The Most Beloved Animal: Ranking Nature's Favorites

Choose the animal you think is the most beloved!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:17 (Updated on Dec 2, 2023 05:58)
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate destination for animal lovers and enthusiasts alike! We're excited to present our latest ranking: "What is the most beloved animal?" With thousands of awe-inspiring creatures roaming our planet, it's time to settle the debate once and for all. So, whether you're a dog devotee, a cat connoisseur, or a panda patron, we've got you covered. Cast your vote now and make your furry, feathery, or scaly friend's presence felt in our ever-evolving list. Can't find your favorite? Don't worry! You can also suggest a missing option and rally fellow fans to join the cause. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of adorable animals, and let the cuteness ensue!

What Is the Most Beloved Animal?

  1. 1
    Known for their loyalty and companionship, dogs have been referred to as "man's best friend" for centuries. They are often used as service animals, therapy animals, and police dogs.
    Dogs are one of the most popular pets around the world. They are domesticated mammals known for their loyalty, companionship, and varied roles in human society. Dogs have been selectively bred over centuries for specific traits, resulting in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and temperaments.
    • Species: Canis lupus familiaris
    • Average Lifespan: 10-13 years
    • Size: Ranges from small (e.g., Chihuahua) to large (e.g., Great Dane)
    • Weight: Varies widely depending on breed; typically 5 - 80+ pounds
    • Coat Types: Short, long, curly, wiry, single or double coat
  2. 2
    Cats are beloved for their independence and unique personalities. They are often kept as pets and are known for their playful behavior and affectionate nature.
    Cats are a domesticated animal known for their independent and mysterious nature. They are small, carnivorous mammals that are often kept as pets for their companionship and grace. Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years and have a long history of association with humans.
    • Species: Felis catus
    • Average Lifespan: 13-17 years
    • Size: Small to medium
    • Weight: 5-15 pounds
    • Coat: Varies greatly, from short to long, and various colors and patterns
  3. 3
    Elephants are intelligent and social animals that are revered in many cultures. They are also known for their incredible memory and their ability to mourn their dead.
    Elephants are the largest land animals and are known for their intelligence, social behavior, and iconic features like their long trunks and tusks. They belong to the family Elephantidae, which includes three species: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant.
    • Size: Elephants can reach heights of up to 10-13 feet (3-4 meters) at the shoulder and weigh between 5,000 and 14,000 pounds (2,268-6,350 kilograms).
    • Trunk: Their trunk is a highly versatile and elongated upper lip and nose, used for breathing, drinking, grabbing objects, and making trumpet-like sounds.
    • Tusks: Both male and female elephants can have tusks, which are elongated upper incisor teeth. Tusks are used for various tasks, including digging for water, lifting objects, and defending against predators.
    • Intelligence: Elephants are widely recognized as one of the most intelligent animals. They have excellent memory, problem-solving abilities, and exhibit complex social behavior.
    • Social Structure: Elephants live in matriarchal societies led by the oldest female, called the matriarch. These societies are highly cohesive and characterized by strong emotional bonds.
  4. 4
    Dolphins are highly intelligent and social animals that are known for their playful behavior and acrobatic abilities. They are often used in therapy programs for people with disabilities.
    Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals known for their playful and social behavior. They are part of the cetacean family, which also includes whales and porpoises.
    • Scientific Name: Delphinidae
    • Average Lifespan: 40 - 60 years
    • Average Length: 8 - 10 feet (2.4 - 3 meters)
    • Average Weight: 300 - 500 pounds (136 - 227 kilograms)
    • Habitat: Marine environments, including oceans and seas
  5. 5
    Penguins are beloved for their adorable waddling and their unique ability to survive in extreme cold temperatures. They are also known for their monogamous relationships and their parenting skills.
    Penguins are a group of flightless birds that are highly adapted to living in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly in Antarctica. They have streamlined bodies, flipper-like wings, and are excellent swimmers. Penguins are known for their adorable waddle when they walk on land. They are often regarded as charismatic, social animals and have captured the hearts of many people around the world.
    • Scientific Name: Spheniscidae
    • Average Height: 1 to 4 feet
    • Average Weight: 2.2 to 99 pounds
    • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years (depending on the species)
    • Habitat: Coastal areas and islands in the Southern Hemisphere
  6. 6
    Pandas are beloved for their cute and cuddly appearance. They are also an endangered species, which has led to conservation efforts to protect their habitat.
    Pandas are black and white bears native to China. They are known for their distinct coloration, with black patches around their eyes, ears, and limbs. Pandas have a large, round body and a short tail. They are omnivores but primarily feed on bamboo. Pandas are a symbol of conservation and are considered a national treasure in China.
    • Species: Ailuropoda melanoleuca
    • Size: Grows up to 1.2 - 1.9 meters (4 - 6.2 feet) in length
    • Weight: Adults weigh between 70 - 125 kilograms (154 - 276 pounds)
    • Habitat: Native to mountainous regions of central China
    • Diet: Primarily bamboo, with a diet consisting of 99% bamboo leaves and stems
  7. 7
    Horses are often considered symbols of freedom and grace. They are used for transportation, sports, and therapy programs.
    Horses are large, strong, and majestic mammals commonly kept as domesticated animals and used for various purposes such as riding, racing, and working. They have played a significant role in human civilization for thousands of years.
    • Scientific Name: Equus ferus caballus
    • Average Lifespan: 25-30 years
    • Height: 142-163 cm (at the withers)
    • Weight: 380-1,000 kg
    • Speed: 40-48 km/h (maximum)
  8. 8
    Koalas are beloved for their adorable appearance and their sleepy demeanor. They are also endangered and face threats from habitat loss and disease.
    Koalas are an iconic animal native to Australia. They are small marsupials known for their cute appearance and slow-moving nature.
    • Scientific Name: Phascolarctos cinereus
    • Size: Around 60-85 cm (24-33 inches) in length
    • Weight: Between 4-15 kg (9-33 lb)
    • Habitat: Eucalyptus forests and woodlands in Australia
    • Diet: Almost exclusively eucalyptus leaves
  9. 9
    Sea Turtles
    Thierry Caro · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Sea turtles are beloved for their gentle nature and their importance in ocean ecosystems. They are also endangered and face threats from pollution and habitat destruction.
    Sea Turtles are fascinating marine reptiles that inhabit the world's oceans. They are known for their majestic appearance and unique life cycle.
    • Size: Can range from a few inches to several feet in length
    • Weight: Varies greatly across species, from 75 pounds to over 2,000 pounds
    • Shell: Covered in a hard, bony carapace that provides protection
    • Lifespan: Can live up to 80 years or more, with some species known to live over a century
    • Habitat: Found in all major oceans, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions
    Sea Turtles in other rankings
  10. 10
    Otters are known for their playful behavior and their love of water. They are often found in rivers and oceans and are considered an indicator species for the health of aquatic ecosystems.
    Otters are aquatic mammals known for their playful and social behavior. They are found in various habitats including rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. Otters have a streamlined body, webbed feet, and a thick, water-repellent coat of fur which helps them to swim easily and stay warm in cold water. They have a long, muscular tail that acts as a rudder and aids in balance. Otters are highly skilled hunters and primarily feed on fish, shellfish, and small aquatic invertebrates. They are known for using rocks as tools to crack open shells or pry open their prey. Otters are considered one of the most beloved animals due to their adorable appearance and entertaining antics.
    • Scientific Name: Lutrinae
    • Average Size: 1-1.5 meters (3-5 feet) in length
    • Average Weight: 14-45 kilograms (31-99 pounds)
    • Habitat: Rivers, lakes, coastal areas
    • Diet: Fish, shellfish, aquatic invertebrates

