Pet Ownership Statistics – Latest Numbers and Trends in 2024

Pet Ownership Statistics

In 2023, pet ownership remained a cornerstone of American household life, with two-thirds (66%) of families opening their homes to furry, feathered, or finned friends.

Despite a slight dip from the peak in 2020, this figure represented a significant rise from the 56% recorded in 1988, the inaugural year of tracking pet ownership trends. Dogs have clinched the top spot in America’s heart, being the preferred companion in 65.1 million households, overshadowing cats, which are favored by 46.5 million homes.

This enduring love for pets is mirrored in the pet industry’s financial health, which has seen consistent growth in line with the expanding number of pet-owning households.

This blend of companionship and economic impact highlights the integral role pets play in shaping domestic and economic landscapes.

Key Stats at a Glance

Pet Ownership Statistics

pet owners statistics
  • As per American Pet Products Association 2023-2024 stats, 86.9 million US households owned a pet, which accounts for 66% as compared to 62% in 2022 and 56% in 1988. We can witness a very slight downward trend as 70% of U.S. households (90.5 million homes) owned a pet in 2022.
  • Almost 65.1 million US households have at least one dog and 46.5 million US families own a cat.
AnimalNumber in Millions
Bird6.1
Cat46.5
Dog65.1
Horse2.2
Freshwater Fish11.1
Saltwater Fish2.2
Reptile6.0
Small Animal6.7
  • Approximately 1 in 5 U.S. households acquired a dog or cat from March 2020 to May 2021. Many adopted their canines from a friend, some purchased from a pet store, and a few took them in as strays. The pandemic affected everyone, and Americans added fur babies to compensate for losing social contact.
  • According to ASPCA, almost 40% of dog owners and 46% of cat owners got their pets from word of mouth. U.S. households get dogs and kitties from these sources:
    • Shelters 23% and 31%
    • Friends/Family 20% and 28%
    • Breeders 34% and 3%
    • Stray pets 6% and 27%
    • Private 12% and 6%
    • Other sources, 32%, and 39%
  • Homeowners tend to have pets more often than renters: 58% own dogs, and 36% own cats, compared to renters’ 39% and 29%.
  • AVMA says that 38% of dog adoptions and 40% of cat adoptions were through shelters or rescue organizations.
  • As per AVMA, 23% of those who own dogs acquired them from breeders, while only 7% of cat owners did. 
  • Compared to 6% of pet dogs, 27% of pet cats were once strays, according to ASPCA.
  • 25% of cats in the U.S. were received from family, friends, or relatives.
  • According to stats from 2016, 85% of dog owners and 76% of cat owners consider their pet to be a human family member.

Pet Ownership By Generation

Pet Ownership By Generation

Millennials take pet parenting seriously and lead in pet industry expenditures. Millennials, across all age groups, treat their fur families like an extension of the human family. Morgan Stanley advises this trend will continue.

However, Baby Boomers, with 24% of the pie, probably taught the following generations about pet ownership.

Pet Ownership by Generation
  • Most pet owners in the U.S. are millennials; here’s the percentage breakdown according to APPA:
    • Generation Z: 16%
    • Millennial: 33%
    • Generation X: 25%
    • Baby Boomer: 24%
    • Builder: 2%

Most Famous Pets in the US

Most famous pets in the US

According to APPA, Americans favor canines over kittens annually and even buy pet insurance based on that principle. Many pet-owning households have one dog or more, while others find felines are the cat’s meow!

  • The number of households owning at least one dog is 65.1 million, according to an APPA survey.
  • 2.2 million Americans have a horse pet, while 2.2 million have saltwater fish. According to the earlier APPA study, 3.5 million American households owned a horse, and 2.9 million owned a saltwater fish.
Pet Ownership Statistics
  • In the 2022 AVMA study, dogs were found to be owned by 44.5% of households in the United States, while cats were owned by 29% of households. The number of pet dogs was estimated to be around 70 million in the 2021-2022 study, which showed a slight decrease in 2023.
  • From 2016 to 2022, U.S. households owning dogs rose by 6.1%, reaching 45% from 38%. During the same period, cat ownership increased by 4%, from 25% to 29%.

