Cat mums and dog dads: around one in three consider themselves their pet’s “parent”

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 06, 2022, 9:15 AM GMT+0

Women are more likely to see themselves as their pet’s parent than men

This April is National Pet Month, and to celebrate our furry friends a YouGov survey of Britons with pet dogs or cats asked them to label their relationship with their animal companions.

Just over one in three people with pet dogs (37%), as well as and three in Brits with pet cats (31%) say they consider themselves to be their pet’s “parent”.

One in five describe themselves as their pet’s “friend” (19-20%), although those with dogs are substantially more likely to say they are their dog’s “best friend” than those with cats are (28% vs 14%).

Indeed, this also means that those with dogs are more likely to see themselves as their canine’s best friend than just friend, while those with cats tend to be settling on a less close relationship, being more likely to see themselves as friends rather than best friends to their feline companion.

The concept of considering oneself a dog’s “master” seems to have long since fallen out of use, with only 8% of those with dogs choosing this word. This figure is effectively the same across age groups (6-10%).

Unsurprisingly, even fewer lay a claim to being their cat’s master (2%).

Pets are more likely to have ‘mummies’ than ‘daddies’

Women are more likely to describe themselves as parents to both dogs (43% vs 29% of men with dogs) and cats (37% vs 24%).

Men, for their part, are more likely to describe themselves as a dog’s master than women (13% vs 5%), and to be a cat friend (24% vs 17%).

The most notable age difference is that people in their 30s are especially likely to call themselves their dog’s parent (56%) relative to other age groups (26-42%).

See the full results here

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