For the first time since CivicScience has been tracking the “dog vs. cat” debate, the number of people who own both a cat and a dog has eclipsed the number of households that own a cat only. Dog ownership has spiked over 21% since 2017 and shows few signs of abating. Obviously, this is good news for our canine friends. Cats, however, are singing the blues (cue the wailing). Cat ownership is down 16% since 2017, and down 29% since 2016. 

Me-ow, indeed.

So what is behind the ascendance of dogs? We looked at numbers year-over-year, from May 2017 to May 2018 compared to the past year. And what we found is that the rise cuts across a wide swath of America.

Let’s start with age. The first chart below shows dog and cat ownership across age groups from May 2017 to May 2018. The chart in the second tab is for the past year, and you’ll note while all age groups showed some increase in dog ownership, the under-25 crowd led the way with a whopping increase of 42%.

We also looked to see if there was a difference when it came to gender. And you know what? The answer is yes, as women have acquired dogs at a higher rate than men since 2017. 

You’ll see dog ownership has gone up 17% among men and 23% among women.

Comparing pet ownership with residential area, city and suburban dwellers are lapping rural Americans when it comes to dog ownership. 

Looking at the data year-over-year, dog ownership is up 30% in the cities and 21% in the suburbs. This compares to “only” a 9% rise in rural areas.

The trend is clear: Dogs are barking their way up the charts, whereas cats are losing their pawhold in American homes – and not by a whisker, either.