In the debate over the in-fur-ior pet, science has finally taken a side.
The General Social Survey from 2018 found that dog owners are more likely to be happy than their feline-loving counterparts.
36% of the survey respondents who own a dog said that they are very happy. But only 18% of cat parents said the same. Weirdly enough, 32% of petless respondents also defined themselves as ‘very happy’.
However, correlation doesn’t equal causation as there are a number of differences between dog and cat owners that account for their apparent happiness.
The General Social Survey data showed that dog owners are more likely to be married and own their own homes than cat owners.
Both of these factors are known to affect happiness.
A 2016 study published in a multidisciplinary journal echoes this split.
It found that those that described themselves as ‘dog-people’ yielded higher levels of happiness and positive emotions than ‘cat-people’.
According to The Atlantic, dog owners are more likely to make friends in their neighbourhood due to random encounters while walking their pet which increases their overall well-being.
If only cats got out more, it would’ve resulted in a fairer and more balanced study.