Home | Environment & Animals

Characteristics of Privately Owned Dog
& Cat Population & Owners

Click here for Estimated Number of Dog, Cat & Bird-Owning Households throughout Los Angeles County

City of Los Angeles

Report provided by the Humane America Animal Foundation. Figures are based upon results of a December 1999 random telephone survey of 517 City of Los Angeles households. Interviews were conducted by Davis Research, LLC, in English and Spanish.

Privately Owned Dog & Cat Population in the City of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles residents are much less likely to have dogs or cats than the national average. While the average number of dogs per dog-owning household was close to the national average, the average number of cats per cat-owning household was much lower.

Households City of Los Angeles Nation*
With at least one dog or cat 26.7% ---
With at least one dog 19.9% 39.1%
With at least one cat 13.0% 32.1%
With at least one dog and one cat 6.19% ---
Average number of dogs per dog-owning household 1.48 1.41
Average number of cats per cat-owning household 1.57 2.40

* Based on 1998/1999 APPMA Pet Owners Study


The following is an extrapolation of the total number of privately owned dogs and cats
in the City of Los Angeles:

Number of dogs 367,000
Number of cats 254,000

Characteristics of Dog & Cat Owning Households in the City of Los Angeles

Percentages shown in the following tables are that of all households regardless of pet ownership.

Household Ethnic Background
Caucasian Hispanic Asian African-American Other
Has a dog 33.1% 14.1% 8.3% 16.7% 5.3%
Has a cat 25.5% 5.7% 2.8% 10.0% 15.8%
Has an unaltered pet 13.4% 8.1% 2.8% 10.0% 10.5%


Households with older people are more likely to have cats, but age does not appear to strongly determine whether a household has a dog.

Household Age Group
Under 25 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Has a dog 23.4% 19.6% 21.1% 25.4% 21.9% 9.3%
Has a cat 10.5% 7.0% 13.7% 22.4% 15.6% 14.0%


Families with young children are less likely to have dogs or cats, but that changes as the children get older, especially after age 13.

Children in Household Has a Dog Has a Cat
None 21.6% 15.7%
Under 3 years 10.3% 7.7%
3 to 7 yrs 7.4% 3.7%
8 to 13 yrs 20.3% 15.3%
14 to 18 yrs 39.1% 19.6%


Households that are homeowners (as opposed to renters) are more likely to have a dog or cat.

Household Owners Renters
Has a dog 40.2% 9.2%
Has a cat 20.6% 8.7%

Source: Humane America Animal Foundation


There are estimated to be more than 2.6 million privately-owned cats and dogs in Los Angeles County. Of those pets classified as "exotic" pets, more than 90 percent are reptiles.


Dog or cat ownership is strongly affected by the ethnic background of a household.