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Why cats aren't "man's best friend"
The MAF discovers why some people don't own cats-as well as who's most likely to adopt one.
Cats aren't for everyone. The Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) set out to determine why. A September 2009 study of 1,102 people who had never owned a cat provided insights into the minds of potential pet owners. Among the data:
> More than half of the respondents had a negative attitude toward cats, and one-quarter had a neutral opinion.
> Thirty-one percent of respondents said they didn't own a cat because someone in their household was allergic.
> About 10 percent would definitely or probably consider having a cat, while 12 percent said they would maybe consider getting a cat.
Which groups were more likely to consider getting a cat, according to demographic data from the study? Younger (18 to 24 years old) and single people, suburbanites, Hispanics, men, people without pets or with pets other than dogs, and people who earn less than $40,000 or more than $80,000 per year.
The MAF has planned a series of action steps to encourage cat ownership. For example, it has funded research at the University of California-Davis to study specific feline salivary antigens that lead to allergies in people. The survey data may also be useful for targeting key demographics to recruit new cat owners.