Aren’t cat statistics fascinating? Did you know that the US has more cats than any other country?

Sadly, not all stats in the text below are that positive. But being aware of the hardships so many cats face on the streets and in shelters makes people realize the importance of looking after their fluffy besties.

Fascinating Cat Statistics in 2022 

Here are the 10 most intriguing cat stats we could find: 

  • There are around 373 million pet cats worldwide.
  • The US currently has about 58.3 million pet cats.
  • Over 35% of US households have at least one cat.
  • Every year 3.2 million cats enter shelters.
  • The average number of bones in a cat is 224.
  • Cats spend 12–16 hours a day sleeping.
  • 1.4 million shelter cats are euthanized annually.
  • The US has between 60 and 100 million feral cats.
  • On average, three kittens are born per litter.
  • Approximately 50% of shelter animals are cats.
  • Cat veterinary care costs about $890 yearly.

US Cat Statistics

If you’ve been wondering how many cats are there in the United States, we have the answer.

1.  The Cat Population in the US Is About 58,385,725.

(Source: AVMA)

  • Americans have been keeping cats as pets since the end of the 19th century.
  • There are around 42,7 million US households with at least one cat.
  • Cat allergy statistics show that up to 30% of people are allergic to cats and dogs in the US alone.
  • Massachusetts Is the US State With the Biggest Cat Population — 1,593,000.
  • In contrast, Utah holds the record for the least owned cats.

As the country with the biggest cat population, it’s evident that cats are held on a pedestal in the US. But their numbers also have downsides. Most are either feral or stray cats, ending up in shelters each year.

World Cat Statistics

Have you ever wondered how many cats are in the world? Well, we can only give you a rough estimate, but let’s see what we can find.

2. There Are Around 373 Million Domestic Cats Worldwide.

(Source: Statista)

  • The US has 94.3 million cats, making it the country with the biggest cat population.
  • Around 23% of the world’s population owns a cat.
  • There are 48 million households with a dog, compared to 31 million with a cat. But usually, more cats (1.8) are owned per household than dogs (1.6).

Do you know that quote: “If you want to feel loved, get a dog. If you want to give love, get a cat.”? With so many cat parents out there, we can’t help but smile at how much love we’re ready to give our fluffy friends.

Cats in Shelters Statistics

Cat overpopulation statistics show that the lack of castration policies is a massive problem.

3. Around 3.2 Million Cats Enter US Shelters Every Year.

(Source: ASPCA)

  • 49% of all animals that go into US shelters are cats.
  • 80% of kittens get adopted after they enter shelters.
  • But once the kittens pass 18 months, the adoption rate falls to 60%.

The number of shelter animals clearly indicates that US shelters are overflowing with cats. The sad reality is that even though people mostly take their pets from shelters, cat overpopulation statistics remain an issue. 

The trap-neuter-return strategies aren’t enough to prevent the problem. But at least they’re a step in the right direction.

4. Every Year Shelters Euthanize 860,000 Cats.

(Source: ASPCA)

  • 81% of people believe leaving a community cat outdoors is preferable to catching and euthanizing it.
  • 80% of cats and dogs that enter shelters get euthanized.
  • The US has around 5,500 no-kill shelters and communities, but they often get too crowded and turn away animals.

Cat euthanasia statistics paint a horrific picture. It’s a shame that so many perfectly healthy pets get killed in shelters every year. And that’s excluding the stray and feral cats that lose their lives in car accidents.

On a brighter note:

5. 1.6 Million Cats Get Adopted Every Year.

(Source: ASPCA)

  • Around 90,000 stray cats that enter shelters are returned to their owners.
  • Cat adoption statistics show that only about 3% of pet kittens come from breeders, while 31% are adopted from shelters.
  • Only around 6% of all adopted cats are returned to shelters, mainly due to housing-related issues.

 People love cats, and it’s fantastic that they’re becoming more open to adoption.  

6. 85% of Cats in US Households Are Neutered.

(Source: APPA)

  • Stray cat statistics show that community cats are the most significant contributors to the overpopulation — only 2% are neutered.
  • One of the interesting cat facts about spay and neuter statistics is that neutered male cats live approximately 63% longer than unneutered ones. Females also live longer if spayed — 39% longer, to be precise.
  • It costs $300–$500 to spay your female cat and around $200 to neuter a male.
A feral cat sitting on a rock near the sea

7. The US Has Between 60 and 100 Million Feral Cats.

(Source: PubMed)

  • Feral cats are directly responsible for at least 63 animal extinctions.
  • They’ve also helped the decline and extinction of over 123 species of songbirds, penguins, and seabirds.
  • Cats also contributed to the decrease in 25 reptile species and 27 mammal species.

Cat overpopulation is a more significant problem than we can even imagine. According to cat statistics, neutering your kitty can be detrimental to the survival of other species. Since feral cats usually kill for fun and not for food, they can destroy whole ecosystems along the way.

