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Web analytics and age-old questions: Does the Internet love cats or dogs more?

versusSometimes it’s all just a little too much, right? The stress of just, you know, living your life, man – it’s all got you down. The weight of the world is resting on your shoulders, and no amount of comfort food or coffee or talking it out seems to be cutting it.

And that’s when you turn to the Internet and all its glory for relief. Maybe you go on endless Wikipedia binges, or maybe you update your Pinterest board with how-tos you’ll never complete. Maybe you ravenously consume reaction GIF blogs (me, that’s me, I do that!). Or maybe you just look at pictures of your favorite animal … which, if you’re a true Internetizan, would be the cat.

But have we spoken too soon? Is the dog actually more popular than the cat? With the age of Grumpy CatTM officially upon us, and an Internet-wide scare over the life of Boo the Dog, it’s time to find out what the Internet really loves more: Cats or dogs? 

According to Google … 

It’s dogs. 

cat v dog google trends
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The search term “dog” has solidly won over “cat” for years now – even in a U.S.-only Google Trends data pull. 

cat v dog us only google trends
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’re apparently searching for dog-related content more than we’re searching for anything about cats. Of course, you could (and should) argue that this doesn’t exactly mean the Internet community is more in love with canines; it simply means we have more questions about them. I’m willing to bet that far more people need advice on taking care of dogs than cats – anyone who Googles “tips and tricks for best cat care” probably gets back something that reads, “put out food, pet when on lap, get used to being ignored.” 

According to Facebook … 

It’s another win for dogs. 

cats v dogs facebook graph search
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Graph Search tells me that there are way, way, way more conversations going on within the network about dogs – and look, more people even like the official “Dogs Animal” page. 

According to Instagram … 

statigram cats v dogsIt’s sort of a split: The “dog” hashtag pulls it out over “cat,” but “cats” comes out on top over “dog.” And if you take a look at the respective DogsofInstagram and CatsofInstagram pages, it looks like things are getting a little closer. Still, dogs probably win this round, if just barely. 

cats and dogs of instagram
Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to YouTube … 

It’s still dogs … although just barely. 

youtube search cats v dogs
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dogs FTW?

Here are a couple of charts courtesy of PeopleBrowser’s Researchly tool that put the whole Cats vs. Dogs debate into perspective. 

dog 24 hours
Image used with permission by copyright holder
cat 24 hours
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You might be thinking this means dogs solidly win. However

Famous cats crush famous dogs

That’s right! Dogs, you might be handily pulling down the search world, and maybe you’re even getting your photos taken more, but the famed cats of the Internet are seriously showing you what’s up. 

Take for instance, Boo the Pomeranian versus Grumpy Cat. 

boo graph search
Image used with permission by copyright holder
facebook graph search grumpy cat
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Grumpy Cat total domination. Sure, Boo’s official page has more likes, but he’s been around much longer – and just look at how many people are currently discussing Grumpy Cat and how many different pages are devoted to her.

Okay, but sure, GC is the stuff Internet legends are made of. What about a slightly lesser-known celeb-cat? 

maru vs boo the dog
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The competition came close, but Boo, you are no match for Maru. You are but a lowly box that he will jump over into. And while Boo might now be seeing some more popularity, Keyboard Cat‘s peak fame dwarf’s the miniature dog. 

keyboard cat vs boo
Image used with permission by copyright holder

And therein lies the Web discrepancy between cats and dogs: Dogs are  generally – (exceptions include Boo, Mishka, and Beast) – nameless animals used in hilarious GIFs or memes. They don’t go on talk shows, they don’t make appearances at SXSW. They don’t get movie offers. Is it because they’re eager to please and the purveyors of Internet culture prefer sarcasm to sweetness? Or maybe it’s because cats are sort of recluses, content to lounge all day and never go outside … like the most Tumblr-addicted among us. They have that IDGAF attitude that so many of the virtually-sucked in have. 

Dogs, on the other hand, are loving, accepting, go-getter types. So, instead of raise them to the heights of Lil’ Bub and Nyan Cat and create memes like cat-bearding, we instead do practical things online that concern dogs, like, you know, looking up where the best local dog parks are, or tagging pictures of our pet on Instagram. Dogs are of the real world and shall remain rather nameless online. 

Sorry, statistics. You may have proved that dogs rule search, but cats individually are able to capture that certain viral something. 

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Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
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