Dogs and Cats in the U.S.

There’s an ongoing question in the pet-owner world:  Are you a dog person or a cat person? But which is easier on the wallet? According to industry research firm IBISWorld, the total cost to raise a dog and cat for the full duration of their lives (an estimated 13 years) is $13,330 and $8,506, respectively.   That means it costs 56.7 percent more to raise man’s best friend opposed to a furry feline.

In the first year, a dog owner can expect to shell out $1,966, while a cat owner only expends $1,318.  From there on the price gap grows to $947 per year for canines compared to a mere $599 for felines.  Both animals have significant expenses:

cost breakdown for dogs

cost breakdown for cats

Dog food


Cat food


Vet bills


Cat litter








Vet bills




Flea control








“Although one might think the initial outlay cost for a dog or cat can be high, it really only represents a mere 2.6 percent or 3.5 percent per pet ,respectively, for the total cost over the animal’s lifetime,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “People need to realize that owning a pet is a significant expense, and in the end, the original purchase price of the animal really doesn’t factor.”

In 2009, there will be about 169 million cats and dogs as pets in the U.S. – this represents an increase of 2.4 percent from
2008.  Of these pets, 39 percent of households own a dog and 34 percent own a cat.  Despite the problem with overpopulation, 10 percent of dogs and 18 percent of cats are adopted from animal shelters.

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2 Responses to “Dogs and Cats in the U.S.”

  1. John says:

    Do you have any data on how many US households own both a cat & a Dog?

  2. J. Jones says:

    Thanks for the news on the top cities you can visit with your pet. Would you also have the top US cities to live with your pets – the top pet-friendly neighborhoods. Hope so as that would be very helpful to me at this time.

    Thank you.

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