More than half (54%) of American households have pets, according to research published in the recent Packaged Facts market research report Pet Population and Ownership Trends in the U.S.: Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets, 4th Edition, representing a total of almost 68 million households. That number is currently on the rise.
While pet population estimates amid pandemic, economic, and job market disruptions are necessarily tentative, Packaged Facts currently projects 4% growth in the pet ownership households base in 2020. This growth will bring the total number of pet-owning households in the U.S. to nearly 71 million. Packaged Facts expects robust growth in the number of dog-owning households as well as cat-owning households, who in combination make up 96% of pet-owning households overall.
Currently, by type of pet, 39% (49 million) have pet dogs, up from 36% in 2009. That percentage gain, compounded by incremental population gain, has been a major driver of pet market growth over the last decade. In turn, 24% (30 million) have pet cats, with household ownership for cats hovering around that range over the last decade. Roughly a tenth of American households have pets other than dogs or cats—including pet fish, birds, reptiles, hamsters, and rabbits. This represents roughly 19% of pet-owning households overall, or nearly 13 million.
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.