If you are a lover of all animals like me and a sucker for a pretty face you won’t be surprised that cats are still the number one choice for us humans to own as pets. (do you ever really own a cat?) This according to the recently released “pet census” from the American Veterinary Medical Association. As a matter of fact, since they first started counting our pets in 2001 it turns out that, by late 2007, there are more than 10 million more cats than dogs!

My theory on this little bit of Pet trivia is that, while dogs remain man’s best friend, more women are cat owners than men. There are 9 million more cats and 10 million more dogs since the “pet census” was last taken in 2001 but the more interesting statistic to me is that our total pet population has now reached a record high of 282 million. It’s also fun to note that nearly 60% of all homes in the United States have at least one pet living in their household while 21% have five or more. I can’t personally imagine having five dogs OR cats (one dog is enough of a challenge for me).

Did You Know That Stephen King Has 5 Cats?

That might help explain why Maine has the highest percentage of cats while Wyoming pet owners have the most dogs. Isn’t it interesting that both dogs and cats are owned by people living in places with extremely cold winters?  My guess is that those folks at the Pet Census Bureau didn’t take into consideration a most influential reason as to why colder climes have more pets. (Do those people even own pets?) Why, of course, it’s the “cuddle factor.” Just ask any Wyomington or Maineian – but speaking for myself, if I lived in Wyoming OR Maine I would have as many dogs and cats in my bed that the frame would hold! By the way, speaking of Stephen King, check out the latest from the author of Pet Sematary.

Blue and Yellow MacawComing in at a distant third, in terms of pet popularity, are birds. Again, surprisingly, the number of bird-owning homes has declined while the actual number of pet birds has increased. This would indicate that a significant number of homes had more than one pet bird. Exotics like Parrots, Macaws and other large birds have become very popular due to their long life spans as compared to that of a dog or cat. An African Gray parrot for example can live up to 75 years!

Rabbits # 4With a hold on # 4 in terms of household pet popularity are our cottontail friends, the rabbit. Believe it or not there are 6 million pet rabbits (up 28% from the first pet census in 2001). After the bunnies come turtles – there are 2 million of them (an astounding increase of 86% since 2001. What can we attribute this to increase to? (Mutant Ninja Turtles? – are they still popular with kids?) Who can tell for sure, all we know now is that they have displaced the hamster as the #5 most popular pet –  even though hamsters also increased by a million since 2001.

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