When it comes to owning dogs and cats, the choice is clear -- for me, anyway. But in the United States, the divide is pretty even -- there are only slightly more dog owners than cat owners.
According to numbers from Euromonitor, the largest pet market research firm in the world, as reported by The Washington Post, Arkansas is the most dog-friendly state, with a 1.35-to-1 dog-to-cat ratio. Massachusetts is the most cat-friendly state, with a 1.87 cat-to-dog ratio.
Go here for a cool rollover map of the States and their ratios. There's an interactive world map at the bottom of the Washington Post article.
Regionally, there are more cat lovers in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest. More dog lovers dwell in the South and Southwest, Euromonitor says.
Looking at the world, however, shows starker differences between countries that prefer cats and those that choose dogs more often as companion animals.
"Some regions, like the Middle East and part of Africa, have an especially long-standing appreciation of cats," Jared Koerten, a pet industry analyst at Euromonitor, told the Post. "In Latin America, it's the complete opposite. Dogs are part of family life there."
But there are exceptions: in India, there are 10 times more dogs as pets than cats. And in China, dogs outnumber cats 2.5-to-1. Cats are a favorite in Switzerland, Austria and Turkey by a 3-to-1 margin.
My personal preference? Dogs all the way. And birds. But not bird dogs.