Dog and Cat Ownership Up, Spending Down: Report

Nine out of 10 cat owners consider cats part of the family, but the current economy limits owners' spending on cats.

By BowTie News Editors | Posted: May 14, 2012, 3 p.m. EST

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Girl with Cat -- Cat Ownership Up, Spending Down
According to a recent poll, 90% of cat owners consider cats part of the family.
Dog and cat ownership is on the rise, but owners are spending less on account of the struggling economy, according to a trio of studies published by Marketresearch.com.

Three factors are propelling the dog and cat ownership market, according to the report, including “pet parenting,” an increase in pet ownership among minority households and the prevalence of dog and cat ownership among affluent Americans.

Ninety-two percent of dog owners and 90% of cat owners consider their pets to be part of their families, according to the survey of 2,000 dog and cat owners conducted online in February and March. This “pet parenting” phenomenon can lead to dog and cat owners having more willingness to spend on their cats and dogs, according to Marketresearch.com. However, prevailing economic conditions continue to drive pet spending in the opposite direction.

Thirty-six percent of respondents said they are spending less on pet products because of the economy, according to the March survey. In February 2011, 35% were spending less, and in 2010, just 27% said they were spending less.

Other results from the survey, which asked owners for their level of agreement with the statement “I am spending less on pet products because of the economy,” include:

Level of agreement 2010
2011
2012
Strongly agree 6% 13% 11%
Somewhat agree
21
22
25
No opinion/not applicable 18
22 25
Somewhat disagree
36
25
26
Strongly disagree
19
19
14




 
Meanwhile, the number of minority dog- or cat-owning household rose 28 percent from 2006 to 2011, an addition of about 3 million households, and households earning $70,000 or more annually account for over half of overall pet industry spending.
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Reader Comments

Lisa    Oak Creek, WI

5/17/2012 11:04:12 AM

I am thinking that pet owners are cutting down on some non-essentials as toys they may already have or they can make and hopefully not on quality pet food.

Elba    Newport News, VA

5/17/2012 7:15:35 AM

Economy is hard, and I find myself being on my own covering the all of the bills still I would rather cut my phone service than cut down on essentials for my furbaby. He gets the best quality foods (holistics), comfy bedding (though he prefers my bed! sigh), vet expenses are the highest in my book! and for some reason my kitty does not care for toys at all. He is really laid back and would prefer a belly rub to a toy any day! This is a good informative article and wanted to share some tidbits on my kitty.

Lisa    Oak Creek, WI

5/17/2012 2:37:03 AM

I am thinking that pet owners are cutting down on some non-essentials as toys they may already have or they can make and hopefully not on quality pet food.

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

5/16/2012 4:51:22 AM

Interesting. Vet care and quality food and LOVE is all they really need.

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