Cat keepers

In 1981, there were 42 million pet cats in the United States, according to the Pet Food Institute. (There were 49 million dogs.)

According to the Humane Society of the United States:

* 23 percent of all U.S. households own at least one cat.

* the number of cat owners is increasing at a rate of 2.9 percent a year--more than twice the rate for dogs.

* more cats live in households with children than in households without them.

* cat owners are more likely to live in the suburbs.

* more than half of all cat owners have had some college.

* cat owners are more likely to be employed full- time and have a higher family income than their canine- favoring counterparts. Cat stats

The typical American cat is a 3-year-old mixed breed and weighs 8 pounds.

If a cat lives out its lifespan, it will last 14 to 17 years. But the life expectancy of a cat is 3 years. A cat is more likely to die in an accident than of old age. Cat bucks

In 1981, cat owners purchased $1.4 billion worth of cat food.

In 1979, cat owners spent:

$123 million on kitty litter and litter accessories (trays, scoops, etc.).

In 1979, dog and cat owners also spent:

* $170 million to board pets.

* $157 million on flea- and-tick preparations.

* $74 million on pet dietary supplements.

* $97 million on grooming and grooming supplies.

* $37 million on pharmaceuticals.

* $63 million on toys.