More Americans Own Guns and Dogs Than Cats

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

When something makes you smile.

According to Gallup, 40% of American households have guns. That number has been right around the 40% mark for about a decade with occasional shifts up and down. Those numbers are, of course, dependent on people actually answering when a stranger tries to find out if they own guns (so the actual number is likely more than 40%).

According to the ASPCA there are approximately 85.8 million pet cats in the United States and about 35% of American households own at least one cat. That’s a lot of murder kittehs running around.

Okay, bear with me.

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

Also according to the ASPCA and whatever statistic-gathering techniques they use, there are something like 78 million pet dogs in the United States (come on, you’re telling me there are more cats than dogs?). They also state that around 44% of American households have dogs.

So what I got out of this is, gun owners have good taste because more Americans households own dogs than cats. I suppose the day you can train cats to retrieve birds and flush pheasants, cat ownership might increase. Then again, there’s nothing quite like the loyal lapdog habits of a 90-pound Lab.

Go team dog! Oh, and guns, too. How about you guys? Team dog or team cat? (Because of course you own guns, right?)

Most days the author writes with Puck crawling into her lap.


  1. avatar Ken says:

    Doesn’t have to be either-or. Both have their place.

    1. avatar Bearpaw says:

      When things go bump in the night, my hundred pound lab is better than my glock. I can shoot whatever is left, but doubt there will be a need.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Wow, 90 and 100 pound Labrador retrievers … I never thought of that breed as being that heavy. Are those healthy weights?

        1. avatar Timothy says:

          My understanding of labs is 70-80lbs. 90-100 might be overweight, or just larger in frame than the average lab.

  2. avatar sound awake says:

    ALL dogs go to heaven

    not all cats do

    1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

      Pretty sure murdering pit-bulls won’t…but OK

      1. avatar Gun Fucker says:

        I bet you’re a real hit at parties.

      2. avatar New Continental Army says:

        I know a guy with 9 Pitt bulls, and looking to get more. He has guns too but probably won’t ever need them, at his house at least.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          9 pits? So he buys a trailer full of Purina a week or just rustles cattle on the side?

          If he figures out a harness system he won’t need gas for his car.

        2. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Yeah, he’s a bit of a character.

        3. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Unless they’re pulling a sled in Alaska, owning nine dogs puts you a ways past “character” and at least a few steps into “hoarder” territory…

    2. avatar Whoopie says:

      Will Rogers said, if all dogs don’t go to heaven, when I die, I wanna go where they went.

  3. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    and way more guns than animals…LOL

    1. avatar Danny Mann says:

      Got all kinds of animals!! Besides you could eat the animals, if you have to.😥Guns?Won’t say. Maybe I have some, maybe I don’t .🇺🇸

      1. avatar arc says:

        You can eat long pig too, a dog is worth more than a long pig.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          Well, you can train the long pig to feed the dogs, and clean up the poop…

  4. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    “That’s a lot of murder kittehs running around.”

    What would you rather have around you and your children, a bunch of feral ‘murder kittehs’, or a pack of feral dogs?

    Yeah, just as I thought.

    For the record, I like ’em both, domesticated…


  5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    We have guns and cats. Guns and dogs are loud. Cats are quiet. They sleep 18 hours a day and don’t need you to help them poop, so they work for me.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:


    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Have dogs and cats, goats and chickens. BUT dogs are more demtard – very high maintenance and want to run you schedule/life and expect you to take care of their every need. Cats are more like libertarians (the real ones, vs todays dominate pothead cabal). Really don’t give a …………

      I’d bet their are way more “domesticated” cat households out there than survey says. Under reported due to not cool factor.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Don’t be fooled, when it’s time for the handouts (food), cats turn full welfare queen.

        1. avatar Moltar says:

          Our kitty turns full Obama/Clinton she jumps up on the couch or waits till your back is turned then she steals that shit and runs.

