U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook 2012

Vermonters have most cats, Maine comes in second; Cat vet visits way down

U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook 2012Maine ranks second for cat ownership with 46.4 percent of households owning a cat, according to the its U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook recently put together by the The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

Near-by Vermont tops the lists with 49.5 percent of households owning cats. The District of Columbia, once again, had by far the lowest rate of cat ownership with 11.6 percent

Vermont also tops the list of pet owning states 70.8 percent of households owning a pet. Maine comes in fifth with 62.9 percent of households have pets. Neither rural New England states comes up in the top ten for dog owners. Arkansas tops that list with 47.9 percent of households owning dogs.

The last time the AMVA put together the sourcebook was in 2006. At that time, Maine also placed in the top ten for cat and pet ownership.  The survey is conducted by the AVMA every five years and always includes a breakdown of pet ownership by state. The most recent survey, conducted in 2012 is based on Dec. 31, 2011 numbers.

The survey also contains some unsettling news when it comes to veterinarian visits. Eight percent of dog owners and 24 percent of cat owners do not take their cat to the vet, at all. Only 55.1 percent of cat owners made at least one visit to the veterinarian in 2011, down 13.5 percent from 2006. About 81 percent of dog owners took their dog to the vet at least one in 2011, down 1.7 percent.

We as pet bloggers need to keep spreading the word why it is so important to take your pet to the veterinarian at least for an annual check-up.

Other statistics offered in the report include:

  • In 2011, six-out-of-ten pet owners, or 63.2 percent considered their pets to be family members.
  • There are approximately 70 million pet dogs in the U.S. and 74.1 million pet cats.
  • The average veterinary expenditure per household for all pets was $375 in 2011.

The report is loaded with tons of info, But for now, let’s go check out the top ten, and bottom ten lists in cat, pet and dog ownership.

Top Cat-Owning States are:

  • Vermont with 49.5 percent
  • Maine with 46.4 percent
  • Oregon with 40.2 percent
  • South Dakota with 39.1 percent
  • Washington with 39 percent
  • West Virginia with 38.1 percent
  • Kentucky with 36.8 percent
  • Idaho with 34.6 percent
  • Indiana with 34.4 percent
  • And New Hampshire with 34.2 percent

Bottom Cat-Owning States are:

  • California with 28.3 percent
  • South Carolina with 27.8 percent
  • Rhode Island with 27.6 percent
  • Alabama with 27.4 percent
  • Florida with 27.3 percent
  • Georgia with 27.3 percent
  • Illinois with 26.3 percent
  • Louisiana with 25.9 percent
  • New Jersey with 25.3 percent
  • Utah with 24.6 percent.
  • The District of Columbia with 11.6 percent.

Top ten pet owning states are:

  • Vermont where 70.8 percent
  • New Mexico with 67.6 percent
  • South Dakota with 65.6 percent
  • Oregon with 63.6 percent
  • Maine with 62.9 percent
  • Washington with 62.7 percent
  • Arkansas with 62.4 percent
  • West Virginia with 62.1 percent
  • Idaho with 62 percent
  • And Wyoming with 61.8 percent.

Bottom pet-owning states

  • Rhode Island with 53 percent
  • Minnesota with 53 percent
  • California with 52.9 percent,
  • Maryland with 52.3 percent,
  • Illinois with 51.8 percent
  • Nebraska with 51.3 percent
  • Utah with 51.2 percent
  • New Jersey with 50.7 percent
  • New York with 50.6 percent
  • Massachusetts with 50.4 percent
  • The District of Columbia had a far lower rate of pet ownership at 21.9 percent

Top dog-owning states

  • Arkansas with 47.9 percent
  • New Mexico with 46 percent
  • Kentucky with 45.9 percent
  • Missouri with 45.9 percent
  • West Virginia with 45.8 percent
  • Mississippi with 45.2 percent
  • Alabama with 44.1 percent
  • Tennessee with 44.1 percent
  • Texas with 44 percent
  • And Oklahoma with 43.2 percent

Bottom dog-owning states

  • Illinois with 32.4 percent
  • New Jersey with 32.4 percent
  • Minnesota with 31.9 percent
  • Maryland with 30.8 percent
  • New Hampshire with 30.3 percent
  • Utah with 29.4 percent
  • Rhode Island with 29.3 percent
  • New York with 29 percent
  • Connecticut with 28.3 percent
  • Massachusetts with 23.6 percent
  • The District of Columbia had far lower dog ownership than any state with 13.1 percent

“One of the most important parameters that we look at is how well pet owners are doing at keeping their pets healthy,” says Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA, in a prepared statement.  “Unfortunately, the report reveals that fewer dogs and cats are seeing the veterinarian regularly, and that’s something that the AVMA and every companion animal veterinarian are concerned about. Pet owners across the country need to remember to bring their pets into the veterinarian – at least once a year – to maintain optimal health.”

The U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook offers a great deal of information on pet ownership, trends and veterinary care. It’s available free to journalists and is for sale on the AVMA website.  For more information about the AVMA or to obtain a copy of the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, visit www.avma.org.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 82,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities.


2 responses to “Vermonters have most cats, Maine comes in second; Cat vet visits way down”

  1. Connie Avatar

    I want to take my cats to the vet, really I do.. but as a non-vaccinating, raw feeding, pet owner who feels that the vet works for me and is not a god like figure that can do what they want to my pets and I should be so thankful that they eeked out half a second to talk to me, I’m having a hard time finding one..

  2. askfisher Avatar

    Very interesting study, BJ. Thanks for sharing it – and I passed it on.

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