Marvelous Girl Has Moved!

Dog vs. cat – which pet costs more?

Posted on: May 27, 2009

Photo by jarsem
Photo by jarsem

There’s an ongoing question in the pet-owner world:  Are you a dog person or a cat person? But which is easier on the wallet?

According to industry research firm IBISWorld, the total cost to raise a dog and cat for the full duration of their lives (an estimated 13 years) is $13,330 and $8,506, respectively.   That means it costs 56.7 percent more to raise man’s best friend opposed to a furry feline. 

In the first year a dog owner can expect to shell out $1,966, while a cat owner only expends $1,318.  From there on the price gap grows to $947 per year for canines compared to a mere $599 for felines. 

“Although one might think the initial outlay cost for a dog or cat can be high, it really only represents a mere 2.6 percent or 3.5 percent per pet, respectively, for the total cost over the animal’s lifetime,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “People need to realize that owning a pet is a significant expense, and in the end, the original purchase price of the animal really doesn’t factor.”

In 2009, there will be about 169 million cats and dogs as pets in the U.S. – this represents an increase of 2.4 percent from 2008.  Of these pets, 39 percent of households own a dog and 34 percent own a cat.  Despite the problem with overpopulation, 10 percent of dogs and 18 percent of cats are adopted from animal shelters. 


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