Why America is Still Great: More People Own Guns and Dogs Than Cats

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Dog break with Cedar during a John Farnam Urban Rifle class.

When something makes you smile.

According to the latest researdch, about 45% of American households have guns. With some fluctuation. that number has been fairly steady for decades. That, of course, dependent on people actually answering honestly when a stranger tries to find out if they own guns (so the actual number is likely more than 50%).

There are about 46 million households with pet cats in the United States, or about 37 percent. That’s a lot of murder kittehs running around. Bear with me here.

Dogs are what is best in life right after guns. (Dad Early with sons Khiro and Puck.)

As for man’s best friend, about a 65 million households have a dog living with them. That’s about 52 percent of the total.

So what do I get out of this? Gun owners have good taste because more Americans households own dogs than cats. I suppose cat ownership might increase when you can train cats to retrieve birds and flush pheasants, but until then….. There’s nothing quite like the loyal habits of a 90-pound Lab lapdog.

Most days the author writes with Puck on her lap.

Go team dog! Oh, and guns, too.

How about you? Team dog or team cat? (Because of course you own guns, right?)

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  1. I have had good cats and dogs. I prefer labs as they seem to have the best personalities. We are petless at the moment, will be awhile before we can go thru the heartbreak again. The last one was special, had a unique personality and was very loyal.

    • We have a dog, a cat, and a bunch of guns. 😉
      Dogs are better than cats because they actually love and obey you. They are also a lot more work and expense than cats. They tie you down more. Cats are lower maintenance and their fur is softer.

        • true dat on the best one’s finding you. last 2 dogs were strays we found as pups. the one now was a 30 lb rottweiler (now 90+). My first rott, i highly recommend them. She’s a very good dog, well trained. Will be lazy with you or grind on the hike, either way it goes

    • I feel you paratrooper, It’s really hard to say goodbye to a furry kid. I suppose it’s rougher with a dog but difficult with whoever you choose to love and be loved. Then I think about critters in the pound wondering their fate and I just want another furry beast to cuddle. It takes a special human to go through it again but we must share our love for the little monsters as they are more deserving than most peeple.

    • We are exactly the same, even though we have had a plethora of dogs and cats, and ALL of them beautiful, wonderful and so, so missed, the last pair of dogs – littermates, rescue, were just so special that its going to take a long time for my broken heart to be mended enough to stand going thru the inevitable again.
      The Hope – that they are in Heaven and will be awaiting us with wagging tails.
      PS and since then, we have lost a “throw away cat” that showed up and iived with us for about 7 years. I am not a cat person, they are fine, but I just havee an affinity for dogs, but this little cat- such a survivor and how, after all she had been through – being dumped, the nights in the cold, no food, she was so loving, and taught us you just have to take life as it comes and keep trudging on. She just got under my skin. They just steal one’s heart, that is for sure! Blessings on you and yours.

  2. Having a dog is like having another kid, got enough already. Cats don’t give a shit if you leave for three days so long as they have food, water, and a clean litter box. Don’t even have to name them, as the little bastards never come when they’re called anyway.

    • {Cats}

      “Don’t even have to name them, as the little bastards never come when they’re called anyway.”

      Mine came when called, since she knew something yummy was is store when she heard her name…

    • Over the years we’ve probably had three dozen cats – not all at the same time. All of them had names, every one of them answered to their name and came when called. Except for one timid cat who had been abused in a previous home, every cat was exceptionally affectionate.

      Years ago my husband had back surgery; when he got home from the hospital and spent a lot of time in bed, our oldest cat sensed that he was unwell and she lay in the bed, pressed up against him, around the clock for days until he was up and about. Her work done, she returned to her own cat bed.

  3. Years ago I was hunting in the hills here in CA. Pretty remote spot. Coming up the trail from the other direction was a white haired old woman with a light pack and two dogs on leads.

