Comparing the Household Habits of Cat and Dog People: Are They As Different As We Think?

It’s no secret that Americans love their pets. What’s not to love about friendly, furry faces and playful companionship?

Just how much do we adore them? In 2018, 68% of American households included a pet. To give you some perspective, that’s up from the 56% of American households that had a pet in 1988. Even though love for our furry friends seems to be widespread, we wanted to settle the age-old debate: cats or dogs?

Everyone knows cats and dogs are very different from one another, so it would make sense that the people that love them would be different, too. We decided to put that assumption to the test, specifically when it comes to dog and cat people’s habits and tendencies around the home.

We surveyed people on their household habits, organizing the responses based on their initial answer to the timeless question, “Do you prefer cats or dogs?”   

Is Your State a Dog or Cat State?

map showing whether states prefer dogs or cats

Before we get into the household habits, we wanted to get an idea of which pet is more popular around the country. To explore the answer to this, we surveyed people in every U.S. state, asking them the simple question, “Do you prefer cats or dogs?”

As you can see, dogs are the preference in an overwhelming number of states—only Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada had a higher percentage of cat lovers than dog lovers. People in Arizona are an even split, with 50% dog lovers and 50% cat lovers.

The love of dogs is obvious when you look at the numbers for actual pet ownership. According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 60.2 million American homes have a dog, compared to 47.1 million that have a cat.

Investigating the Differences Between Cat and Dog Lovers: How We Did It 

Next, we surveyed 300 cat lovers and 300 dog lovers on their daily habits around the house, which included everything from their least favorite household chore to whether they prefer the toilet seat up or down.

Dog and Cat Lovers’ Preferences on Household Chores 

Image showing pet owner household habit statistics

While the cat vs. dog question might seem like it would divide any group, there was no disagreement when it came to the least favorite household chores of both cat and dog lovers. No one likes doing the dishes, yet about half of both groups tackle them immediately after they finish eating. And it doesn’t end there—dog and cat people actually agreed on a number of things (who knew?!).

More than 55% of cat and dog lovers report that the bathroom is their least favorite room to clean. Unsurprisingly, scrubbing the bathroom is the second least favorite household chore of both groups. However, dog people are more likely than cat people to clean their toilets just before guests come over.

We couldn’t ask about household habits without mentioning laundry. More than 70% of both dog and cat people fold their laundry the day it’s washed, whether that’s immediately after it’s done drying or at some point later in the day. It seems that cat people are more likely to put off doing laundry than dog people, with almost 7% of cat lovers waiting up to a week to fold a clean load.

Exploring the Household Habits of Cat and Dog People 

With household particulars out of the way, we wanted to look at more personal home preferences to see if that might show us some differences between dog and cat lovers.

Both the thermostat and temperature of the home are often up for a heated debate (pun intended) between housemates, but here again, dog and cat people aren’t as different as you’d think. Dog folks prefer a cooler temperature of 68 degrees or lower, whereas cat lovers like to keep their home at a nice 70 degrees. But even if your partner prefers cats to dogs—or vice versa—you’ll be glad to know you both want the fan on at bedtime. More than half of respondents said they need the fan on to sleep at night.

On the contrary, you might not be on the same page with ordering takeout. While 12% of dog lovers report to ordering delivery a few times a week, cat people prefer to cook in the comfort of their home.

Morning Bird or Night Owl? 

We also learned that dog folks are more likely to be morning people than cat lovers. Two in five dog lovers responded that they were early birds compared to about one in three cat people. Dogs often need that early morning walk, so it makes sense that their owners would eventually adopt an earlier morning schedule. Cat people, on the other hand, responded that they’re night owls instead.

As far as caffeine intake goes, cat folks drink less coffee on average than dog folks, but cat lovers are far more likely than dog people to overdo their caffeine intake by drinking more than 5 cups per day now and then.

Bringing It All Together: Are Dog and Cat People Really That Different?

Just like cats and dogs can live together in harmony, so can the people who love them. Aside from a few varying household habits and tendencies, we were surprised to find that cat and dog people aren’t as different as we’d thought. The two groups share a dislike for dishes and cleaning bathrooms, and appear to stick to similar schedules for the frequencies at which they clean. And the primary places they might disagree? The “right” thermostat temperature and whether it’s acceptable to opt for delivery instead of cooking at home.

Whether you’re Team Cats or Team Dogs, you can agree with us that pets are part of the family. But no matter how much you love them, we know how overwhelming it can be to pet-proof your home—especially your flooring. From scratches to smelly accidents, pets can do a number on your floors.  But choosing the right flooring for your pets doesn’t have to be so hard! Check out our guide to choosing the best floors for your pets, or let the flooring professionals at Empire guide the way. We make getting beautiful new floors easy, even when it comes to pet-friendly flooring for those furry faces you love so much!

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