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PetSmart Charities survey shows cats may be increasing in popularity

Kittens face a brighter future in the area

Kittens face a brighter future in the area of public opinion about cats in general, a new study finds. Credit: AP / Andreea Alexandru

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Chances are you're a little bit of both, whether you realize it or not. A new survey by PetSmart Charities suggests that the gap in popularity between cats and dogs may soon become a thing of the past.

The nonprofit animal welfare organization surveyed 1,023 U.S. pet owners to find out whether the negative stereotypes that surround cats and their owners are still as prominent as they used to be.

When asked to describe cats, the majority of survey respondents said the animals were intelligent, loving and cuddly, PetSmart Charities said in a news release, a break from stereotypes that felines are moody, stubborn and grouchy.

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"Our survey shows that America is ready for a major 'cattitude' adjustment," said Jan Wilkins, executive director of PetSmart Charities, in the release. "It's time to end the stereotypes around cats and cat people to help more cats get adopted."

And it seems America agrees. More than half of those surveyed said they no longer believe negative stereotypes about cats. Seventy-one percent said that  ideas about cats being stubborn and aloof are outdated.

But how can America eliminate these stigmas entirely?

PetSmart Charities suggests that the Internet is the answer. Cats have already become mainstream on social media, which the organization believes might be the attributing factor behind the increase in feline love.

Owners of cats view and share more cat-related content on the Internet, PetSmart Charities said in the survey. More than half of respondents who own cats admitted they are willing to share and talk about photos and videos of their cats.

"Cat lovers can combat the stereotypes and boost people’s perceptions of cats and their owners by spreading the word about their awesome cats," PetSmart Charities said, encouraging owners to share more cat selfies on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The cat's growing popularity has already influenced change at a popular pet company.

A well-known dog-sitting site has recently expanded its services to include cats. To show the love for all four-legged pets, DogVacay has opened, one of the first sitting sites devoted to cats, with more than 20,000 certified hosts across America.

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