Overall, most states in the U.S. have a balanced cat-dog ratio. But, it's a different story when you look at the rest of the world, where the loyalty of some countries clearly favors one type of furry companion over the other.


The marketing firm Euromonitor provided the Washington Post with data estimates of the pet dog and cat populations in 54 countries, and some show a stark dog/cat divide:

In India, for instance, pet dogs outnumber cats 10-to-1. Dogs enjoy a 2.5-to-1 advantage in China. On the other hand, cats outnumber dogs 3-to-1 in Switzerland, Austria and Turkey.

Overall, cats are the favored pet in most of Western Europe, with the exception of Spain, Portugal and Ireland. South America is strictly dog country, as is much of Asia.

"Some regions, like the Middle East and part of Africa, have an especially long-standing appreciation of cats," said Jared Koerten, a pet industry analyst at Euromonitor. "In Latin America it's the complete opposite. Dogs are part of family life there."

World pet populations also appear to follow a few interesting—if inexplicable—trends. For one, highly developed countries, for reasons yet unclear, tend to have more balanced cat and dog populations. "Looking across all countries, there's a correlation between developed economies and balanced pet preferences," Koerten said. Brazil, as is turns out, has a strange affinity for small dogs—it has more small dogs per capita than any other country.


Check out an interactive version of the map at the Washington Post.