Whether your pet is your best friend or just a member of the family (or both!), chances are you would do anything for your furry companion. Unlike human beings, pets never ask too many annoying questions. and they’re always available for cuddles. Also, they’re excellent listeners and are super excited to see you every single day.
Without further ado, whether you have a cat, dog, bird, guinea pig, bunny, or reptile, this article will provide you with the most relevant and fun statistics and facts you need to know.
The Top 10 Pet Statistics:
- Owning a dog may decrease the risk of heart disease-related death by 36%.
- Around 10% of pet owners are allergic to their pets.
- There are around 5,000–7,000 tigers kept as pets in the United States.
- 94% of families with an autistic child reported that their child bonded with the pet and that it helped with the mental disorder.
- Pet stats show that around 44% of people would rather cuddle up with their pet than with their life partner.
- There are more than 200 million stray dogs in the world.
- It’s estimated that around 2 million animals die in shelters every year.
- Around 9% of healthy, adoptable dogs were euthanized in 2017 in Canadian shelters.
- Around 90% of lost pets are found within 12 hours if the owner is searching for them.
- In 29% of cases, people abandon their pets because their place of residence does not allow pets.
Take a look at many more pet statistics in and after the following infographic where we break down all the fun stats and facts you should know about your little friends!
Pet Overpopulation Statistics
1. There are around 58 million stray cats in the United States.
According to estimates in the US as of 2018, there are around 58 million stray cats in the country. The shocking number is based on different surveys, the total number of cats brought to shelters, and telemetry studies. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the number isn’t exact, and some of the more interesting facts about pets show that there may be up to 75 million stray cats in total.
2. Female dogs usually have one or two litters yearly and an average of 4–6 puppies per litter.
(K9 of Mine)
Even though it is quite difficult to estimate the number of puppies per litter because this varies due to a dog’s age and size, it’s thought that miniature breeds usually produce around 3 puppies, while according to the pet facts, larger breeds produce 7 puppies per litter. The numbers are based on a study published in 2011 that examined over 10,000 litters of 224 different breeds.
3. It’s estimated that only 10% of the animals brought into shelters have been neutered or spayed.
(Humane Society of Central Texas)
Spaying or neutering is important not only for fighting the rising overpopulation of strays, but it’s also effective in preventing uterine infections and tumors. According to data on homeless pets and other statistics associated with it, strays received by shelters have a mere 10% chance of already being spayed or neutered in comparison with 83% of pet dogs and 91% of pet cats.
4. There are more than 200 million stray dogs in the world.
According to dog statistics and data gathered by the World Health Organization, there are around 200 million stray dogs, possibly more, all across the globe. Just in Houston, Texas, it’s estimated that there are over a million stray dogs. Furthermore, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals claims that around 3.3 million dogs are received by US animal shelters every year.
Pet Abandonment Statistics
5. It’s estimated that around 2 million animals die in shelters every year.
According to the current animal shelter statistics, it was found that around 6 million animals enter shelters in the United States every year. Unfortunately, if shelter animals don’t manage to get adopted after some time, they’re killed to make room for other animals. The stats have also found that around 22% of dogs and 45% of cats die in shelters.
6. What percentage of pets are adopted? Only 25% of dogs and 24% of cats in shelters find their forever home.
(American Humane, A.D.O.P.T)
There’s an increasing number of dogs and cats born every day in the US—close to 70,000. According to the upsetting pet adoption statistics, only 1 out of every 10 dogs will be successfully adopted, and only 1 out of every 12 cats manage to find a permanent, caring home. If you’ve come across a stray animal and you would like to hand it over to a shelter, make sure to contact a no-kill shelter or a rescue organization near your area.
7. In 2017, around 9% of healthy or adoptable dogs were euthanized in Canadian shelters.
In the case of abandoned pets, the facts and stats by Humane Canada from 2017 indicate less than one in 10 healthy stray dogs were put down in 2017. Nevertheless, this number was shown to be an increase from 2015. Meanwhile, the portion of stray cats was around 6%. Furthermore, the 2017 shelter statistics show that juvenile cats are more likely to be euthanized than puppies—a shocking 25% of kittens are put to sleep.