      2. avatar Kenneth says:

        Not in my yard. My cats are feral. My dogs live inside. So do my cows, but in the barn. Only my garden and the cats stay out and fend for themselves. Even the cows come for milking when I whistle. Probably cause of that feedbag of rolled oats…
        Anyway, I eat dairy and beef that I know are hormone and chemical free, because I raised and processed them myself. Any additives I know all about, because I’m the one that put it in.

      3. avatar Benzo says:

        “I think my dog’s a Democrat” country song:

    3. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      Yeah, cats are less needy than dogs. But I love them both. And guns too.

  6. avatar Tim says:

    Guns don’t pee on the floor or eat my dinner while I’m not looking.

    1. avatar kahlil says:

      My dog does neither.

      Guns require feeding, cleaning, maintenance, and quality time to keep the relationship working and healthy. My guns are actually more needy than my dog 😉

  7. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    I’m down for all three categories,some of each.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Yep, sign me up for all of the above. I don’t have a dog, but I want one.

    2. avatar Toni says:

      we have a cat, a dog and guns. the cat my partner had before we got together. disappears if anyone else visits and is a moody thing. it likes me though for some reason. the dog we got after we had been broken into. i had wanted to get a dog before we met and i had not been living in situations where i could have a dog. we will have a lot more animals soon if i have my way.

  8. avatar kahlil says:

    man’s best friends 😉

  9. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m deathly allergic to most cats. So, I have three large dogs and a bunch of guns. And knives. Oh, and snakes.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “Oh, and snakes.”

      Any ‘hot’ herps?

      (That doesn’t mean ‘stolen’.)

      I’ve owned Aus. Beardies and a red corn snake…

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Hell, snakes are one of the reasons I own guns… The rattlers have been above-average in quantity around my place this year.

  10. avatar NWA says:

    To quote the great poet Ice Cube: Forget about a dog, fool, he’ll shit in the bed. Nowadays a gun is man’s best friend!

    1. avatar Rocketman says:

      Or take him with you to run a couple of real quick errands and then have him poop in the drivers seat of the car (twice) because he couldn’t come into the post office with you for all of 20 seconds.

  11. avatar jwm says:

    If you throw in all the one gun owners, many of whom are not gun people but want one ‘just in case’, the number of households in America with guns is easily north of 80-85 per cent.

    I don’t want cats or dogs. I have a yard full of silly quail that contribute nothing but extra work and expense. But they are silly little nothings that are entertaining for the grandkids. And we do get a few eggs from them.

    If I ever move out of the city and back to the country I would likely get a dog. They are handy to have in a rural setting.

    I’m not a church goer. Don’t claim a religion. But I believe that cats are at least a small argument in favor of a hell and the devil. Shifty eyed little bastards with no sense of guilt.

  12. avatar Pg2 says:

    Lol, great article headline TTAG. It’s likely most dog and cat owners also own more guns than than cats and dogs.

    1. avatar Good Gal with Gun says:

      Now I feel like a slacker … I have six cats (no dogs) and not as many guns as cats. I guess I need to get out and do some shopping, right quick!

  13. avatar anonymoose says:

    I like hounds. I used to have a tortoise, but he got sick and kicked the bucket. 🙁

  14. avatar BJI says:

    We have 2 cats, 1 (10 pound) dog and MORE THAN one gun. We LUVEM all! Our cats are lapcats and do their duty in a litter box and NEVER go out. I CANNOT IMAGINE being without a cat!!! YES, I’m an 80 year old MAN!!!
    Our dog MUST go outside DESPITE the weather. We MUCH prefer the cats, but WOULD NOT get rid of the dog!!!
    Our daughter has a German Shorthair Pointer that is UNCONTROLABLE and we WOULD NOT have a dog like him, hunter or not!!!

    1. avatar RA-15 says:

      Well put sir. I am the same. Dogs , cats , guns. Most people , no thanks. Rats come in all sizes , take democRATS for instance !!

