cat and dog walking

This Map Shows the Most Popular Type of Pet in Every State


Pop culture portrays cats as guarded, curious, independent, and--let's be honest--somewhat anti-social pets. Meanwhile, everyone views dogs as loyal and lovable oafs who will do just about anything for their owners. It's just one of ways we pit dogs and cats against one another, and it's been happening since the dawn of time. Dog people don't understand cat people, and vice versa. While there may be a few animal lovers who take the controversial middle ground, people usually prefer one type of pet over the other. This line in the proverbial sand runs so deep that the country can actually be split into "cat states" and "dog states."

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 38.4 percent of U.S. households have dogs while only 25.4 own cats. Based on that data, you might assume that there are far more states who prefer canines. However, that's not the case.

More than 3,000 Americans across the country were surveyed in a recent study to find out which furry companion was loved the most. The participants were asked if they owned a cat or a dog, along with the state they call home. Surprisingly, the country was evenly divided, with 25 states preferring cats and the other 25 states sticking with dogs. So much for "man's best friend!"

Some cat states include Massachusetts, Nevada, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, while Colorado, New Jersey, Texas, and California are firmly dog states. It's possible that colder states with larger cities may be better suited for cat owners since there isn't a lot of space. On the other hand, states with plenty of wide-open areas, hiking trails, and fairly decent weather, like California and Texas, make sense for dog ownership.

However, some of the states that are a great mix of both worlds left us scratching our heads. Oregon and Washington both identify as cat states. With their access to trails and beautiful coastlines, you would think those two would be a shoo-in for dogs. (Maybe they are into training adventure cats over there!) Another state with a surprising outcome is New York. When all the tallying was done, the state filled with busy cities firmly sided with the canines. Curious where your state landed in the great cats vs. dogs debate? Check out the full list below.

Cat States

cat sits in the grass

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Dog States

Dog sits in the forest

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Do you live in a cat state or a dog state? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Instagram!

READ MORE: Survey Says Dog Owners Make More Money Than Cat Owners

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