The best current estimate of the USA dog and cat population is 135 million from a survey conducted every five years. Another survey produces a very different result (180 million) but there is minimal discussion as to why different surveys produce different results. The media and stake-holders simply report whatever number is most convenient. Key stakeholders should pay more attention to the available data and address gaps and variances to determine actual trends.
Rowan, Andrew N.
"Companion Animal Demographics: When Are They Good Enough?,"
WellBeing News: Vol. 3:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://www.wellbeingintlstudiesrepository.org/wbn/vol3/iss2/2