groups may have just recorded a major victory for the canine aficionados, according to a new US General Social Survey, which has tracked a litany of American trends over the last half-century.
With last year’s edition being the first to include questions about pets and the relationship between owner and animal, the survey scored results that showed – while pet owners and non-owners have similar levels of happiness – there is a significant divide within the happiness levels of dog owners and cat owners.
Results showed that dog owners were twice as likely to call themselves “very happy,” with 36 percent versus only 18 percent for cat owners. Additionally, dog owners also reported seeking comfort from their animals at a higher rate, along with playing with their pets and even considering their dog a part of the family.
When put in the context of happiness divide between other groups, the results are even more interesting. The difference between these pet owners as more significant than the happiness disparity between middle class and upper class people, and very close to the difference between people who report they are in “fair” versus “good or excellent” health.
If you’re a dog owner, you may want to immediately run to your nearest cat owner friend and shout these results right in their face – but there are some stipulations. Survey data also showed that dog owners are more likely to be married and own their homes than cat owners, so it’s possible these external factors have an effect in their happiness levels too. Although, in this context, it might be an opportunity to remind your cat-owning friend of why he’s still single.