  15. avatar RA-15 says:

    Rodents spread disease. White footed mice carry Lyme disease ,among other things. What do you think is the main killer of said rats ? Hint , it is cats. And another tidbit. Cats reproduce much more than dogs , thus the Spca statistics.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      maybe we need to all get a lot of large cats to feed on all the d RATS

    2. avatar Joel says:

      Actually owls kill more rodents than just about anything….snakes next. Cats are down the list somewhere….we have two small dogs that go after them fairly regular and occasionally bring one to the back door.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        yeah cats it depends how much you feed them. on the farm ours used to get a bowl of milk between all of them (about 10) to keep them around but that was all. we did not have any rats or mice but what we mostly saw them with was birds. in general i think encouraging the smaller predatory birds and having a python around would do more than most cats to keep rats and mice under control

  16. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Our dog likes movies with horses and gunfire. He’ll sit and watch those with us. Other movies, well, he often goes to bed before Mrs. C and me … no guns, no horses, so what’s the point?

  17. avatar Rokurota says:

    New dog owner. For a while, we weren’t sure, being cat (and gun) people. But unlike cats, the key to a happy dog is training. This is America, land of choices and free refills.

  18. avatar Erik Weisz says:

    1 dog, 2 cats, 3 kids, 17 guns.

  19. avatar jakee308 says:

    There are no bad dogs only bad owners. I’ve seen it way to often. Even a good dog will go bad when a bad owner gets them.

    It’s why although I don’t like ppl asking intrusive questions, I have no problem with a shelter asking them to place an animal.

    We’ve all seen it. In general a pet (maybe not cats or fish) will take on the traits of their owners. In fact as you can judge someone by how your pet acts toward them so can they judge you by your pet.

    And the main difference between cats and dogs is cats are generally more solitary. Raised in a “pack” they will assume some of those qualities whereas a dog naturally inclines to pack behavior. It’s in the genes.

    Humans generally are “pack or troop or tribal” beings so we mesh a tad better with dogs and other pack animals.

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      They sure do:

  20. avatar MN_Drew says:

    1 dog, 1 cat, 2 chickens, about a dozen guns.

    Love the dog. My opinion on the cat varies frequently between “aren’t you old enough to die yet?” and “I guess you’re alright sometimes” depending on her behavior.

  21. avatar The Rookie says:

    I love both dogs and cats, but I have neither now. I just take it too hard when the time comes to have them put down or they pass away. I raised my last cat from a one month old kitten to a couple weeks shy of his 18th birthday when I had to put him down last year.

    Of course, I’ve told myself in the past “no more pets”, yet I always seem to eventually find a reason to bring another one into the fold.

  22. avatar JW says:

    It’s true. I have owned guns and dogs. My cats have never owned either.

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      Your cats may have a different opinion regarding who owns whom.

      1. avatar GunGal says:

        Dogs have owners, cats have staff. From a retired Pet Sitting Service owner. Owned my own pet sitting business for 10 years

        We have a female Golden Retriever and male Golden Retriever. Chili and Becker. Both now 7 years old . My husband has a feral cat he’s tamed. I had a cat when I was single. The cat “Toker” lived to 17 years old. Got from family I had processed a home loan for. When they moved into new house, their cat ran away so family adopted another one. Teenage son named him Toker. Former cat returned and was not happy about an “intruder” so family called me and asked if wanted the new cat.
        Growing up we had dogs, very few cats, a pair of domestic white mice. A birthday gift from a friend of mine.
        Got a horse when we moved from Arizona back to Texas. Had to get good grades to be allowed to ride “Bess” a Quarter Horse, you could have a picnic on her rump. Great kids horse. My dad sold her and her filly to another family with young children when I graduated from HS and moved to Dallas for school and a career in residential lending.
        Dogs, cats and other pets can be a nice addition to a family or couples and single people.
        You can’t always make friends and family happy but you can always make your dog happy.

