Dogs take back seat while cats are front and centre

AUSTRALIANS may like to think of themselves as a nation of dog lovers, but it turns out, cats rule the roost in more homes than their canine counterparts.

The NSW RSPCA conducted an online survey of 751 people across Australia to gauge attitudes towards and ownership levels of dogs and cats.

Of those surveyed, 66.3 per cent said they thought dogs were Australia’s favourite pet and only 6.1 per cent thought we were a nation of cat lovers.

But it turns out that 33.9 per cent of those surveyed said they owned cats exclusively and only 22.7 per cent owned only dogs.

Most, 38 per cent, professed equal love for both.

RSPCA NSW chief veterinarian Dr Magdoline Awad said she hoped this would encourage more people to become cat owners.

“Cats are an ideal pet for today’s lifestyles,” Dr Awad said.

“Cats are compact, they do not need to be walked, are happy to stay at home on their own and can offer a great deal of companionship.”

Tamworth nurse and country singer Rae Moody said she loved both dogs and cats, but was an exclusive cat owner, of Dolly – bet you can’t guess who she’s named after.

Dolly was a rescue from Jean Medlock’s refuge and was two-years-old when Ms Moody and her mum got her 12 months ago.

Dolly and a dog from the same family were both surrendered to the pound for euthanasia when their owners moved, but were rescued by Ms Medlock.

Their last cat, Dana, died two years ago and they had her from six-weeks-old until she died at 20 years of age.

She was a member of their family, and even had radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer when she was 15.

“I like that cats are independent,” she said.

“I would like to have a dog, but we haven’t finished the backyard, but a dog needs much more attention, whereas a cat is more self-sufficient. It’s true when they say dogs have masters and cats have staff. They certainly feel like they’re the boss.”

Ms Moody said cats didn’t need a yard or a lot of space and she liked the fact that they were clean.

“I also like that you can teach cats tricks and they certainly have their own personalities- not every cat is the same,” she said.

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