If you have your selection lists in related parent tables, you can create summary fields in the parent tables that would allow you to see how many times the 'cat' record was selected in a child record.
Summary fields essentially count the number of child records that meet a condition you specify.
In this case, when you go to create the summary field, you can just click through without specifying conditions.
You'd then consult the parent selection lists' summary fields to see how many child records chose the 'cat' record, or the 'canary' record, or the 'canine' record, etc.
Hope this helps.