Study Shows Atheists Prefer Cats, Theists Prefer Dogs

A new study demonstrates that atheists prefer cats over dogs, but religious theists prefer dogs over cats.

Perhaps the stereotype of latte-sipping atheist liberals petting their cats with their perennially limp wrists has some truth to it after all.

An article by the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion shows that pet ownership correlates heavily with a belief in God, this according to Samuel Perry and Ryan Burge.

According to Burge, “Among Americans who said they own a pet, nearly three-quarters (74.9%) said they had a dog in 2018. Fewer than half (40.3 %) identified as cat owners. The average American pet-owning household has 1.72 animals (which also included reptiles, fish, pigs, goats, birds, horses and small mammals).”

Also interestingly, evangelicals have more pets (about two per family) than non-Christians and non-Jews. Catholic households come in second, on average, with one and a half pets, while Jews (.95 pets) and black Protestants (.72 pets) average just under one pet each.

Dogs are the most popular household pet and there’s no religious traditi­on in which fewer than half of adherents own a dog. 

The peculiar thing is that the more conservative a believer one happens to be the more likely they are to have a dog and less likely they are to have a cat.

Again from Burge, “Evangelicals and Catholics are more likely to have dogs than are mainline Christians. Mainliners are more likely than evangelicals and black Protestants to own cats. Jews prefer dogs to cats. Jewish families are also more likely than other traditions to own a small mammal or a bird.”

Atheists or “nones” (those with no religious affiliation) are most likely to have a cat.

[Editor’s note: Contributed by Reagan Hall]


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