Some homes are lucky enough to have more than one pets. We are looking into the composition and characteristics of these families from a number of different angles. Focus is on the families with dogs or cats.
Half of these homes (50%) have only dogs, a 25% have only cats whereas the other 25% has at least one dog and at least one cat. The dog-only homes and the cat-only homes have approximately 2.7 pets/home whereas the families that have both dogs and cats are larger, having 3.5 pets / home (recall that this analysis is for the families with more than one pets).
Family composition for dogs
Here we are looking into how many of the dog-only homes consist of dogs of the same size. Having dogs of the same size has the benefit that food and toys can be shared which is both convenient and cheaper.
For this analysis, we group the dogs according to their size following the typical Mini / Small / Medium / Large and Giant classification . The analysis shows that the common case (56%) is for all the dogs of the family to be of the same category. The remaining 44% have dogs of different size categories.
Next, we make a different classification and look into how many homes have dogs of similar sizes. That is, group together the dogs that are Mini or Small, Small or Medium, Medium or Large or Large or Giant. For clarification, an example of a “heterogeneous” home would be the one that has a Mini and a Giant dog.
When looking into the classification using “similar sizes” it becomes obvious that families do have this characteristic. An 82% of these homes have dogs of similar sizes whereas only an 18% have dogs of “very different” sizes. The “Mini or Small” category is at 22%, the “Small or Medium” at 30% and the “Medium or Large” at 22%. The least populated group is the one of “Large or Giant” dogs that is only 8%.
We also looked into the same data from the standpoint of the dogs, that is, instead of summing the numbers by “number of homes” we do it by “number of dogs”. An 81% of the dogs (forming part to families with multiple dogs) live with other dogs of similar size. Only a 19% of the dogs live with dogs of “very different” size.
The reason that these distributions vary is related to the fact that the number of dogs per size category is not uniform. The homes where all the dogs are of the same size, tend to have less dogs than the ones with dogs of different sizes. It is the same observation that was made before for the homes that have both dogs and cats, more diversity comes with more pets per home.
Although one might have expected to see more dogs in homes that only have smaller sizes, it is not the case. Families that only have dogs of the mini-category have 2.1 dogs; this number is 2.2 for small dogs, 2.4 for medium sized dogs, 2.3 for large dogs and 2.6 for giant dogs. As for the families that have dogs of different sizes, this number is 3.1.
We want to see how many dogs of each size a home has, if they have a dog of that size. That is, if a family has a mini dog, how many mini dogs does it have? There are 1.7 mini-sized dogs per home with mini dogs, 1.6 small-sized dogs, 1.7 medium-sized dogs, 1.6 large and 2.3 giant-sized dogs. Again, we see the same particularity for giant dogs. If a family has giant dogs, it has more of them!
Regarding the neutering, there three types of families with multiple dogs. A 24% of these families have none of their dogs neutered / spayed. A 41% have all their dogs neutered/spayed whereas the other 35%, have both neutered/spayed and not-neutered/spayed dogs.
Another interesting question is to see whether families with multiple dogs have dogs of the same or different breeds. For a 48% of the homes with multiple dogs, all dogs are of the same breed whereas 52% has dogs of different breeds (note that this analysis includes only the pure-breed dogs).
Finally, we also look into the age difference of dogs in the same home. What we want to know is whether there is a trend to have dogs of similar age or not. Each bar of the following chart shows the age difference between the youngest and the oldest dog of the family.
The trend is quite obvious. The families with multiple dogs tend to have dogs of the similar age. Actually, for a 22% of these families, the youngest and eldest dogs differ by less than a year.
Family composition for cats
The classification of cats with respect to their weight is not so meaningful as this range is typically very small.
Neutering is an important characteristic for cats as it is directly related to their care needs. Typically, neutered / spayed cats eat different food compared to the non-neutered/spayed ones. It is interesting to see whether homes are uniform in this aspect.
In the majority of these homes, a 48%, all cats are neutered / spayed. For a 21% of the homes none of the cats are neutered and 31% of the homes have both neutered and not neutered cats.
Looking into the breeds composition might be less relevant for cats as the majority of them are either “Common European” or “Common Shorthair cats”. A 39% of the homes with multiple cats have cats of the different breeds, whereas for a 61% of them all cats are of the same breed.
As for the age difference between the youngest and eldest cat of the family, we observe a very similar trend as with dogs. Families tend to have cats of similar age. For a 25% of them, the eldest and the youngest cats are at most one year away.
From our analysis it becomes clear that for families with multiple pets, these pets tend to have similar characteristics in terms of size, neutering, breed and age. In addition, it becomes clear that families with less variance tend to have less members compared to the ones that host pets of wider range of characteristics.