    On her right hip she wore a Ruger .357 revolver. We passed pleasantries and then she moved on.

  4. Haven’t had a dog or cat since I was a kid. I am allergic to cats so that’s a definite no. We do have a gaggle of feral cat’s that invaded our neighborhood. The mean old man sprays them with pepper gel. One had a kitten in a rusty van a friend gave us since junked. It died and guess who had to get rid of it?!? Oh no mice or birds around around here!!!

  5. I like dogs and cats.

    And some lizards {Pogona vitticeps} Bill, Helios, and Spike… 😉

      • If it came to a survival situation, I’d eat a bearded dragon, but I highly doubt I will be in such a situation, on the other side of the planet, and opposite hemisphere…

    • Why do folks compare dogs and cats? That’s a funny thing. We have both and they are all very different creatures but both species have been very dear companions all our lives. I recently buried our oldest dog, a Rhodie-Rott (Fast as a cheetah, dumb as a post) who lived to over 20 years old. On his last visit our vetrinarian said “I hope that if I live as (equivalently) long I am in as good health.” We make our own dog food. I have kept reptiles as well; I liked the low-maintenance feature.

  6. In order of preference:

    1. Lab or Beagle

    2. Most any other large breed of dog

    3-79. Fish, hamsters, horses, coons, skunks, etc.

    80. Certain housecats (have to have special personality)

    81-112. Reptiles, amphibians, and tarantulas

    113. Regular housecats

    114. Black Widow spiders

    115. Wild Cape Buffalo

    116. Rat dogs

    • “115. Wild Cape Buffalo”

      Nasty general disposition, and they shit *everywhere*… 🙁

      • Two reasons they topped rat dogs, they are big, and I tend to like bigger critters. He gets too mean, then I got steaks coming. Second, I really dislike rat dogs.

  7. This is the same woman who repeatedly writes that .380 ACP isn’t a real caliber.

    Few months ago, a crazy 50 something white woman killed a 30 something black woman with a .380.

    Through a door.

    • Nope. “Our” cat just showed up on the patio one day and decided, “I’m living here now.”. She’s still here seven years later.

      • When we bought our current house with acreage we also got a pre-installed cat. The elderly mother of the previous owner who was moving out asked if we would adopt the kitty so of course we did.

  8. I am definitely puppy people. however; at the moment I am without a dog but I still have a cat. I’m not certain that is a bad thing. As my veterinarian pointed out, dogs have masters but cats have staff

  9. Liberty Safe Trying To Stay Relevant…again changes policy for combo release to law enforcement a few hours ago.

    • Look at a replacement DIAL lock set from Sergeant and Greenleaf, or maybe another maker, as lots of people are replacing their gun safe locks now.
      These were about $120 – $150 on Amazon or others.
      User resettable combination, and on line videos about doing the job.

  10. Cats & dogs…

    You can be a total A-wipe and your dog will still love you. They are easy because a dog will even love a serial killer or a child molester. They will love whomever feeds it and takes “care” of it. A dog will still come back to a master who beats it repeatedly over and over again.

    A cat however…if you so much as hurt its feelings or mistreat it in any way will hold it against you for days or week -sometimes even forever for a more serious offense. Cats are hard, you have to treat them always with respect and etiquette. A lot of humans just aren’t capable of treating others that way, much less a pet. Therefore they like dogs instead
    You really can’t F up with a dog -they always give you a second chance.

    Personally I use the cat thing as a way to judge people. It’s a shorthand way of reading them. If they don’t like cats there is a good chance there is something wrong with them and I pretty much don’t trust them. It’s not a 100% strike but it is not a good sign in my experience.

  11. We have two murder kittehs. I prefer them, even though I used to be allergic to them. We have two children, prefer not to add more. I had a once feral cat that fought baby copperheads, stag beetles, and very large dogs (My sister’s dogs were terrified of the black demon kitteh, who took the very wise cat approach of “See dog, Attack dog until it hides in terror so it can’t figure out it’s 10 times bigger.”

