Washington state ranks fifth in cat ownership

With so much of the tech and Internet industries calling Washington state home, it may come as no surprise that Washington ranks fifth in cat ownership.

With so much of the tech and Internet industries calling Washington state home, it may come as no surprise that Washington ranks fifth in cat ownership.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) “U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook,” 39 percent of Washington state households have at least one feline friend.

Washington’s rank hasn’t changed since the last report in 2006, although the overall percentage has dropped from 44.5 percent. Overall, Washingtonians are quite friendly to animals, with the state ranking sixth in pet ownership.

The top 10 pet owning states are Vermont, with 70.8 percent of households owning an animal of some kind; 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.

The 10 states with the lowest ownership percentages are Rhode Island, Minnesota, California, Maryland, Illinois, Nebraska, Utah, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.

Washington, D.C., pet ownership at 21.9 percent was far lower than the aforementioned states, most of which were sitting between 50 and 53 percent.

Top cat-owning and dog owning states

Joining Washington in high cat ownership numbers were Vermont with the most at 49.5 percent. Maine, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia, Kentucky, Idaho, Indiana and New Hampshire rounded out the top 10.

Those states that don’t seem to prefer cats as much were California, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey and Utah. Once again, D.C. was far below the other states, with only 11.6 percent of households there owning a cat.

The top dog-owning state in the country is Arkansas, where 47.9 percent of households have man’s best friend around. New Mexico, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma round out the top 10.

Those states where dogs aren’t as favored are Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, Maryland, New Hampshire, Utah, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In D.C., a woeful lack of love for animal friends also continued with dog ownership, with only 13.1 percent of households reporting they owned some form of man’s best friend.

“This report reveals a tremendous amount of information about pets and their owners across the country; what’s constant and what has changed,” said Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, president of the AVMA.

Aspros said one of the things that has changed since the last report was compiled in 2006 is that fewer pet owners are taking their animals for regular visits to the veterinarian.

According to AVMA, there was an 8 percent increase in dog owners not taking their pets for checkups, while 24 percent of cat owners failed to get their animal in to see a doctor at any time.

To learn more, visit www.avma.org.