• Cats or dogs? New study reveals what Australian pet owners’ prefer

    March 5, 2024


    New research reveals the latest in the debate on whether Australian pet owners prefer cats or dogs, as well as their breed preferences, and surprising health outcomes.

    We explore the data to see whether cats or dogs come out on top in terms of health and popularity!

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    The age-old debate of whether cats or dogs make better pets takes a new turn with recent data from Budget Direct. It highlights Australians’ preference for pedigree dogs over cats, yet mixed breed cats are proving to be healthier. Key findings include dietary habits, overall health scores, and physical habits of pets, challenging the notion that pedigree pets are inherently healthier.

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    Cats or dogs: Which do Australian pet owners choose?

    A recent study by insurance company Budget Direct shows that Australian pet owners have a clear preference for pedigree dog breeds. But while picky with dogs, it also reveals they aren’t as fussy about felines.

    The insurance giant’s recent findings highlight that Australians still favour pedigree breeds like cavoodles, border collies, labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and maltese crosses for their canine companions. Though, when it comes to their cat companions, they welcome a much broader range, including domestic short hair, domestic medium hair, tabby, and domestic long hair cats.

    The ragdoll is the sole pedigree breed among the top cat preferences.

    Pet health and diet choices

    The comprehensive study, which analysed over 14,000 entries from the BudPet quiz, also highlights the health and diet of these pets.

    According to the data, cats generally boast better health metrics and diet habits compared to dogs. Specifically, nearly 19% of cats received a perfect diet score, reflecting an ideal balance of wet and dry food, including a mix of high-quality store-bought and home-cooked meals.

    In comparison, only 16% of dogs achieved a perfect diet score.

    Health assessments further marked cats’ slight edge over dogs, with just under 45% of cats scoring perfectly on health parameters, compared to 43.7% of dogs. These health scores were derived from a variety of factors, including the animals’ heritage, vaccination status, grooming habits, and veterinary check-ups.

    Key stats of Australian pet owners:

    Top 5 dogs: Cavoodles, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Maltese Crosses (All Pedigree).
    Top cats: Domestic Short Hair, Domestic Medium Hair, Tabby, Domestic Long Hair, Ragdoll (Only Pedigree).
    Diet score: 19% of cats and 16% of dogs received a perfect diet score.
    Health score: Nearly 45% of cats and 43.7% of dogs scored perfectly on health.
    Physical habits: Only 2.6% of cats and 0.3% of dogs achieved a perfect score in physical habits.

    Jonathan Kerr, Chief Growth Officer at Budget Direct, emphasised the significance of these findings.

    “The data is telling us is that you can’t expect an animal to be healthier because it is a pedigree,” he says.

    “All animals need the right balance of quality diet, medical maintenance, and physical exercise.”

    Kerr adds that a gap in the pets’ physical habits, noting that both cats and dogs scored lower than expected in areas such as frequency of walks, social time with other animals, and time spent indoors versus outdoors.

    “One area where neither pet scored as well as we hoped was in their physical habits including how often they were walked, how much social time they had with other cats or dogs and how much time they spent inside and outside the house.”

    This research not only provides insight into the preferences of Australian pet owners but also underscores the importance of a balanced approach to pet care, regardless of breed. As the debate between dog and cat lovers continues, Budget Direct’s study contributes valuable data to the conversation, reminding pet owners of the universal needs of all pets for a healthy and fulfilling life.

    For further details on this study and insights into pet care, visit Budget Direct’s official website.


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