  12. The cats I’ve had in my life have been independent, self-sufficient, and fearless. one of them had a practice of attacking you climbing up your leg up your body giving you a bite somewhere around the head or neck jumping down and going to the next room and acting innocent. Of course this is the same cat that you caught him on the countertop he would walk away and deny that it was him.

    I guess that I find it amusing that cats consider themselves equal cohabitants in my home where dogs have always been subservient. Maybe one day I will have the time, space and patience necessary to get myself a corgi or some other working dog and enjoy it but even then I’ll have cats around for vermin control.

  13. As someone who has owned firearms as soon as I was old enough and responsible enough, and also as one who grew up with both cats and dogs, I can offer this:

    I currently only have a couple of cats because of my working hours and commute, it would not be fair to a dog for me to currently have a dog. If I worked closer to home (so I could run home to let the pooch out at lunch) and/or worked less hours, I would love to have a dog or dogs again.

    But until that time, cats make great buds too and they tend to be a bit more self-sufficient. I would never argue one being generally better than another, just that one might make for a better-suited match for a certain home situation or steward’s particular lifestyle. If you can have both, I would suggest it, if they have the personalities for it. Whichever you choose, just make sure you can give them a good life, because otherwise, what’s the point?

  14. There is no correlation. I’ve owned either, or and all three at same time. I’m currently without K-9, but am looking into a Rhodesian Ridgeback from a breeder a bit south of me.

      • That could be my uncle, without the Aussie accent. Learning about feral cats was part of my outdoors education as a youngster. If we encountered a cat while out in the forests or fields…

  15. Nobody owns a cat. We currently work for 2 cats, and the gun collection size is Nunya, but I do my part.
    We lost a once in a lifetime cat this spring. He would see me open the humidor and head for the patio door, as I was allowed to smoke and read while he slept on my lap.

    • I draw the line when the cats start spraying. In the back of the truck on my tools, on the back porch, and worse at the front door. luckily they are easy to trap. Seems like there is no end of them.

    • My wife had two cats when we first met and one was 6 lbs of fearless merdur feline. That little fuckr would bring home the weirdest shit. Live pigeons which he would turn loose in the house, lizards galore but one that freaked me out was one of those giant moths, emperor? IDK but he comes in with something in his mouth that was just a blur of flapping wings and proceeds to drop it right in front of me. Well thinking moths are just harmless bugs I reached for it with a paper towel and that fucker reared up on it’s hind legs and scared the shit right outta me!

      • Grey brown with red or pink on the under wings heavy bodied, probably a hawk moth. The catapillier stage eats the leaves of tomato plants.

        • We called them tomato horn worms. There are a couple species of them, and some of them are the size of your index finger. Well, a human index finger.

          One summer, one of them somehow made its way into the grass underneath the clothesline. We still debate which went higher, the clothes basket or Mom’s scream. 75 yards across the driveway from the tomato patch is more of a stretch than we realized, not being very forward thinking, and the resulting three days without pie made us become a bit more furtive. You see, Mom once told us in a moment of frustration that one of these days, she was going to go screaming down the road, not realizing that she was setting up a goal…

  16. Lets see, We have 3 dogs, 0ne of which is a pet, the other 2 are working stock/security dogs.
    We have 2 sometimes house cats, with several semi-feral barn cats. The dogs get fed in the house, the cats feed themselves with 1 very old cat getting wet food in the house.
    And several firearms. All in working order and usable if needs be. Although the wheel lock might not be a first choice for use. And, the matchlock would need match cord. Don’t have any but do know how to make it.
    As I have been told, Dogs have owners, cats have staff.

  17. Cats are disgusting disease vectors with no loyalty and insane prey drive. Which actually does explain a shockingly high percentage of cat owner’s behavior.

