When it comes to cats, it won’t take you nine lifetimes to see how popular they are in the United States. These typically furry and cuddly animals were considered sacred in ancient Egypt. Today, with over 74 million cats living in over 36 million American households, many have welcomed our feline overlords — in real life and on the internet.
Only the continental U.S. was considered, and stray or feral cats, which are estimated to number well over 50 million, were not counted. Based on the latest data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, an estimated 30.4% of households own cats — or is it the cats that own the households?
> Cat-owning households: 34.4%
> Cat population: 1,912,000 (11th highest)
> Avg. number of cats per household: 2.2 (7th highest)
The region with the highest cat-owning households per capita is New England — the area consisting of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. With 35.0% of households, compare this to the 28.5% of households that own cats in the South Atlantic, the region with the lowest percentage of cat-owning households. Still, the states of the South Atlantic — Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia — own the largest sheer number of cats as pets.
24/7 Wall St. ranked the states based on household cat ownership rates. With not even 25% of households, Utah is the state with the lowest share of cat-owning households. In Vermont, on the other hand, nearly 50% of households own at least one cat. Where do you think your state sits on the list?
To identify the states where cat ownership is the highest and lowest, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed the percentage of households that own cats in each of the contiguous U.S. states from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s U.S Pet Ownership & Demographic Sourcebook, 2012 edition, which contains the latest data available.