8. According to lost pet statistics, around 90% of lost pets are found within 12 hours if the owner is searching for them.
(If It Barks)
When a furry member of the family goes missing, it’s estimated that the best window to find them is within the very first 12 hours after they disappear. The leading reason pets aren’t returned to their proper owners is that they lack identification tags or proper tracking chips. For this reason, experts recommend putting a collar on the pet, as it’s a worldwide recognized symbol for a pet that has an owner.
9. Some interesting pet facts claim that people abandon their pets because their place of residence doesn’t allow them, at rates of 29% of the time for dogs and 21% for cats.
(Humane Society of Central Texas)
There are many reasons why pet owners decide to abandon their pets or give them away to others. Based on data from the American Humane Association, some of the most common reasons people choose to give up their pets are because they aren’t allowed to have a pet in their place of residence, they don’t have enough time to take care of them (10%), or they’ve developed allergies (11%).
Pet Ownership and Pet Spending Statistics
11. Americans spent around $72 billion on their pets in 2018.
Pet ownership is extremely expensive. From overpriced pet care products to budget-breaking therapies for ill pets, it seems like American citizens would do anything for their little furry companions. In fact, the American Pet Products Association recently announced that Americans are spending $3 billion more on pet products than last year. These fun facts about pets show that spending money on pet care reached an impressive $72.56 billion in 2018, in comparison to $69.51 billion in 2017. Clearly, people are more than willing to pay for top-rated products and quality services to improve the well-being of their beloved pets.
12. 81% of dog owners in the UK give their pets birthday or holiday presents.
What else are pet owners willing to do to express their great love for the furriest members of their family? Mars Petcare and Battersea Dogs & Cats examined this topic and ended up with the following pet ownership statistics – eight out of ten canine owners in the United Kingdom are planning to get Christmas gifts for their pets. According to the pet facts, 81% of the surveyed dog owners revealed that they will be getting their pets a gift for the festive seasons, and 40% claimed that they’re planning to spend around £10 ($13 USD) or more on their dogs.
13. However, only 17% of cat owners would spend over £10 on their feline pet.
Unfortunately, cat owners are not as generous during the holidays as dog owners. According to the same cat statistics and findings, cats don’t receive the same treatment, as only 17% of those surveyed would spend more than £10 on their cat. Furthermore, the facts about pets also indicate that 31% of these individuals claim they won’t be spending anything on their feline friends.
14. Around 44% of people would rather cuddle up with their pet than with their life partner.
If we were put in the position to choose, which would we pick, our significant other or our pet? According to a study of 2,000 pet owners who are nuts about their cats and dogs, more than half of the participants would rather spend time with their furry companion than their significant other. Furthermore, the pet statistics show that three in ten pet owners claim that their pet is a better listener than their life partner, and around 29% of the participants think that their pets are better at snuggling!
15. Around 1 in 10 people are allergic to pets.
A frequent reason owners decide to abandon their pets or put them down is due to allergies. In fact, the pet allergy statistics derived by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that around 10% of these individuals develop an allergy to household pets, and the allergy numbers are twice as common with cats than dogs. Many may falsely believe that the animal’s fur is the source of their allergies—in reality, most people with allergies react to Fel d 1, a protein found on the animal’s skin.
Exotic Pet Statistics
16. There are around 5,000–7,000 tigers kept as pets in the United States.
Shockingly, statistics reported by Smithsonian found that there are more tigers living in private captivity or kept as exotic pets in America alone than there are across the globe. The numbers are extremely high when compared to the numbers derived by the World Wildlife Fund, which estimates that there are around 3,900 wild tigers worldwide. According to experts, the reason for the increasing numbers of tigers as pets is due to the lack of laws in the US preventing people from owning such exotic pets.
