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Dogs emerge victorious in new dogs-versus-cats poll

Cat and dog

Cats. Dogs. Those can be fighting words in some circles.

Cats are "nasty, stinking creatures," says Mark David of Warrensburg, Mo. And dogs? They're noisy, disruptive and "lick you and themselves," counters Sanford Reikes of Louisville, Ky.

Clearly, there are dog people and there are cat people. But it's not much of a contest: 74% of people like dogs a lot, and only 41% like cats a lot.

Cats win the dislike vote handily, according to an Associated Press-Petside.com poll. Fifteen percent of the adults questioned said they disliked cats a lot while the number who said they disliked dogs a lot was just 2%.

Joseph Moreus, 61, of Westminster, says he understands why dogs come out on top.

"They have more personality. They are loyal," he said. "Cats are all about cats, but dogs are interested in pleasing their owners. Cats don't care if they please you or not."

And cats can be destructive, said Joy Rasch, 70, of Kennewick, Wash., who gets mad at the neighborhood cats who kill robins, quail and squirrels in her backyard. Male cats will spray their territory or get in the wood pile at 3 a.m. and "screech like bad brakes on a car," she added.

Of course, cat lovers, if smaller in numbers, are equal in passion.

Dog and cat "Cats are 1,000 times smarter than dogs," said Bonnie Hanson, 77, of Sioux Falls, S.D. She and her late husband had a black Siamese cat, Kitty, that she said "always wanted to comfort people, anybody who was ill or unhappy."

"My husband would have chest pains and wouldn't tell me. But Kitty would come and look at me and I'd know. We called him our psychic Siamese," she said. "Every cat I ever had was a help and a comfort."

About 59% of American households own pets, according to the poll. About 74% of pet owners polled said they had dogs, and 47% said they had cats.

Those most likely to dislike cats were blacks, Latinos and married men. Men were a bit more likely than women to say they disliked cats.

Dog people are more adamant about their preference than cat people, the poll found. Of those who owned only a dog, 34% said they disliked cats; of those who owned only a cat, only 5% disliked dogs.

David, 28, who runs a landscaping company in Warrensburg, dislikes cats but he says he owes his life to a dog. Two years ago, his 5-year-old black lab, Zena, was with him when a tractor rolled onto his leg, leaving him pinned and bleeding. Zena went to get his wife.

"She wasn't a Lassie by any means, but she was smart enough to go for help," David said.

Dog and cat Still, all this sniping doesn't mean there is no harmony in the country. Sixty percent of all adults said they liked both dogs and cats.

Cats are independent, so they give you a little more freedom, but dogs are better companions, said Janet Hardy, 69, of Abingdon, Md., who grew up with both.

David Kyser, 73, has also had both -- and can tick off their relative merits.

"Cats take care of themselves. They are very clean. Dogs are not so clean, and they need some activity. They are good if you have a house full of children," said Kyser, of Austin, Texas. "Cats just kind of sit around being cats."

And some, of course, don't want either species for a friend.

"I have a fear of dogs, and I don't like cats," said Willie Thigpen, 60, of Greenwood, S.C. He and his wife raised three children, but they never had a pet.

"And now I don't want to take care of nothing except me," he said.

The AP-Petside.com poll was conducted Oct. 1-5, 2009, by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media. It involved telephone interviews on land-line and cellphones with 1,967 adults nationwide, including 1,166 pet owners, and 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.

-- Associated Press

Top photo: marek / Your Scene
Middle photo: Kathy / Your Scene
Bottom photo: Takako / Your Scene

Comments () | Archives (5)

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What a stupid debate and poll! I've always liked both dogs and cats. I've never had a dog as an adult, as my nomadic life as a younger adult simply wasn't conducive to it, and the places I've lived since becoming more settled didn't lend themselves to having dogs, but I'd still love to have one some day. I have had cats, because it's much easier to put cats on autopilot for a while.

And to the woman who said "Cats are 1,000 times smarter than dogs" - no way. I have cats, I love cats, and I've had some Einstein cats (as well as some Forrest Gump cats and some that were in between), but there's just no way cats are smarter or more intelligent than dogs.

My cat poops in a toilet and goes three days straight without me being around -- I use an automated feeder and water purifier. Yes, admittedly the toilet is full of cat turds and urine when I return and Billy occasionally gets the drop location wrong. But a cat rocks in terms of having a reasonably self-sufficient pet in a small living space. If I had a dog, I'd need a border collie or jack russel or something with half a brain. But even then I'd still be walking around with some poop bag in hand, constantly having to walk/run the thing, constantly hear moans when I took off without him. Sorry, but a cat is king in the city.

hahahahahaha... so this article was meh... the poll was meh... then I noticed the one comment...... hahahahaha

"..as well as some Forrest Gump cats.." The Forrest Gump cat description was just funny as hell...

I would consider myself a pet lover... love them all...

FYI: I haven't had a Forrest Gump cat... but I have had a Forrest Gump dog... lol

Cats, dogs...I love them both. I live in a city and have a job that makes it impractical to own a pet. Its one of the things I miss and when I can, I am getting one of each. I love the photos of the dogs and cats snuggling. If only humans were so smart!

That top photo is adorable.


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