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Tierra Bonaldi / Julie Rowe
The Impetus Agency
(775) 322-4022 /

New Survey Reports 77.7 Million Pet Cats, 65 Million Pet Dogs Owned in U.S.

-Leading Trade Organization Releases Study Finding Pets Owned By More Than Half of All U.S. Households-

Greenwich, CT, April 14, 2003 — The American Pet Products Association (APPA), the leading United States not-for-profit pet industry organization, today released its 2003/2004 National Pet Owners Survey which reports the number of U.S. pet-owning households has increased by more than 10 million since 1992.

According to the survey, 64.2 million U.S. households report owning a pet in 2002, compared to 54 million households one decade ago.

APPA’s survey data shows 77.7 million cats; 65 million dogs; 16.8 million small animals; 17.3 million birds; 8.8 million reptiles; 7 million saltwater fish; and 185 million freshwater fish are owned by U.S. pet owners today.

“With pet ownership among U.S. households reported at 62-percent, APPA’s new survey clearly indicates America’s ongoing love affair with the companion animal community is solid,” said Lee Alvarado, association spokesperson. “We estimate that pet owners will spend $31 billion in 2003 to care for, feed, spoil and pamper the American pet population.”

Biannually APPA’s National Pet Owner’s Survey, the pet industry’s most comprehensive consumer research study, examines demographics, buying habits, and other traits of U.S. owners of dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, and small animals. The 2003/2004 edition also found:

  • Dogs and cats are found in at least one-out-of-three U.S. households.
  • Seven-out-of-ten fish owners say keeping fish generate a relaxing environment and help to relieve stress.
  • Households that have the most pet birds live in the Southern and Western regions of the U.S.
  • Turtles/tortoises are the most popular reptile owned by U.S. households with children.
  • One-third of small animal owners consider their pets as children or as family members.
  • Companionship, love, company and affection along with fun to have in a household are top benefits associated with pet ownership.
  • The majority of U.S. pet owners have purchased a gift for their companion animals within the last 12 months.

The survey also includes a new “Lifestyle and Media Study,” which offers a profile of consumer lifestyle habits and media preferences directly affecting the purchase of pet products.

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Founded in 1958, the American Pet Products Association is the nation’s leading not-for-profit trade organization serving the interests of the pet product industry and educating the public on the many joys and health benefits associated with pet ownership. APPA’s membership consists of over 750 companies, which include both small businesses, as well as the nation’s leading pet product companies.