Dog owners are apparently twice as happy as cat owners. That’s according to results from a survey conducted by the University of Chicago, as part of the university’s overall “General Social Survey,” which tracks social changes and trends. The pet survey determined roughly 6 out of every 10 American households have at least one pet. And in those households, 36% of dog-only owners describe themselves as “very happy.” Only 18% of cat-only owners say they are “very happy.” Even people who don’t own pets come out ahead of cat owners, with 32% of pet-less people saying they are “very happy.” Having both types of pets, however, appears to cancel each other out happiness-wise.
Before dog owners start feeling superior to the cat people, it should be noted the survey only indicates how people are describing themselves – it’s not an objective measure of happiness. Cat owners just might happen to be the kind of people who don’t like to describe themselves as “very happy.” Or that “very happy” to a dog owner is simply “happy” to a cat owner. The survey also shows dog owners are more likely than cat owners to be married and own homes, which are reasons people may describe themselves as happier.