UK Pet Ownership Statistics

UK Pet Ownership Statistics
  • In the UK, about 12 million dogs are pets, with 31% of households owning one. and this number was 13 million in 2022
  • In the UK, there are around 11 million pet cats, with 26% of households owning at least one.
Pet TypeEstimated Number in the UKPercentage of Households Owning
Dogs12 million31%
Cats11 million26%
Rabbits1.5 million2.8%
Indoor Birds1.3 million2.3%
Guinea Pigs1 million1.8%
Domestic Fowl1 million1.3%
Hamsters900,0002.1%
Tortoises & Turtles900,0001.8%
Lizards800,0001.8%
Snakes700,0001.4%
  • The U.K. has the highest pet reptile population, 2.2 million, whereas Russia has the second largest (1.1 million) according to EPFI.

Pets Around the World

Pet Around the World
Pet TypeNumber in Millions
Cats127
Dogs104
Birds53
Small Mammals29
Aquaria22
Terraria11
Total Pets340
  • According to stats for 2022, Brazil has the world’s highest pet population (167.6 million), which includes 68 million dogs. Brazil has more pets than any other country in Latin America, including 41.3 million birds, which are the second most popular pets after dogs. Assume veterinarians aren’t busy with spaying and neutering.
number of pets owned in brazil
  • EPFI states that Italy has the highest pet ornamental bird population (12.88 million).

According to pet food sales, 12.2 million, or 46.9% of Italian households, spent money on cat and dog food. Although millions of felines and canines know that’s amore!

However, what’s surprising is the 12.9 million bird population; let’s take a look at other pet numbers in Italy:

Pet TypeNumber in Pets 
Cats10,228,000
Ornamental Birds12,882,000
Small Mammals1,816,000
Terraria1,366,000
Dogs8,755,000
Aquaria1,500,000
  • The most common pets in Spain after dogs are ornamental birds as per EPFI. Birds are part of the massive live animal purchases in Spain’s pet-owning households. Bird breeds vary, but the mean number is 6.99 million.
Pet TypeNumber of pets 
Cats5,859,000
Ornamental Birds6,991,000
Small Mammals1,523,000
Terraria1,464,000
Dogs9,313,000
Aquaria691,000

Not that there is competition, but Turkey kept more pet birds than even Spain when the EPFI conducted its population category survey.

pet ownership statistics 2024
  • As per EPFI study, Turkey has the second largest ornamental bird pet ownership (11.2 million) in Europe.
  • France has twice the number of pet cats (15 million) than pet dogs (7.6 million), according to EPFI.
  • Romania has the highest percentage (48%) of households with pet cats in Europe. About half or more than half of homes have cats, as per EPFI.
  • EPFI states Poland has the highest number (49%) of pet dogs in Europe.
  • In Asia Pacific countries (APAC), 32% of households own a dog compared to 26% that own a cat. Data suggests K-9s rule the roost in Asia-Pacific countries, with 32% over 26% of kittie owners. To put these percentages into perspective, Asia-Pacific means high-density populations like China, Japan, Philippines, South and North Korea, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and others.
CountryDog Ownership PercentageCat Ownership PercentageGoldfish Ownership Percentage
Hong Kong16%14%7%
Thailand47%42%7%
Philippines67%43%7%
Indonesia10%47%11%
Malaysia20%34%5%
Vietnam 53%35%15%
Average32%26%15%
  • According to stats from 2020, 64% of households in New Zealand own a pet. New Zealand has no native mammals other than bats and marine mammals.
  • According to CANZ, the number of pets in Australia is higher than their population, i.e., 29 million vs. 25 million. Who knew there were more pets down under than Aussies? Does that mean people are companion animals to felines and canines?

Aussies don’t keep kangaroos or koalas (it’s illegal). However, they share their homes with pets at 61% ownership. Let’s look at their pet numbers:

Pet TypeHousehold Penetration Percentage
Birds6%
Cats41%
Dogs34%
Fish9%
Horses / Ponies1.6%
Rabbits2.8%
Other Small Mammal1.8%
Reptile1.3%
Total64%
  • Almost 48% of households in Australia own at least one dog, followed by 33% cats, 12% fish, and 11% birds. A national survey of people and pets in Australia lists dogs as the pet owners’ choice.

Pet Industry Expenditures Statistics

US Pet Industry Expenditures

Pet ownership is difficult to gauge, but pet ownership statistics explain how we spend our money. American pet owners spend generously.

The lucrative American pet care industry reached a staggering $123.6 billion in 2021, an increase of 19%. Although inflation stagnates in other consumer goods areas, it’s not affecting pet products.