Missing your favorite animal?


Ranking factors for beloved animal

  1. Popularity
    Consider how well-known and well-liked the animal is among the general public.
  2. Cuteness and attractiveness
    Many beloved animals are considered cute or visually appealing.
  3. Personality and temperament
    Animals with friendly, gentle, or loyal personalities may be more beloved by people.
  4. Cultural significance
    Some animals may hold special status in various cultures, mythologies, or religious beliefs.
  5. Iconic status
    Animals that have been used as symbols or mascots, or ones that have starred in popular films, TV shows, or books, may receive a higher ranking.
  6. Role in human lives
    Animals that have direct relationships or benefits to humans, such as pets, service animals, or working animals, may be more beloved.
  7. Conservation status
    Animals that are endangered or threatened may evoke a sense of compassion, motivating people to care more about them.
  8. Rarity and uniqueness
    Rare or unique animals may capture people's imagination and affection.
  9. Educational value
    Animals that can be observed in zoos, aquariums, or wildlife sanctuaries, promoting public awareness and appreciation, may be ranked higher.
  10. Impact on the ecosystem
    Animals that play important roles in their ecosystems, such as pollinators or apex predators, may be more valued and beloved.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beloved animal. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or animal is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 204 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each animal once every 24 hours. The rank of each animal is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most beloved animal

Animal lovers come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is a profound appreciation for the creatures we share our planet with. From the majestic lion to the humble house cat, animals have captured our hearts and imaginations for centuries. But when it comes to the most beloved animal, opinions can vary widely depending on who you ask. Some may argue for the loyal and loving dog, while others may champion the graceful and mysterious horse. No matter your personal preference, one thing is for sure – animals hold a special place in our hearts and lives, and the debate over the most beloved animal is sure to continue for years to come.

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