17. The exotic pet trade statistics claim that more than 1,000 online sites offering to sell exotic animals as pets.
(Born Free USA)
The exotic animal pet trade has become extremely popular in today’s age. Many animals are captured from their natural habitats and transported to different areas of the world to be sold as exotic pets. In other cases, these are exotic animals that are in surplus at zoos, etc. The Animal Finders’ Guide carries different advertisements from dealers, breeders, and zoos that offer monkeys, large cats, and exotic birds.
18. According to statistics on exotic pets, the facts count 52 exotic pet owners being bitten by macaque monkeys between 1990 and 1997.
(Born Free USA)
The most common exotic pets held by private owners are monkeys, which have been shown to exhibit dangerous and frequently unpredictable behavior starting at the mere age of two. Even though many owners fear to report incidents concerning the behavior of their exotic pets because the animal may be confiscated or killed, the CD found that 52 people reported being bitten by their pet monkey between 1990 and 1997.
19. According to the chameleon pet facts and stats, the average pet chameleon may live up to 10 years.
Chameleons, originally from tropical rainforests, are among the most adorable exotic pets you can find in households all across the globe. Even though they may only live in the wild for up to three years, if the owner takes good care of it, this exotic pet may live for up to 10 years. Of course, before getting one for yourself, consider all the pros and cons of owning such an interesting, rare creature.
20. Between 80% and 90% of macaque monkeys are infected with Herpes B-virus or Simian B virus
(Born Free USA)
The pet statistics on the more exotic animals show that their owners could be at serious health risk, possibly becoming infected with a life-threatening disease. For example, many exotic animals carry zoonotic diseases that can spread to humans, such as Monkey Pox, Salmonellosis, and the Herpes B virus. Indeed, most macaque monkeys are infected with Herpes B or Simian B, a virus that doesn’t harm the monkey but is fatal in human beings. An individual who is scratched by, sneezed on, or bitten by the animal may easily contract the illness.
Pet Therapy Statistics
21. 71% of pet owners know that pets can improve their physical or mental health, and 84% of pet owners are aware of the positive impact pets have on anxiety levels.
Owning a pet, whether it’s a cat, dog, or baby tiger, can help alleviate depression, anxiety, and a wide array of physical or mental health issues. In fact, a survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute examined the relationship between pet owners and health and found that 74% of the owners reported mental health improvements.
22. According to pet statistics, owning a dog may decrease the risk of heart disease-related death by 36%.
(Mother Nature Network)
According to the findings of a study conducted on 3.4 million people in Sweden, researchers found that owning a dog may be directly linked to a lowered chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. The study examined both men and women who lived alone and found that the chances of suffering from a heart attack significantly decreased by 11% when they had a pet. Furthermore, another 2019 review found that owning a dog lowers the risk of death from any cause by a whopping 24%.
23. The pet facts claim that just 10 minutes of petting a cat or a dog helped lower cortisol levels in college students.
(Mother Nature Network)
College students are known for being constantly stressed. A study dealing with this topic found that 10 minutes a day with an animal is enough to lower cortisol levels and help keep stress levels down in college students. Furthermore, researchers found that contact with a pet lowers anxiety and boosts feelings of calmness. So if you own a pet and you haven’t yet cuddled it today, take a moment and do it, because you may be doing something very beneficial for your health. After all, when it comes to pets and depression, statistics show that owning a pet can greatly improve the condition.
24. Elderly pet owners make 30% fewer visits to their medical practitioners than those who do not have pets.
(NCBI, Help Guide)
A study published by NCBI found intriguing evidence related to elderly pet owners and overall health: there’s a correlation between improved health levels and owning pets. In fact, the study found that elderly individuals who own pets are less likely to visit their doctor, and they may also take less medication. Hugging a furry companion may flood the human body with oxytocin, a hormone known for reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.
25. According to pet facts, 94% of families with an autistic child reported that their child bonded with the pet and that it helped with the mental disorder.
(NCBI, Mental Health Foundation)
According to NCBI’s study, the autistic children played or shared their personal space with the pet, and it helped the children learn about companionship and responsibility. Pets are great for children with autism, as they manage to increase the desire to connect with others and help lessen sensory sensitivity.
