Birth and death rate estimates of cats and dogs in U.S. households and related factors

John C. New, William J. Kelch, Jennifer M. Hutchison, Mo D. Salman, Mike King, Janet M. Scarlett, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Studies report variable factors associated with dog and cat surpluses in the United States. Estimates of cat and dog birth and death rates help understand the problem. This study collected data through a commercial survey company, distributing questionnaires to 7,399 cat- and dog-owning households (HHs) in 1996. The study used an unequal probability sampling plan and reported estimates of means and variances as weighted averages. The study used estimates of HHs and companion animals for national projections. More than 9 million owned cats and dogs died during 1996 - yielding crude death rates of 8.3 cat deaths/100 cats in HHs and 7.9 dog deaths/100 dogs in HHs. The study reported twice as many kitten as puppy litters, with an average litter size of 5.73 and 7.57, respectively. The study reported data on planned versus unplanned litters, reasons caregivers did not spay females, disposition of litters, and sources of animals added to HHs. These first national estimates indicate the magnitude of, and reasons for, animals leaving HHs. The crude birth rate was estimated to be 11.2 kittens/100 cats in HHs and 11.4 puppies/100 dogs in HHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-241
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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