Cat ownership facts in Australia

March 22, 2017

Around 5.7 million of Australia’s 9.2 million households are home to a pet, with many having more than one dog, cat, fish, bird, small mammal, reptile or some other type of pet as part of the family.

Cats are the second most common type of pet (after dogs), being found in 29% of Australian households.

There is an average of 1.4 cats per household and a total estimated population of almost 3.9 million. Three-quarters of cats owned in Australia are mixed breeds (76%), while the remainder are pure breeds (24%).

A quarter of cats have been acquired through animal shelters (25%), and 19% were from friends or neighbours.  Interestingly, the third most common source of cats was the street, with 15% saying their cats were strays. This was was higher than the proportion who bought their cats from a breeder (13%) or a pet shop (10%).

Pure breeds were more likely to have been purchased from a breeder (40%) or pet shop (17%), while mixed breeds were more likely to have been


acquired from an animal shelter (29%), from friends or neighbours (22%), or were taken in as strays (19%).

Just over half (52%) of all cats were acquired for free, while 32% paid up to $200 and 5% paid more than $500. The estimated average price paid for a cat was $274. Pure breeds are more likely to have been bought for $200 or more (45%), with the estimated average cost of a pure bred cat being $401.

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