What’s more, abandoned dead animals become food for rats, which can then reproduce in larger quantities.

8. On Average, Three to Five Kittens Are Born Per Litter.

(Source: PubMed)

  • Facts about cats’ behavior show that a single female cat produces 1.4 litters per year on average.
  • The largest cat litter ever recorded consisted of 19 kittens.
  • The estimated survival rate of feral kittens from zero to six months is 25%.
  • Feral cats have an average lifespan of eight years — two times less than a domestic cat.

Life’s not easy for feral cats, even if they’re a huge problem for other species. But they’re perfectly capable of finding their own dinner. So we don’t recommend feeding them, which contributes to the overpopulation issue. 

If you want to help feral cats — take them to the vet for neutering.

Cat Ownership Statistics

The history of cats tells us that people domesticated cats (or maybe it was the opposite) around 10,000 years ago. Since then, the graceful felines have been our companions for better and for worse. 

9. Lost Cat Statistics Indicate That 12–18% Went Missing at Least Once in the Past Five Years.

(Source: ResearchGate)

  • 74% of lost cats are found.
  • 75% of cats were found within 500 meters of their escape point.
  • Around 260–360,000 cats get stolen every year, with the Bengal cat being at the top of the list.
  • 64% of the stolen cats are returned to their owners, while 0,2% are found dead, and 34% are never found.

The shock of your cat escaping or getting stolen is immense. If that happens, always start by searching your whole house and grounds thoroughly as soon as you realize your pet’s missing. One of the interesting facts about cats’ behavior is that they’re excellent at hiding. Sometimes they can spend days just chilling in secluded places.

But if you still can’t find your Garfield, don’t hesitate and notify your local animal control agency or the police.

10. There Are 73 Different Cat Breeds.

(Source: TICA)

  • Only about 27% of owned cats are purebreds.
  • The most registered cat breed in the US is Ragdoll.
  • The most common cat breed in the US is the Domestic Short-Haired, accounting for 90 to 95% of all cats.
  • According to cat statistics in 2022, Sokoke is the rarest cat breed worldwide.

Have you ever wondered if your cat is genuinely purebred or not? You can find out with the best cat DNA test. Plus, it’ll show you if your kitty has any genetic disorders.

11. 17.1% of All Cats in the US Have Insurance.

(Source: Naphia)

  • The average cat insurance costs $246, but it can go much higher.
  • Owning a cat costs approximately $1,174 per year.
  • By 2025, the pet insurance market is expected to reach $10 billion.

Cat statistics for the UK show that 25% of pets there have insurance. That number is even higher in Sweden — around 40%, so the US pet insurance has a long way to go. The benefits of pet insurance are immense, so hopefully, these numbers will increase in the future. 

Cat Facts — Health & Wellness

Our beloved cats are the real rulers of our homes and hearts. These beautiful and independent creatures fascinate us, so let’s show them love by learning more about them.

12. Cats Spend 12–16 Hours a Day Sleeping.

(Source: PetMD)

  • When they’re awake, cats dedicate 30–50% of their time to grooming themselves.
  • Cats need only 15–20 mins of exercise daily to stay healthy.
  • REM sleep in cats lasts only around six minutes, while we spend between 90–120 minutes dreaming.

One of the interesting facts about cats is that they’re incredibly sleepy. But they need a lot of zzz to stay healthy, so no matter how cute they might look, try not to disturb their sleep.

Crazy Cat Facts

Who doesn’t love cat videos? We’re obsessed with our kitties, and what better way to show our love than to record them constantly. After all, cats do crazy things all the time, like getting high on catnip.

13. 70%–80% of Cats Respond to Catnip.

(Source: Scientific American)

  • The oldest cat recorded was called Creme Puff and lived for 38 years.
  • The Munchkin cat got its name from the munchkins in the movie ‘’The Wizard of Oz’’.
  • The average number of bones in a cat is 224.
  • The Siamese cat is among the breeds with the longest lifespan — 12–20 years.
  • About 200 feral cats roam Disneyland. These cats live in the park and keep the rodent population at bay. After all, not all mice are as well-behaved as the pants-wearing one. 
Cat enjoys being petted on the head

14. Cat Statistics Show That 95% of Kitties Enjoy Being Petted on Their Head.

(Source: The Nose Print)

  • 93% of owners report their cat makes them laugh frequently.
  • 35% of cats get jealous if they’re not the center of attention.
  • 81% of male and 74% of female cats love cuddling.

These are some fun facts about cats. As a dog owner, watching how my dog becomes jelly when I’m petting another dog has always been entertaining. But I didn’t know cats get like this, too.

15. Cats Have Around 45 to 200 Million Odor-Sensitive Cells in Their Noses.

(Source: VCA)

  • Domestic cat species share 95.6% of their DNA with tigers.
  • Cats can’t taste sweetness but have at least seven bitterness receptors.
  • Most cats are ambidextrous, meaning they don’t have a hand preference. But about 40% are either right or left-pawed. Also, cat hand preference might be gender-determined — female cats are usually right-handed, while males prefer using their left paws for more complex tasks.

