GHENT, WV (WVNS) — For decades, humans have kept little, furry companions by their side and that is still true today in West Virginia.

But which four-legged friend does the Mountain State prefer?

In a 2021 report made by, data was compiled to see which animal each state prefers in the dog vs. cat debate.

According to the study, dogs overtook cats in 2016 with a total population of 77 million dogs versus 58 million cats. West Virginia runs a close race with a total population of 640 thousand dogs versus 600 thousand cats.

Knowing the total population of dogs or pets helps better determine which our Mountain State prefers as we now can look at actual ownership of cats or dogs in West Virginia. Animalpatient’s study shows that 49.6 percent of West Virginian homes have a dog and 37.7 percent own a cat. Households owning both dogs and cats are double counted.

One of the final factors in determining whether West Virginia prefers cats to dogs is the google search history. According to Google data pulled from November 2020, West Virginia had 68 percent dog care questions versus only 32 percent questions related to cat care.

To determine what each state actually prefers, created a points systems based on total population, ownership and google queries. Based on that rating scale, West Virginia scored a 4/30 for being dog lovers.

Although it was close, the Mountain State proves it loves their canine friends just a little more!