Study Reveals Dog Owners Care More About Their Pets than Cat Owners

In a fascinating study conducted by the University of Copenhagen, it has been revealed that dog owners have a stronger bond and show more overall care for their pets compared to cat owners. The research, published in the journal “Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine,” surveyed thousands of participants in the UK, Denmark, and Austria who owned either a dog, a cat, or both. The study found that dog owners had a significantly higher “attachment score” and were more likely to invest in medical and insurance for their beloved canines. While the results were fairly consistent across all three countries, there were some minor variations in preferences and expectations for pet care. However, the study also acknowledges that there may be other countries where affection for cats surpasses that of dogs. This research sheds light on the complex and evolving relationship between pet owners and their furry companions, emphasizing the impact of human lifestyles on pet care attitudes.


In a recent study conducted by the University of Copenhagen, it was revealed that dog owners tend to care more about their pets than cat owners. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine, surveyed over 17,000 pet owners in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Austria. Participants were asked various questions regarding their feelings towards their pets, their spending habits, and their expectations for medical treatment options. The results showed a consistent preference for dogs over cats in all countries and across all aspects of pet care.


The study included a diverse range of participants, consisting of 17,747 individuals aged 18 to 89 who owned either a dog, a cat, or both. The survey questions aimed to explore the participants' attachment to their pets, their willingness to spend money on their pets' medical treatment, and their general expectations for pet care options. The data collected from the survey provided valuable insights into the differences between dog owners and cat owners in terms of their level of care and attachment to their pets.

Attachment Score

One of the key findings of the study was the significantly higher attachment score reported by dog owners compared to cat owners. The attachment score reflects the emotional bond between the pet owner and their animal companion. Across all countries, respondents consistently expressed stronger emotional attachment to their dogs than to their cats. This suggests that dog owners perceive their pets as close companions and best friends, while cat owners may have a slightly less intense emotional connection with their feline companions.

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The study also found a universal preference for dogs over cats among the participants. This preference for dogs may be driven by their perceived loyalty and companionship qualities, as dogs are often known for their unwavering devotion to their owners. Cats, on the other hand, are often associated with a more independent and self-sufficient nature, which may contribute to a slightly lower attachment score among cat owners.

Medical Treatment Options

The study revealed that pet owners have higher expectations for medical treatment options for their dogs compared to their cats. When it comes to seeking medical care for their pets, dog owners were more willing to invest in life-saving procedures and spend a considerable amount of money. This suggests that dog owners prioritize the health and of their pets and are more proactive in ensuring they receive the necessary medical attention.

Conversely, cat owners were found to be less likely to spend substantial amounts on their cats' medical . This difference in spending habits may be attributed to various factors, such as perceived differences in the value of medical interventions for dogs versus cats or variations in pet owners' financial capabilities. Further research is needed to explore the underlying reasons for these discrepancies in investment in medical treatment options.

Spending Habits

The study also examined the spending habits of pet owners when it comes to their dogs and cats. It revealed that owners are generally more willing to spend money on their dogs compared to their cats. This pattern suggests that dog owners are more inclined to invest in their pets' , be it through premium food options, toys, grooming services, or other forms of care.

Several factors were found to influence the spending patterns of pet owners. These factors include the perceived value of the pet, the owner's financial situation, and the cultural attitudes towards pet ownership and care. It is important to note that individual preferences and circumstances may vary, and not all dog owners prioritize their pets' care to a greater extent than cat owners. However, the overall trend suggests a higher willingness to spend on dogs over cats.

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Discrepancies by Country

While the study found a consistent preference for dogs over cats across all countries, there were some minor discrepancies based on the location of participants. In the United Kingdom (U.K.), the preference for dogs was described as “very modest.” This suggests that dog owners in the U.K. may still value their cats but may not prioritize their care and attachment to the same extent as dog owners.

In Austria, the preference for dogs was found to be more notable compared to the U.K. This indicates a stronger emotional bond and attachment to dogs among Austrian pet owners. The reasons behind this discrepancy may be influenced by cultural factors and perceptions of dogs as loyal companions.

The most striking finding was witnessed in Denmark, where the preference for dogs over cats was extremely pronounced. Danish pet owners showed a significantly higher attachment score and were more likely to prioritize their dogs' care and well-being over their feline companions. This cultural difference highlights the potential impact of societal norms and beliefs on pet ownership and care practices.

Care Expectations

The study also explored the expectations pet owners have regarding the care options available for their dogs and cats. In Austria and Denmark, dog owners were found to have a wider variety of care options for their pets compared to cat owners. This suggests that the infrastructure and services for dog care are more developed in these countries, catering to the higher demand from dog owners.

In the U.K., however, the study found that pet owners generally have equal expectations for both dogs and cats in terms of available care options. This indicates a more balanced approach to pet care, where both species are viewed as equally deserving of appropriate care and attention.


Insurance coverage for pets also varied between dogs and cats in the study. Across all countries, it was found that more dogs were insured compared to cats. This difference in insurance coverage may be attributed to the higher expectations and willingness of dog owners to prioritize their pets' health and well-being.

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Factors such as perceived risks, anticipated medical expenses, and cultural attitudes towards insurance also influenced the decision to insure pets. Dog owners may perceive a higher need for insurance coverage due to their pets' size, breed-specific health concerns, and higher likelihood of engaging in outdoor activities. Further research is needed to delve into the specific factors that influence these decisions.

Possible Cultural Factors

The study acknowledged that the findings were limited to the three countries surveyed and that there may be undiscovered cultural factors influencing pet owners' care and attachment to their pets. Different cultural norms, values, and traditions can significantly impact the way individuals perceive and prioritize pet care.

For example, certain cultures may view dogs as more than just pets but as valuable members of the family, leading to a higher level of care and attachment. Conversely, cultural beliefs regarding cats and their independent nature may influence cat owners' perceptions of their pets and their level of care.


In conclusion, the study provides valuable insights into the preferences and care expectations of dog and cat owners. The research supports the notion that dog owners tend to care more about their pets than cat owners, exhibiting higher attachment scores and investing more in their pets' medical treatment and overall well-being. While the findings were consistent across the surveyed countries, minor discrepancies by country suggest the influence of cultural factors on pet ownership and care practices.

The study highlights the ongoing evolution of pet care and emphasizes the role of human lifestyles in shaping the care and attachment individuals have towards their pets. As societal norms change and cultural perspectives continue to evolve, it is essential to monitor how these factors influence the care and well-being of both dogs and cats. Further research is needed to explore these cultural factors and their impact on pet care practices in different countries worldwide.


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