Some of the Most Interesting Facts on Pets
26. A Few Quick Cat Facts
- Cats have 32 muscles in each ear, as opposed to humans, who only have 6 muscles.
- Domestic cats spend around 15% of the day grooming and around 70% of the day sleeping.
- Cats usually do not have eyelashes.
- Purring may help cats maintain a healthy bone density.
- Blackie, the wealthiest cat in history, inherited $13 million when his owner died.
27. Some Interesting Dog Facts
(The Drake Center, PetFinder)
- The Saluki is officially the world’s oldest dog breed, with references to it dating back to 2100 BCE.
- Dogs curl up in a ball when they sleep to keep their vital organs protected.
- The most popular breed in the United States for over 20 years has been the Labrador.
- The Beatles may have recorded an ultrasonic whistle audible exclusively to dogs at the end of “A Day in the Life.”
- Dalmatian puppies are born without spots.
28. Quick Pet Rabbit Facts
- Rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn, making them crepuscular creatures.
- Rabbits can get bored and need frequent socialization.
- When they are happy, rabbits purr.
- The teeth and nails of rabbits never stop growing.
- Bunnies get grumpy when you invade their space.
29. Reptile and Pet Snake Facts
(ScienceKids, ThoughtCo., Reptile Knowledge)
- Snakes have no eyelids.
- They actually use their tongue to smell.
- Anacondas can reach over 16 feet in length.
- Reptiles are classified as cold-blooded animals.
- Some types of snakes can go months without eating.
30. Some Fun Pet Pig Facts
(Three Little Pigs, TheSprucePets, PetMD)
- Pigs are hypoallergenic pets.
- Pigs are one of the smartest pets, and they need little encouragement to learn new tricks.
- Pigs can remember and comprehend their names.
- Teacup pigs usually live for about five years due to skeletal issues.
- Potbelly pigs are sensitive to the sun.
31. A Few Pet Bird Facts
- Large parrots and macaws are known to live for up to 100 years.
- Chocolate is toxic to birds.
- Birds are able to see ultraviolet light.
- Birds use their songs to communicate with other birds.
- Most birds can be trained to hunt and snuggle with their owner.
32. Fast Pet Fish Facts
- Fish do not have eyelids, so they sleep with their eyes open.
- Tapping on the fish bowl is bad for your pet fish’s health.
- Fish do not, in fact, have a three-second memory, and some of them can be trained.
- Overfeeding leads to a dirty tank, not fat fish.
- Goldfish can live up to 43 years.
33. Pet Rats – Facts and Statistics
- Rats are highly trainable and sociable.
- Rats have scent glands located on the bottom of their tiny feet.
- Rats are able to swim.
- Rats were worshipped by both the Ancient Mayans and Egyptians.
- Rats can’t throw up.
34. Some Pet Turtle Facts
- Not all turtles live in the water, and not all can swim.
- Every turtle carries salmonella.
- Female and male turtles have different shells.
- Turtles like to eat vegetables, such as squash.
- Turtles recognize their owners.
34. Quick Bush Baby Pet Facts
- The official name for bush babies is galagos.
- Bush babies are extremely agile creatures.
- Bush babies are omnivores and eat almost everything, from insects to fruits.
- Bush babies let out cries that remind people of human babies.
- Bush babies can live up to 15 years as pets.
As we can see, the pet statistics and facts in this article demonstrate how important pets are to their owners. Even though pet care can be expensive and time-consuming, owning a dog, cat, bunny, or any other pet has a lot of advantages. For example, owners can play with their pets and get fit with them, and they also ward off depression, anxiety, and other illnesses. So if you don’t own a pet, rescue one from your local animal shelter today. If you already have a companion, remember to shower it with unconditional love.
- American Humane
- Born Free USA
- Help Guide
- Humane Canada
- Humane Society of Central Texas
- If It Barks
- K9 of Mine
- Mental Health Foundation
- Mother Nature Network
- PR Newswire
- The Drake Center
- Three Little Pigs
- Wildlife Removal