New Study Finds Majority of Pet Owners Prefer Furry Friends to Human Ones

Honestly, we get it.

If you'd prefer an evening curled up on the couch with your kitten or would forgo brunch for fetch with your pup, don't worry, you're not alone. Pet-sitting and dog-walking website recently polled more than 1,200 pet owners across the U.S. about their habits. They found that 52 percent of cat owners admit to preferring the company of their cat to that of humans. And dog owners weren't far behind: Almost half—43 percent—also said they'd much rather hang with Fido than anyone else.

The findings corroborate a 2018 survey of 2,000 U.K. pet owners in which 53 percent said they prefer their furry friends to human counterparts.

The Rover study also delved into how humans like to spend time with their trusty companions. It turns out dog and cat owners are almost equally as likely to give their pet an enthusiastic greeting when they come home (69 percent versus 67 percent, respectively).

Both parties say they spend one to two hours a day cuddling their fluffy balls of love. And it turns out, our pets aren't the only ones who get jealous. Cat owners are 16 percent more likely than dog owners to be bothered when their pet cuddles with other people.

Another major difference? Cat owners are seven percent more likely than dog owners to sing to their pets.

None of these statistics are terribly surprising to pet owners, who know just how much joy—and strange behavior—comes with having a pet. After all, research has shown that cat purring isn't just pleasant—it can also reduce your stress levels, decrease your risk of a heart attack, and even strengthen your bones. And according to a 2012 study published in the journal Obesity, overweight individuals are more likely to complete their weight loss programs if their dogs are involved.

These are just some of the many health benefits of owning a pet. And well, we can't always say the same about hanging around people!

To learn more, check out Why Having a Pet After 50 Makes You a Healthier Person.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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