American Pets: By The Numbers

Whether you have a dog, a cat or both, you are in good company.  Between dogs and cats alone there are over 140 million pets in America.  Like most people, I tend to think about pets at a personal level, but I recently checked out the American Veterinary Medical Association’s latest Pet Ownership and Demographics research and was fascinated by the results.

AVMA 2012

photo c/o

Of the nearly 150 million cats and dogs in America, I was surprised to learn how even the breakdown is between the two: 70 million dogs to 74 million cats.  Before I read the survey info I would have offhand guessed that there were more dogs, but I realized that’s just because you don’t see cats out for walks and there is no such thing as a cat park.

Another interesting find was that six out of ten pet owners consider their pets part of the family – a trend that I am happy to see on the rise.  Our pets take care of us, we need to take care of them.

rhodesian ridgeback pet adventure

Eko likes to think of himself as leader of our royal family.  Pretty sure that makes me the court jester

One site, BuzzFeed, took the AVMA’s data and mapped out dog and cat ownership by state.

Buzz Feed pet map

The darker the blue, the higher the percentage of people with cats/lower the percentage of people with dogs – and vice versa for orange (map c/o BuzzFeed)

I also learned that Lousiana has a state dog (the Catahoula) and Maine has a state cat (the Maine Coon).  Both make sense considering Louisiana has the highest ratio of dogs to cats and Maine has the highest ratio of cats to dogs.  It’s interesting how the country nearly seems to be divided in half, though I have yet to figure out exactly why that might be.  Land? Climate? Culture? History?

Anyone have any theories?

9 thoughts on “American Pets: By The Numbers”

  1. That is pretty cool, I may need to take a look at that report! Mom did say at Blogpaws that even though it seemed to be all about dogs, there were an extreme amount of cat owners and cat bloggers. We best be careful that cats don’t start ruling us dogs around. I know I have my cats in check at all times! I am going to share this for sure!

  2. North Carolina also has a state dog, the Plott Hound. My theory on dogs in the south is that we have many hunting packs, a lot more room to have a dog, and a large number of people who have issues about spaying and neutering. Go figure? I have been in rescue for many years and we rescue many dogs who were unsuccesful hunters and a lot of unplanned litters. (Labs are total sluts down here). Just my opinion…


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