The State of the Industry data for 2022 showcased remarkable growth in every category, with total sales reaching an impressive $136.8 billion, reflecting a significant 10.8% increase compared to 2021.

The substantial increase in spending can largely be attributed to higher-than-anticipated inflation rates, and we can say that spending will continue on a similar trajectory, remaining steady throughout 2023.

US pet Industry
  • In 2023, US citizens spent 143.6 billion dollars on their pets. According to APPA:
    • In 2023, projected sales for pet food and treats were estimated at $62.7 billion.
    • Supplies, live animals, and over-the-counter medicine are expected to generate $32.1 billion in sales.
    • Veterinary care and product sales are projected to reach $37.0 billion.
    • Other services are anticipated to contribute $11.8 billion.
  • III states that the expenditure of the U.S. pet industry expanded by 114% from 2010 to 2020.
  • 2019 stats reveal a dramatic increase in pet ownership in the U.S. from 56% in 1988 to 67% in 2019.
  • III stated that the U.S. pet industry earned $97.1 billion in 2019 as compared to $90.1 billion in 2018.
  • Between 2019 and 2020, the U.S. pet industry spending grew by 6.69% as per III.
  • From 2020 to 2021, the expenditure on services excluding vet care increased by 16.5% ($8.1 billion) as per III. Pet owners spent more on services and veterinarian care. Industry experts look to millennials as a leading factor. Since they’re delaying families or having smaller families, they can afford to spend more on pet care and premium food.
  • By the year 2033, the world pet toy market will surpass $5.90 billion. To make our pets happy, the pet toy market segment will rise significantly. The trend to humanize pets and shower them with gifts drives pet toy sales. Pet owners also spend generously to buy their pets higher-quality toys and accessories.
  • Even before the pandemic hit, the average number of pet-owning households increased as data was collected from each survey participant to gauge the pet population in each state. After the pandemic, pet ownership surged even further, with Wyoming taking the lead.
 pet ownership

Annual Expenditure on Dogs and Cats

annual dogs and cat expenses
  • The initial year of pet ownership of a dog can cost up to $1,030. Pet parenting is costly, and the start-up cost of pet parenting includes the basic annual expenses but doesn’t include unforeseen breed-specific or boarding estimates.
  • For dogs, annual surgical vet visits cost $458, routine vet visits cost $242, and food expenses are $287, according to APPA. For cats, annual surgical vet bills cost $201, routine vet visits cost $178, and food expenses are $254.
annual expenses for dog and cat owners

Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners Statistics By State

Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners Statistics
  • Idaho has the highest dog ownership rate in the country, at 58.3%.
State Pet ownership Dog ownership Cat ownership 
Idaho 69.9%58.3%33.3%
Pennsylvania60.6%38.9%28.9%
Oklahoma65%47.7%28.4%
Vermont70%28.3%44.6%
Tennessee61.7%47%30.9%
South Dakota46.4%32.1%26.6%
Ohio62.4%37.9%30.7%
Maryland48.6%30.2%18.6%
California57.2%40.1%22.9%
Texas58.2%43.4%20.5%
Florida56%39.8%24.2%
Indiana69.2%49.4%37.5%
Oregon59.2%37.8%30%
  • In the United States, there are about 14,000 shelters and rescue groups dedicated to animals.
  • Around 2.1 million shelter cats and 2 million shelter dogs are adopted in the U.S. annually as per ASPCA.

Exotic Animals

Exotic Animals statistics
  • The U.S. has more than 17 million exotic animals.
  • The U.S. has almost 5,000 captive tigers.
  • Almost 1 in 10 U.S. families owns an exotic animal as a pet.
  • The most famous exotic animal in the U.S. is the capybara.
  • 20 states ban ownership of exotic animals in the US.

Pet Insurance Statistics

pet insurance
  • Almost $48.78 is the monthly insurance for dogs. Updated figures for average pet care insurance for dogs is $30-$200 monthly. The cost can be higher for mature or large dogs.
  • In 2022, total insured pets in the U.S. saw a growth of 22.1%.
  • NAPHIA states that a total of 4.8 million pets were insured in 2022.
total insured pet in theUS
  • At the end of 2020, U.S. pet insurance premiums reached Up to $1.99 billion, as per NAPHIA.
  • In 2020, U.S. citizens spent around $1.855 billion on combined insurance, which included accident & illness and insurance with embedded wellness, as noted by NAPHIA.
  • According NAPHIA, more number of dogs are insured compared to cats in the U.S.
Insured Pet in US

Pet Insurance Statistics by state prove that California takes pet ownership to heart and leads with most insurance investments. In addition, several states take pet insurance as seriously as pet products.

