Categories: Cat Facts

Crazy Facts About Pet Ownership in America

Well this was a promotional poster (now deleted sadly!) from an insurance company (sent to me) with a link to the company’s website. That’s fine because I like the poster and it does contain some nice facts. The sources are reliable so these are probably pretty accurate facts. Thanks for contacting me Homeowners Insurance. Here are some comments on the above facts.

The USA is the biggest companion animal market. About 40% of visitors to this website live in the USA according to a web information site run by Amazon. India is an emerging market for companion animals but at present they are years from the same concepts in relation to companion animals that are found in the US and Europe – see for example: Cat Situation in India. A commercially dominant country, China, set to be the largest commercial market in the world in 2015, is light years behind America and Europe in terms of animal welfare. See Cats and the Law.

A slightly shocking counter statistic to fact 4, the one that states that 90% of families consider their animal companion a member of the family, is that over 2 million (or more perhaps) cats are killed each year in the USA for want of a home. That fact does not sit very nicely with the former. And another fact that does not comfortably live with fact 4 is that there are over 20 million declawed cats in America, almost all of them declawed on the instructions of cat caretakers for their personal convenience (non-therapeutic purposes)! It seems a bizarre way for a person to treat a family member.

Fact 3 of “Crazy Facts About Pet Ownership in America” indicates that there are many “exotic pets” in the USA. This is something that is unique to the USA. You hardly see it in Europe for instance. The trouble with this rather bland statistic is that in endangers wildlife throughout the planet as it fosters the export of wildlife from the poorer countries where the species are found. It also fosters the concept of “animal ownership” as opposed to the preferable concept of living in harmony with wild animals living in their natural environment. The latter concept is better in the long term for the planet, in my view. The ownership of exotic pets in the USA seems to be on the decline with the introduction of more legislative restrictions or bannings at a state by state level.

Fact 14 of “Crazy Facts About Pet Ownership in America” is interesting. It states that only 50% of people talk to their companion animal! Come on..everyone talks to their cats and dogs! It is part of the fun of companionship. I have long conversations with my cats.

Lastly, to fact 20. I wonder how many people cremate their companion animals and then place the ashes in an urn and place the urn in the home? I do. It provides comfort for me. Also this fact indicates that up to 42% of people possibly do one of these (not all inclusive):

  • leave their dead pet at the vet after euthasia or;
  • the veterinarian cremates the pet for the person and follows the person’s instructions thereafter or;
  • if the pet dies at home they dispose of the body in some way other than burial on their property. I wouldn’t think that this would be burial off their property. This may be a case where the caretaker takes the pet to a crematorium.

P.S. These facts are not crazy..:)

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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