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Cats Edge Out Dogs in the Pet Care Market


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Dogs may be man’s best friend, but cats are king when it comes to professional pet-care services, according to new survey data released by Pet Sitters International (PSI). The survey reveals that more professional pet sitting businesses are now offering services for cats than for dogs.

PSI found in its 2018 State of the Industry Survey that 97.3 percent of responding pet sitters offer services for cats, while 96.2 percent offer services for dogs. In 2016, 96.1 percent indicated they serviced dogs and 95.5 percent indicated they serviced cats. 

“Because the pet-services industry is often depicted as very dog-focused, new cat owners may wonder who they can rely on for their pet-care needs,” said Beth Stultz-Hairston, PSI’s vice president of marketing and operations. “However, the majority of PSI’s member businesses offer care for both cats and dogs, as well as many other pet types.

“Devoted cat owners have long seen the benefit of hiring professional pet sitters to care for their feline companions while they’re away from home,” she added. “Because professional pet sitters come to clients’ homes, pets’ routines are uninterrupted, exposure to illness is minimized, and they don’t experience the stress of a new environment.”

Stultz-Hairston said there are some professional pet sitters who choose to focus exclusively on cats.

“We’ve seen some long-time pet-sitting business owners transition to cats only, but we also see many newcomers to the industry choosing to make their businesses feline-focused from the beginning,” she said.  

PSI conducted its survey exclusively online from Jan. 23 to Feb. 26. More than a quarter (28.1 percent) of the nearly 6,000 member businesses contacted completed the survey.

“We are glad more and more pet owners are recognizing the benefit of securing professional pet-sitting services—whether they need care for their cats or other pets,” said Patti Moran, PSI president. “With the growth of the pet-sitting industry, pet owners are able to leave their pets at home when they travel and do not have to rely on untrained or unwilling friends, family members or neighbors for their care.”

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