These are some cool facts about cats. On a side note, people might not have such sensitive noses, but a good pet odor eliminator is always a must if you own a kitty. 

Seems like sniffing around cat neuroscience facts is a fun thing to do.

Cat Abuse Statistics

Sadly, the world is not all sunshine for our friendly felines. Many aggressive people out there take advantage of tiny animals who can’t defend themselves. Besides, animal abuse is illegal and prosecuted in only a few countries. 

16. According to Cat Abuse Statistics, 71% of Domestic Violence Abusers Also Targeted Pets.

(Source: The Humane Society)

  • Cats are abused at higher rates than dogs.
  • 88% of families under supervision for child abuse were also reported to abuse their pets.
  • Cat bite statistics show that an estimated 400,000 cat bites are reported annually in the US.
  • In Asia, every year more than four million cats are slaughtered and consumed.

If you ever see a person terrorizing an animal, report them to the police. It’s often the only thing you can do, but it can save the little furball.

17. US Cat Declawing Statistics Show Between 20–25% of Cats Have Been Declawed.

(Source: BBC)

  • Declawing your costs up to $450.
  • 33% of all declawed cats exhibit behavioral problems.
  • 55% of US cat owners think it’s OK to declaw their cat.

Declawing involves removing the bone from which the claws grow. It’s an entirely unnecessary procedure with no benefits for the cat. Quite the opposite, it can be damaging.

It is true that many humane societies have tried banning the procedure with no luck. Hopefully, soon we’ll see change. This dangerous procedure should be stopped, so the cat population in the US can live happily again.

Big Cat Endangered Statistics

This section is only for brave end adventuristic pet owners. We are talking about the big boys in the cat world. Lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, and cheetahs belong to the big cat family, known as Panthera. 

Many big cats are listed as endangered species because of the effects of poaching, climate change, and habitat loss.

18. In the US Alone, There Are More Captivated Tigers Than in the Wilderness

( Source: IFAW )

  • Statistics about exotic pets show that there are more than 10,000 big cats in captivity in the US.
  • 35 states have law enforcement against keeping big cats.
  • Since 1990, there were more than 300  fatal accidents involving big cats.
  • Being the most iconic cat species in the world, tigers are in danger of extinction, with only 3,900 adult tigers left in the wild.

Wild cat breeds are born to run free in the wild. That`s why keeping them captive should be against the law everywhere in the world. The alarming endangered species statistics show that many big cats are on the verge of extinction. There are no official records of how many big cats are kept captive in the US. Even though it is illegal, many unhealthy big cat breeds are produced due to irresponsible breeding.

Cat Costs Statistics

Taking care of cats is amazing. But it comes at a cost, which can be pretty high.

18. Cat Veterinary Care Costs About $890 on Average Yearly.

(Source: APPA)

  • The first year as a cat owner might cost you $555–$3,405, while the following comes at $425–$3,120.
  • The average cost of cat insurance is $29.16 per month.
  • Cat food costs owners between $50 and $80 per month.

Looking after a cat takes a lot of effort and patience, especially in the beginning. So think twice before adopting or buying a pet. After all, there are plenty of stray cat statistics that tell a cautionary tale.

Wrap Up

Cat overpopulation is a massive global issue. A big portion of the world’s cats resides in the US — about 58.3 million. These beautiful felines are responsible for the extinction of multiple species of birds, reptiles, and even small mammals.

What’s more, 3.2 million cats enter a shelter every year. 1.4 million of them get euthanized due to a lack of adopters. 

Cat statistics raise awareness of the big problems that face the feline world. Without a strategy and science, stray cats will continue to reproduce and contribute to the extinction of other species. 

FAQ

  1. What is the mortality rate of cats?

The cats’ mortality rate is around 17,2%, of which 7,6% of cats died spontaneously and 92,3% were euthanized for some reason.

  1. Which country has the most cats in 2021?

The US is the leading country with the biggest cat population, with 58,3 million pet cats across the country. 

  1. What are the most popular cat breeds in the US?

Some of the most popular breeds in the US are Persian cat, Somali cat, Exotic shorthair, Scottish fold, Burmese cat, Domestic shorthair, and Siberian cat.

  1. What color cat gets adopted the most?

Cat statistics show that grey cats and orange tabbies are favorites among pet owners. Surprisingly, after all superstitions, a recent study shows that many times a black cat is preferable compared to other cat colors.

Sources:

  1. AVMA
  2. Statista
  3. ASPCA
  4. APPA
  5. PubMed
  6. PubMed
  7. ResearchGate
  8. TICA
  9. Naphia
  10. PetMD
  11. Scientific American
  12. Guinness World Records
  13. Disneyland Cats
  14. The Nose Print
  15. VCA
  16. The Humane Society
  17. BBC
  18. IntegriCare
  19. TreeHugger
  20. WorldAtlas
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