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Cat Population and Cat Owner Trends


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

At the heart of U.S. pet industry (everything from veterinarians to pet couture) is the yin and yang of the market’s two major animal segments—cats and dogs.

In this all-new report, Cat Population and Cat Owner Trends, Packaged Facts focuses on the population of pet cats, cat owner demographics, and cat owner psychographics in the U.S. market. The report offers a present-day and historical analysis of cat owners, examining trends in this cohort's financial, household, regional, ethnic, and generational composition, as well as cat owner attitudes about advertising, the environment, health, and the internet.

Research Methodology

The research in this report is based on Packaged Facts’ ongoing coverage of the pet market, a proprietary Packaged Facts online survey conducted in February-March 2012 (with a sample of 2000, including 620 cat owners), and customized cross tabulations of Experian Simmons national consumer survey data from 2006-2011. Additional information was gathered from various government, business, and trade media.


Chapter 1: Executive Summary
Research Methodology
Cat Ownership Rates Projected to Reach 28% in 2012
Table 1-1: Projected Pet Cat Population, 2012 (percent and number of U.S. households)
Mixed News in Recent Trends
Cat Ownership Rate Makes Modest Gain
Overview of Pet Cat Population and Pet Care Characteristics
Table 1-2: Distribution of Cat Population by Age of Pet, 2012 (percent of U.S. cat owners)
Table 1-3: Indoor/Outdoor Patterns for Pet Cat Population, 2012 (percent of U.S. cat owners)
Table 1-4: Summary of Annual Veterinary Care for Pet Cats, 2012 (percent of U.S. cat owners)
Cats Second Only to Dogs in Multiple-Pet Owning Households
Cat Ownership by Generational Cohort
Impact of Boomers and Graying Population
Pet Pendulum Continues to Shift to Households Without Kids
Growth Opportunities Exist for Minority Households as Cat Owners
Cat Owners Up in Northeast and Pacific Regions, but Growth
Opportunities and Challenges Remain in the South
Cat Owning Rises with Household Income
Pet Spending Has Stabilized
Table 1-5: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “I Am Spending Less on Pet Products These Days
Topline Psychographics from Packaged Facts Pet Owner Survey
Table 1-6: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “My Pet Has a Positive Impact on My Physical Health,” 2012 (percent)
Cat Owners Are Above Average in Internet Activities

Chapter 2: Overview of Cat and Pet Ownership
Cat Ownership Rates Projected to Reach 28% in 2012
Table 2-1: Projected Pet Cat Population, 2012 (percent and number of U.S. households)
Recent Pet Ownership Trends
Table 2-2: Household Penetration Rates for Selected Cat- or Dog-Owning Classifications: 2006 vs. 2011 (percent of U.S. households)
Table 2-3: Change in Pet Market Consumer Base: Number of Cat or Dog Owners, 2006 vs. 2011 (U.S. cat- or dog-owning households)
Table 2-4: Household Penetration Rates for Selected Pet-Owning Classifications, 2007-2011 (percent of and number of U.S. households in millions)
Overview of Pet Cat Population and Pet Care Characteristics
Table 2-5: Distribution of Cat Population by Age of Pet, 2012 (percent of U.S. cat owners)
Table 2-6: Indoor/Outdoor Patterns for Pet Cat Population, 2012 (percent of U.S. cat owners)
Table 2-7: Summary of Annual Veterinary Care for Pet Cats, 2012 (percent of U.S. cat owners)
Trends in Multiple Pet Ownership
31% of Pet Households Keep Multiple Types
Figure 2-1: Ownership of Multiple Pets, 2011 (percent of pet-owning U.S. households)
Table 2-8: Multiple Pet Ownership in the United States, 2007 vs. 2011 (percent of pet-owning households)
Cats Second Only to Dogs in Multiple-Pet Owning Households
Table 2-9: Ownership of Multiple Pets of a Single Type, 2011 (percent and number of U.S. households who keep pets of a given type)
Ownership of Multiple Cats Stays Steady
Table 2-10: Ownership of Multiple Pets of a Single Type, 2007 vs. 2011 (percent of U.S. households who keep pets of a given type)