        I have pets, a husband, grown stepson, grandkids, and handguns. In that order of priority.

  23. avatar Jay in Florida currently dogless says:

    Team Cat all the way last few years. Less trouble to take care of.
    Always had 2 of each until I was single. Cant leave a dog alone for a few days at a time.

  24. avatar Chadwick says:

    Oh Mr. Stranger on the other end of the telephone line… I don’t own anything that you would want to steal… So yeah put me down as a cat owner! Hahaha!

    In all honesty cats piss me off because they do nothing of value and I still need to feed them. My dog craps outside, keeps my feet warm when I want, keeps my toddler busy, let’s the neighbors know this is our house, and she keeps me from sleeping all day. She would have none of that sleeping to 10 stuff even if my toddler somehow managed to miss his normal 6am wake up call.

  25. avatar Will says:

    “According to Gallup…” This is nice, but ALL polls are BS.

  26. avatar Bob Jones says:

    Dogs have Owners.
    Cats have Support Staff Flunkeys.
    Both are great to have around. as long as everyone knows the pecking order.

  27. avatar JD says:

    5 dogs, lots of cats, turkeys, goats, 120# tortoise, 2 horses, 3 large parrots. The parrots are the alarm system that trigger the dogs who if can’t manage will move out of the line of fire. We feel very well protected. Somehow the parrots know if something crosses the property line of our 1/2 mile driveway before the driveway alarm rings.

  28. avatar jwtaylor says:

    City folks are weird.
    Cats protect the farm by killing rodents and snakes.
    Dogs protect the farm by killing coyotes and other dogs.

  29. avatar savaze says:

    I found a feral kitten and raised it with my dogs and it thought it was a dog, it would even bark. I trained it to do the same thing my dogs would do. The cat even taught my dogs to be more stealthy and pounce on things. It was killed when the local feral dogs came around and the cat’s identity crisis hadn’t instilled it with fear of unknown dogs. Best cat I ever owned…

  30. avatar Ralph says:

    I’ve owned cats for the last 30 years or so; before that it was dogs. I can’t imagine not having pets.

    My Maine Coon Cats were easy to leash train, and all of my cats come when called, just like my dogs. All of my Maine Coons loved dogs and wanted to hang out with them.

    I had a Tonkinese Cat that watched “Eight Below” with me from start to finish. He would not leave the TV until the movie was over. Weird, because “Eight Below” is about sled dogs.

  31. avatar Mick says:

    I have two cats and…27 (?) guns. What do I win?

  32. avatar Gladius et Scutum says:

    “They also state that around 44% of American households have dogs.”

    And about 66% of those dog owners have no business owning a dog. They clearly don’t understand how to train and raise their dogs so I have to put up with incessant barking and randomly aggressive behaviour from their dogs. All because their owners are weak-minded and socially-inept retards who need a psychologically inferior animal they can dominate but who will also be their ‘friend’ and assuage their inflated egos. Oh, and most of them never clean their dog’s shit up despite the law requiring them to do so. Rather than get an animal that will be miserable because you are inept, how about work on yourself first?

  33. avatar Joel IV says:

    Proud cat owner.

  34. avatar Boostpowered says:

    Also a proud multiple cat and multiple gun owner. Stick that in your survey and suck it

  35. avatar Anymouse says:

    Team Cat because I hate songbirds. Let your cats outside more so they can kill more birds.

  36. avatar Jeff says:

    From the article:

    40% of households have guns,
    44% have dogs,
    35% have cats.

    Therefore, “gun owners have good taste because more Americans households own dogs than cats.”

    That makes no sense at all. Where is the statistic that indicates that owning dogs and owning guns are correlated, or that owning cats and owning guns are inversely correlated?

  37. avatar Alan says:

    Regarding the heading photo, are my eyes playing tricks, or did the person pictured hold their AR-15 type rifle muzzle down, that is to say with muzzle in the grass? It most certainly so appears, since the butt end was up.

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