Cats are a common companion animal in Europe and North America, and their worldwide population exceeds 500 million. In 1998 there were around 43 million cats in Western Europe, 33 million in Eastern Europe, seven million in Japan and three million in Australia. A 2007 report stated that about 37 million US households owned cats, with an average of 2.2 cats per household giving a total population of around 82 million. In contrast, there are about 72 million pet dogs in that country. Although cat ownership has commonly been associated with women, a 2007 Gallup poll reported that men and women were equally likely to own a cat. The ratio of pedigree/purebred cats to random-bred cats varies from country to country. However, generally speaking, purebreds are less than 10% of the total population.
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