Do you think cats are valued as much as dogs?
To answer my own question -- no. It seems that people are much more willing to put up with bad behavior in dogs (chewing, barking, house-soiling) then in cats (especially scratching).
I know of at least two cases where people were looking to rehome their cat (one they had had for 8 years) because the cat didn't like the new dog they got.
People also think nothing of offering cats or kittens for "free" -- whereas you rarely see that same offer for dogs or puppies. Free things are usually not valued as much as things you have to pay for.
Maybe it comes down to the reputation cats have for being independent -- maybe dogs are valued more because they usually give more unconditional love and are more dependent on people?