The Cat Lady May Be Living Next Door, According To A Recent Survey From

More Renters Are Becoming Pet Owners and Seeking Pet-Friendly Apartments, Whether It's for Their Cats, Dogs, Fish or Birds

Apr 29, 2013, 05:00 ET from

CHICAGO, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As National Pet Week approaches on May 5, 2013, findings from a recent survey reveal it is more likely renters could be living next door to a dog lover, a cat lady or a bird boy today compared to recent years.  This year, 75 percent of renters surveyed said they are pet owners, compared to 43 percent in 2012.  These findings align with the improving U.S. economy; according to an American Veterinary Medical Association survey released last year, the difficult economy played a very strong role in the first decline in pet ownership since 1991. 

Half of the pet-loving renters surveyed by would like to believe their fellow apartment residents also adore their four-legged companions.  Fortunately, it turns out they are not far off, as nearly 60 percent of renters who do not own pets said they still enjoy living around others with pets.

"Nearly 80% of our survey respondents live in a pet-friendly building, indicating both landlords and residents without pets are increasingly recognizing that pet owners are, for the most part, responsible and respectful neighbors," said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager, "However, more than 60% of the renters also said they faced some level of difficulty in finding accommodations for them and their pets. Fortunately, renters can tailor search results to only show apartments that allow their beloved furry friends on websites such as"

While nearly 65 percent of the pet owners surveyed said they live in a two bedroom apartment or larger, many indicated they were ambivalent to the size of their space when choosing a pet. In fact, more than 75 percent said the size of their apartment only played "some importance" to "no difference" when picking a pet.  The five most popular apartment pets among the pet owners surveyed are:

  1. Cat: 45%
  2. Small dog: 38%
  3. Medium dog: 21%
  4. Large dog: 19%
  5. Fish: 6%

Budget-savvy renters should plan for costs associated with living with pets, as 63 percent of pet owners indicated they are required to pay a pet deposit. In fact, a majority spend more than $150 annually in deposits and/or monthly fees. 

However, deposits and fees do not always cover every type of pet. Renters should be specific in clarifying what types of pets are allowed, as pet restrictions vary from one apartment building to another. In fact, only 28 percent of renters surveyed said they live in a building that has no restrictions on what type of pet they are allowed to have.

"Understandably, nearly all pet owners surveyed said pet policies play a major role in their decision of where to live. Clearly, pets are a deal breaker for many, and apartment buildings with more flexible pet policies will be the ones to attract this growing group of pet-owning renters, and possibly, keep them for a longer period of time," said Kotula.

The survey also reveals nearly seven out of 10 respondents adopted their pet from a rescue or shelter.  As part of this survey, committed to donating $1 for every survey response to North Shore Animal League America, the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.

"More than 1,100 pet owners shared valuable insights for the many renters searching for pet-friendly apartments. In appreciation of North Shore Animal League America's efforts to increase participation, is increasing its donation to $5,000, to help save the lives of as many animals as possible."

As part of its What Renters Want series, surveys renters on various topics throughout the year. For more information on these surveys, to receive a copy of the results, or for an Infographic with additional insights, please contact Matt Miller at

About ( is a leading national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing millions of rental units from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner properties. By incorporating the most relevant products to reach renters including personalized searches and highly visual ads featuring live chat, real-time rent, online video walk-through demonstrations, professional photography, a mobile website and iPhone and Android apps, creates easy access to its listings. Providing unmatched exposure to its advertisers through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements and featured partnerships and more than 120 newspaper websites and innovative emerging media, reaches millions of renters nationwide, driving both qualified traffic and highly-engaged renters to leasing offices nationwide. is a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC. The network of apartment rental websites includes Apartment Home Living (, a leading social media apartment website distinguished by a "live for fun" community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching and local living guides to help renters find their perfect place to live; Rental Homes Plus (, an online destination where house hunters who prefer to rent can choose from a robust inventory of houses, condos, town houses, duplexes and apartments from around the country; and Rentfish (, a national apartment website offering customizable searches by neighborhood, favorite coffee spot, sports arena, famous landmark and more.