What Pet You Have Depends on Your Religion, Study Finds

Whether you are a dog person, a cat person, or whatever other type of pet you have may come down to your religious beliefs, as a new study has found an intriguing correlation between religion, a person’s faith or lack thereof, and pet ownership.

Religion and pet ownership

A new study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion took a look at pet ownership and religious beliefs.

The main categories of pet ownership the study examined looked at dogs, cats, small mammals, birds and fish and compared those along the lines of religious traditions, which included: Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, Black Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, other faith, and no faith (atheist).

Your favorite type of pet depends on your religion

The study found some remarkable differences between religion or lack thereof on what types of pets people prefer.

Some news outlets are reporting that Christians love dogs and atheists love cats, but that is an inaccurate statement, as you will discover by reading further.

However, one of the most interesting findings was among the Jewish tradition which showed 0% ownership of cats or fish.

Dog lovers and religion

Most people love dogs, and by far, every category had high numbers of people who own dogs.

Evangelicals were the largest group of dog owners at 81.2%, followed by Catholics at 80.2%, Black Protestants 77.3%, Atheists at 73.5%, Mainline Protestants 64.9%, Jewish 62.5%, and other faith at 56.8%.

Cat lovers and religion

The next highest category of pet ownership was cats.

Those belonging to “other faith” were the largest group of cat owners at 54.1%, followed by Mainline Protestants at 50.5%, Atheists 45.9%, Evangelicals 40%, Catholics 28.1%, Black Protestants 18.9%, and Jewish at 0%.

Small mammal lovers and religion

Small mammals of various types were compiled into a single category.

People of Jewish faith were the largest group of small mammal owners at 25%, followed by people of “other faith” at 10.8%, Evangelicals 6.1%, Atheists 5.3 %, Black Protestants 4.5 %, Catholics at 3.3%, and Mainline Protestants at 1%.

Bird lovers and religion

Although not as high as dog and cat ownership, nonetheless, lots of people have pet birds.

People of the Jewish faith had the highest bird ownership at 12.5%, followed by people of “other faith” at 10.8%, Catholics 8.3%, Atheists 5.9%, Evangelicals 4.8%, Black Protestants 4.5%, and Mainline Protestants at 2.1%.

Fish lovers and religion

The next popular grouping of pet ownership was fish.

People of “other faith” had the largest amount of fish ownership at 13.5%, followed by Evangelicals at 6.1%, atheists 5.3%, Mainline Protestants 5.2%, Black Protestants 4.5%, Catholic 4.1%, and Jewish at 0%.