  1. California 19.2%
  2. Florida 5.8%
  3. New York 8.7%

Interesting Stats

  • Almost 6% of pet animals board a plane in the U.S. every year. Americans don’t like to leave home without their furry family, and 6% or roughly 2 million pets travel by plane. A third of pet parents would rather stay home than travel alone. 
  • Almost 6.3 million companion animals go to shelters annually in the U.S., according to ASPCA. Shelters work at full capacity to shelter 3.1 million pooches and 3.2 million felines. The declining number of animals entering the system since 2011 is a good sign!
  • Almost 60% of pet owners in the U.S. are female. Wealthy American women change pet-owning households data. Pet-owning households for women top out with significant household incomes (over $220,000), and 77% of those are 50 years old. Infogroup studied a total number of 50,000 survey participants and their spending power.
  • The U.S. has almost 30–40 million community cats. The U.S. has a concern for cats annually overpopulating and estimates that as many as 30-40 million felines live homeless among us. These are community cats, though many still use feral or alley cats. You’d be overwhelmed to know how many cats are in the USA!
  • People residing in mobile houses have the highest rate (73.8%) of pet ownership. Many organizations study pet demographics, and AVMA concluded that people living in mobile homes had a higher pet ownership rate at than traditional homeowners.
  • People care about their pets and invest in good veterinary care. Over 118,624 licensed vets were licensed in 2020, which increased to 124,069. Interestingly enough, female veterinarians outnumber with 82,036, males at 41,658, and nonbinary 70. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, every 528 pets has one veterinary care doctor per at least one pet.
  • On average, 56% of adult dogs are obese. Obesity is a problem in America and affects adult dogs who are feasting on premium food and treats. It’s an epidemic and unhealthy. Insured pets may not qualify for pet insurance if it’s a pre-existing condition.

FAQ

How Many Cats Are in the United States?

The latest AVMA statistics reveal that the USA is home to an estimated 60.2-62 million pet cats, highlighting their significant presence nationwide.

How Many People Own Cats?

According to APPA, approximately 46.5 million pet-owning households in the US have a cat.

How Many People Have a Dog?

According to APPA, 65.1 million households in the US own a dog, underscoring its popularity as a pet. In 2022, dogs were found to be owned by 44.5% of households in the United States, while cats were owned by 29% of households.

The number of pet dogs was estimated to be around 70 million in the 2021-2022 study, which showed a slight decrease in 2023.

Are There More Cats or Dogs in the World?

Currently, there are about 900 million dogs globally, with 470 million as pets and around 600 million cats, with 370 million kept as pets.

What Is the Most Popular Pet in the World?

Canine companions are the most popular pets, with more households owning at least one dog than any other pet type. It is believed that adults in rural areas have more than one pet than in suburban and urban areas.

Final Thought

The world of pet ownership is a fascinating tapestry, reflecting not just numbers but the deep bond between humans and animals. These statistics aren’t just figures; they represent the millions of stories, moments of joy, and unparalleled companionship multiple pets bring into our lives.

As pet owner numbers show a steady rise, it’s clear that welcoming a new pet into your life is not only a smart way to find emotional support, but it’s also becoming more common among adults living independently.

From the comforting presence of emotional support animals to the tranquility of freshwater fish, these statistics reveal that nearly one-third of households have found joy and companionship in the form of a furry or finned friend, making pet ownership a growing and heartwarming trend!

Monika Martyn
Monika Martyn is a nomadic minimalist and published author. Her pet portfolio includes experience with over forty cats and dogs, and she becomes their surrogate and a valued pack member. One of her proudest accomplishments is typing while petting a fur baby on her lap. She also excels at dog-speak and cat-talk and is working on mastering fish lingo. Aside from her animal advocacy, she is passionate about the environment, plastic pollution, and living with less (not including chocolate and coffee). She practices yoga and meditation faithfully. She’s experienced living abroad and believes that together people can evoke change for the better. Or at least be kind to one another despite our differences. She has an uncanny knack for remembering people’s names. She’s proud of her two Pushcart Nominations, her debut novel, and her marriage. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Monika believes that education is the biggest gift to humanity at any age.

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