ST. CHARLES, Mo., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than 74 million pet cats and 69 million pet dogs living in the United States*, it seems to be "reigning" cats and dogs. A recent survey set out to determine America's favorite breeds, uncover how "dog people" and "cat people" really differ and reveal factors that come into play when making decisions for our four-legged friends.
The survey, commissioned by Royal Canin, the leader in breed health nutrition, reveals that when it comes to cats, looks have it! In fact, more than 55 percent of cat owners rank appearance as the most important factor when choosing a feline friend. By contrast, more than 62 percent of dog owners think size really does matter when choosing a canine companion.
However, when it comes to breed preferences, dog and cat owners agree that America's favorite breed actually isn't a breed at all – it's the mutt. Nearly half (40 percent) of cat owners and a third (28 percent) of dog owners chose "mixed-breed" as their favorite type of cat or dog.
"It's interesting to learn how different cat and dog owners can be when choosing, and making decisions for, their pets," said Dr. Brent Mayabb, veterinarian and manager of education and development at Royal Canin. "Whatever factors come into play, understanding an animal's physical and physiological traits is critical to providing the best care."
Survey Dispels Stereotypes
Physical traits aren't the only factors owners consider when choosing a pet. In sharp contrast to the "cat lady" stereotype, more than half (53 percent) of cat owners identify most with the personality of a Maine Coon cat, which leads an active lifestyle, spending the majority of their time with family and friends. Additionally, 20 percent of cat owners compare themselves most to the Siamese, saying they tend to be outspoken, have lots of friends and an outgoing personality.
Foiling the myth that dog owners lead more active lifestyles, 59 percent of respondents identify most with the personality of the English Bulldog, which tends to be more laid back, easy going and prefers spending most of their time relaxing at home.
"Matching a dog or cat's personality with that of your family is essential," said Steve Dale, certified animal behavior consultant and host of Steve Dale's Pet World radio show. "Before bringing home a new pet, owners should research a breed's energy level and temperament to make sure it matches up with the owners' lifestyle."
* According to the American Veterinary Medical Association
Nutrition Drives Decisions
When asked how owners select food for their pets, more than half of dog owners (56 percent) and cat owners (53 percent) indicate nutritional factors as most important.
"This is encouraging, as it shows that owners understand the importance of feeding pets according to their unique nutritional needs," said Mayabb. "Whether they own a pure breed or a mixed-breed, owners should always aim to provide the most precise care and nutrition for their four-legged friends."
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition
Since Royal Canin believes pets deserve nutrition that's both unique and exceptional, the company offers distinct formulas for some of the most popular breeds of dogs and cats, including:
- Labrador Retriever: puppy and adult formulas help support healthy weight and joints, maintain the Lab's unique waterproof coat and include a unique kibble shape that helps prevent gulping and encourage chewing.
- Yorkshire Terrier: puppy and adult formulas promote healthy growth, stimulate fussy appetites, maintain skin and coat and boast a kibble designed for the Yorkie's fragile jaw.
- English Bulldog: puppy and adult formulas support a sensitive digestive system, promote healthy skin and joints and feature a kibble shape for the dog's unique (brachycephalic) jaw.
- Siamese: features a donut-shaped kibble to encourage chewing and slow ingestion, added protein and fat-burning L-carnitine to promote lean muscle and Omega 6 fatty acids and L-tyrosine to enhance the cat's trademark coat.
- Maine Coon: includes Omega 3, glucosamine and chondroitin to support joints and keep the cat's large body active, Omega 6 to maintain a healthy coat and a king-sized kibble to promote proper ingestion.
- Persian: features Omega 6 with biotin to support a shiny coat, soluble and insoluble fibers to reduce hairballs and an almond-shaped kibble to help the cat grasp and chew its food.
Royal Canin's breed specific formulas are available at pet specialty stores such as PetSmart and PETCO, as well as independent pet stores nationwide. For more information, and to download a coupon to try the Royal Canin formulas, visit www.RCBestInBreed.com.
About Royal Canin USA
Royal Canin USA is a forerunner of nutritional and technological advancement in dog and cat food. With more than 40 years of experience in the animal health and nutrition industry, the company prides itself on putting knowledge and respect for the animal first. Royal Canin collaborates with nutritionists, breeders and veterinarians from around the world on impartial and relevant research to ensure dogs and cats receive the best nutrition. For more information, find Royal Canin at www.facebook.com/RoyalCanin.us or visit http://www.royalcanin.us/.
About Royal Canin's Best in Breed Survey
Royal Canin's Best in Breed Survey was conducted online February 27-March 4, 2013, through Impulse Research Corporation, with a random sample of 500 men and women 18+, who own cats, as well as a random sample of 500 men and women 18+, who own dogs. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/-3% at the 95% level of confidence.
For more information, contact
Kim Beardslee: 314.552.6740
SOURCE Royal Canin