"The reason for this association is unclear," said Dr Jane Murray of the university's Department of Clinical Veterinary Science. "It is unlikely to be related to household income as this variable was not shown to be significant, but it could be related to household members with longer working hours having less time available to care for a dog."
Published in the Veterinary Record, the research showed that cats were more likely to be owned by households with gardens, semi-urban and rural households, households with someone qualified to degree level, and respondents who were female and those under 65 years old. They were less likely to be owned by households with one or more dogs.
Whereas in case of pooches, the likelihood of dog ownership increased as the household size increased. Dogs were more likely to be owned by households with gardens and rural households and less likely to be owned by households with someone educated to degree level and households with cats or children aged under 11, reports The Times.
People aged under 55 and women were more likely to report dog ownership. Dogs were less likely to be owned by households with one or more cats.
Murray said: "The study has shown many common factors relating to cat and dog ownership, such as a garden and rural location, but it has also identified some notable differences. In particular, the difference in the level of education achieved by a household owning cats and dogs."