Chapter 3: Cat Owner Demographics
Age Bracket Breakdowns
Table 3-1: Cat Ownership Rates by Age Bracket: 2006-2011 (percent of U.S. households)
Table 3-2: Cat Ownership Rates by 5-Year Age Brackets, 2011 (index and percent of U.S. households)
Generational Cohort Trends
Impact of Boomers and Graying Population
Table 3-3: Household Penetration Rates by Generational Cohort: Pets Overall vs. Cats, 2011 (percent of U.S. households)
Table 3-4: Household Populations by Generational Cohort: Pets Overall vs. Cats, 2011 (number of U.S. households in millions)
Table 3-5: Indexes by Generational Cohort: Pets Overall vs. Cats, 2011 (U.S. households)
Table 3-6: Indexes for Cat or Dog Ownership: By Age Cohort, 2006 vs. 2011 (U.S. households)
Role of Gen Xers and Gen Ys
Patterns by Household Composition
Balance Continues to Shift to Households Without Kids
Effects of the Recession on Pet Parenting
Figure 3-1: Cat Ownership Rates by Household Composition: No-Kids Households vs. Kids Households, 2006-2011 (percent)
Households with Children Important to Market’s Future
Table 3-7: Cat Ownership Rates by Household Composition, 2006-2011 (percent)
Table 3-8: Share of Total Cat Owners by Household Composition, 2006-2011 (percent)
Dog vs. Cat Ownership Rates by Household Composition
Patterns by Race/Ethnicity
Table 3-9: Change in Pet Market Consumer Base: White Non-Hispanics vs. Minorities, 2006 vs. 2011 (number and percent of U.S. cat- or dog-owning households)
Table 3-11: Cat Ownership Trends by Race/Ethnicity, 2006-2011 (percent and number of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
Figure 3-2: Dog or Cat Ownership by Hispanic Households, 2006 versus 2011 (index)
The Challenge of Lower Minority Pet Ownership Rates
Latino Cat Owners in the Spotlight
Table 3-11: Projected Population Growth, Hispanics vs. Other Population Segments, 2010-2015 (in thousands)
Table 3-12: Projected Population Growth, Hispanics vs. Other Population Segments, 2010-2050 (in thousands)
Geographical Patterns
Where Cat Owners Live
Table 3-13: Cat Ownership Rates by U.S. Region, 2006-2011 (percent)
Table 3-14: Share of Total Cat Owners by U.S. Region, 2006-2011 (percent)
Table 3-15: Indexes by U.S. Region: Pets Overall vs. Cats, 2011 (U.S. households)
Table 3-16: Indexes for Cat or Dog Ownership: By U.S. Region, 2006 vs. 2011 (U.S. households)
New York and Ohio Lead Most Populous States in Cat Ownership
Table 3-17: Cat Ownership Rates by Ten Most Populous States, 2006-2011 (percent)
Table 3-18: Indexes by Ten Most Populous States: Pets Overall vs. Cats, 2011 (U.S. households)
Table 3-19: Indexes for Cat or Dog Ownership by Ten Most Populous States, 2006 vs. 2011 (U.S. households)
Patterns by Household Income
Finances and Cat Ownership Go Hand in Hand
Table 3-20: Cat Ownership by Household Income, 2011 (percent, number and index of U.S. cat-owning households)
Figure 3-3: Cat Ownership Rates by Household Income Bracket, 2006 versus 2011 (percent of U.S. cat-owning households)
Higher-Income Households a Crucial Segment
Table 3-21: Change in Pet Market Consumer Base: Household Income $60K or More vs. Household Income Under $60K, 2006 vs. 2011 (U.S. cat- or dog-owning households)
Table 3-22: Change in Pet Market Consumer Base: Household Income $75K or More vs. Household Income Under $75K, 2006 vs. 2011 (U.S. cat- or dog-owning households)
Table 3-23: Change in Pet Market Consumer Base: Household Income $100K or More vs. Household Income Under $100K, 2006 vs. 2011 (U.S. cat- or dog-owning households)
With Pet Spending, Recessionary Effect Has Leveled Off
Table 3-24: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “I Am Spending Less on Pet Products These Days Because of the Economy,” 2012 (percent)

Chapter 4: Cat Ownership Psychographics
Pets as Part of the Family
Table 4-1: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “I Consider My Pet(s) To Be Part of the Family,” 2012 (percent)
Table 4-2: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “My Pet Is My Best Friend,” 2012 (percent)
Table 4-3: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “I Am Very Concerned About the Safety of the Pet Products I Buy,” 2012 (percent)
Table 4-4: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “I Am Spending More Time With My Pets These Day,” 2012 (percent)
Table 4-5: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “People Should Adopt Pets From Shelters and not Purchase Them From Shops/Breeders,” 2012 (percent)
Table 4-6: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “My Pet Has a Positive Impact on My Physical Health,” 2012 (percent)
Table 4-7: Level of Cat Owner Agreement with Statement: “My Pet Has a Positive Impact on My Mental Health,” 2012 (percent)
Health and Wellness Attitudes
“Green” Consumers and Sustainability
Table 4-8: Selected Health & Medical Psychographics: Adults Overall and Cat Owners vs. Non-Cat Owners, 2011 (percent and index)
Table 4-9: Selected “Green” Psychographics: Adults Overall vs. Cat Owners and Non-Cat Owners, 2011 (percent and index)
On Media and Marketing
Table 4-10: Selected Media & Marketing Psychographics: Adults Overall vs. Cat Owners and Non-Cat Owners, 2011 (percent and index)
Role of the Internet
Table 4-11: Selected Internet-Related Psychographics: Adults Overall vs. Cat Owners and Non-Cat Owners, 2011 (percent and index)
Table 4-12: Pet Product Purchases and Internet Use, by Cat Owners, 2012 (percent)

Appendix: Demographics for Cat Ownership
Table A-1: Demographics for Cat Ownership, 2011(percent, number and index of U.S. cat-owning households)

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