    They’re waiting for you to kick the bucket so they can feast on your remains (slight hyperbole).

    fMRI research indicates that they do consider us prey of opportunity.

    To steal a Bitcoin meme: Guns solve this. (So do live traps and rain barrels or calciferol based rat poisons. You can get the identical biochemical effect from fish oil supplements, which cats can’t resist, but that’s far more expensive.)

    • “…so they can feast on your remains…”

      I once opened one up with the 22-250, and he was so mean & crazy that he spent his last few moments eating his own viscera. We had been hunting that one because of his reputation.

  18. My black cat likes to jump up on the table when I clean guns after a range trip. She just watches and after experimenting with different CLPs I realize that she 1) likes to hang out with me and 2) loves the smell of Ballistol.

    Come to think of it, Hickok45 has a big gray cat. Might be something to this …

    • I’ve known only 6 cats that were ok, let alone cool, and one of them was a big gray one that we called Gray Dude. He once attacked a Great Dane that a girl was walking down the sidewalk in front of our house while daughter and I were on the porch swing. Someone dropped him and a sister off as kittens during a cicada season, and they gorged themselves on the bugs. I had to keep cleaning them out, because the shells didn’t digest and would plug them up, and Gray Dude was the only one that survived. That may be why he became to attached to us.

  19. Hey Kat, that pic with the article at the top (‘Dog break with Cedar during a John Farnam Urban Rifle class.’) …they say anything in that class about putting the barrel of your firearm in the dirt? (probably not going to cause any problems, but not a good practice)

  20. Humans tend to like dogs because it’s in our nature to want to be in control of everything- and dogs are an intrinsically subservient species.

    Cats, on the other hand, are the epitome of sovereign freedom… and that really rubs the control freaks the wrong way.

    But what’s most illuminating about the dog vs. cat comments are that the folks who feel most threatened by the autonomy that cats represent are also typically the ones exhibiting a desire to kill them. And that really says a lot about one’s temperament.

    But when someone expresses personal pleasure in murdering another living being (and others jump in to cheer them on), THAT represents another rung down the ladder of human nature- sociopathy.

    Notice how no one ever jokes around about murdering dogs. But cats- meh… that’s no biggie.

    Hmm… maybe the real animals around here that we need to have a serious discussion about are the humans…

  21. Two dogs for security and companionship and a continuously fluctuating number of barn cats for rodent control, currently 4, formerly as high as 11. None of the barn cats have survived more than 18 months even though they’re well fed and have plenty of shelter. Someday they’ll learn to team up against the yotes.

  22. Shame on the author of this article and every single poster who spewed their bile about cats. Cats are loving, beautiful, intelligent creatures who make excellent companions and people who don’t like them have psychological problems. I’m so SICK of the worthless shts who have nothing good to say about cats and probably don’t know anything about them on a firsthand basis. And guess what? Dogs are great as well as long as they’re NOT cat killers. I have had cat killers put to sleep because they’re as worthless as the people who hate and/or hurt cats. My ninety pound lab/great pyrenees mix LOVES cats and our cats love him back. We also have weapons, so suck on that, haters.

    • Easy, now. Seriously. This is all in good fun whether you realize it or not.

      Look, I remember when people were going at each other over *computers*: you know, Mac OS vs Windows? Or, getting back to firearms 9mm vs .45 ACP?

      I hope you get my point.

  23. Standard poodles rock. Don’t go for the crossbreeds nor the shrunken versions. They will retrieve birds and small game and crawl in your lap for a snuggle. And they don’t shed.

  24. Like them both, but our lives for the past 30 years have limited us to house cats, as they will accommodate our schedule, while the dogs we have had required us to accommodate to their schedule and needs. Our older cat is now 22 y.o. and still a purring hot pad.
    I finally found a pound of 19th C British musket flints from Tibet, so the familys’ 1795 pattern Springfield musket is back working, and we are no longer unarmed.
    :- 》


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