Data Study

The truth about cats and dogs

There’s no doubt about it, in America, pets are big business. In 2022 alone, Americans spent $136.8 billion on their pets, which is an increase of 10.68% from 2021, when we spent $123.6 billion.1 When it comes to pet ownership – two furry friends reign supreme. Dogs are the most popular pet in the U.S. and can be found in approximately 65.1 million U.S. households, followed by cats who are beloved by approximately 46.5 million households.2

Have you ever wondered what differentiates dog owners and cat owners? We have. These differences can hold the key to understanding whether your company should include dog or cat owners in your target audience or inform your marketing strategy if both these groups are in your target market. We used data from our consumer and transactional databases to help advertisers understand:

Who They Are: The Basics

Cat owners are older than dog owners. Almost 70% of cat owners are over 60, compared to 52% of dog owners. However, both dog and cat owners are older than the population average and are likely to be 55+.

Cat owners are more likely to be female, but the gap is not as big as social myths would have you believe. 64% of cat owners are female vs. 60% of dog owners. Dog owners are slightly more likely to be married, but only 3% more.

Dog owners are more likely to also have children in the household, with 28% having children in the household as compared to 23% of cat owners.

Dog owners are more likely to have a post-graduate degree than cat owners. People with a high school education (or less) are more likely to own a cat.

The Wealth Gap

Dog owners are wealthier than cat owners – especially when we factor in income, net worth, home value, discretionary income and investing.

Both dog and cat owners are more likely to own a single-family home than those without pets. Dog owners are more likely to be renters than cat owners.

Where They Are: City Mouse or Country Mouse?

Dog owners are more prevalent in metropolitan areas and cat owners are more strongly represented in rural parts of the country.

Charitable Donations

Both dog and cat owners are more likely to give to charity than the general population of consumers. When we break it down, cat owners are more likely to give, and to a variety of charitable causes. But when dog owners do give, they tend to gift a larger sum.

What They Like to Buy

How They Like to Buy

Cat owners favor catalogue buying. Dog owners prefer to buy online and shop retail channels more often.

Digital Proficiency

Dog owners perform better when it comes to online bill paying, social media, travel planning, streaming entertainment, digital payment and cell phone usage as compared to cat owners. This might be attributed to their slightly younger age range.

The Overlap

To learn more about pet owners or any other audience segments – from fitness enthusiasts to frequent charity donors, new movers and avid online shoppers – reach out, and we’ll help you better understand and engage your best prospects using our best-in-class data.

*These numbers are based on our propriety consumer database. We analyzed the public core, interest and transactional attributes of over 300 million consumers to arrive at these results.


Natasia Langfelder
Content Marketing Manager

As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.