Dogs get more love, veterinary care than cats, study says

Dogs get more love, veterinary care than cats, study says

Mar 01, 2008
By staff

Schaumburg, Ill. — Cats get significantly less attention and veterinary medical care from their owners than dogs, according to a new study that offers statistics proving the discrepancy and looks into the reasons for it.

Dog owners took their pets to a veterinarian more often than cat owners and were more likely to seek vaccinations, physical check-ups and preventive dental care, according to the report titled, "Perceptions and Attitudes of Pet Owners Executive Summary."

The report is posted on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Web site and appears in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

About a third of cats in households that own dogs and cats don't see a veterinarian annually, compared with only 13 percent of the dogs, the study shows.

Owners spend about 45 hours a week with their dogs, while cats get their owners' attention about 32 hours weekly, the study found.

The reasons? Dogs are viewed as more affectionate than cats and more fun to be around, and many owners believe that dogs need more regular veterinary care because they spend more time outdoors. And some cat owners hold the misconception that cats "don't get sick and can take care of themselves," the study says.