Cat Statistics – Interesting Facts about Cats & Pet Owners

Report Highlights:

  • There are about 600 million cats in the world.
  • For every human born, there are 45 kittens born.
  • About 480,000,000 comprise strays and ferals.
  • A total of 94.2 million cats are owned in the United States.
  • 7 million households in the United States own a cat.
  • Cats are the second most popular choice for household pets globally.
  • 4% of households in the U.S.have at least one cat.
  • Cat-owning residents spend an average of 329 U.S. dollars annually on pet food.
  • The wealthiest cat in the world is valued at 99.5 million dollars.

Average number of cats in the world 600 million
Total number of cats in the United States 94.2 million
Number of U.S. households that own a cat 42.7 million
Total number of domesticated cats in the U.S. 77 million
Average number of cats per household 2.2
Number of cats adopted each year 1.6 million
Average annual expenditure on cat food $329
The average monthly health insurance premium payment $10 – $40

What is the Number of Cats in the World?

  • The global population of cats is about 600 million

Cats are found in all seven old world continents. It is, however, difficult to count them all. Although the exact number is unknown, estimates indicate that the global population is over 600 million.

  • Cats are one of the most popular options of house pet globally

Surveys indicate that cats are an ideal pet for many people around the world. Domesticated cats are found in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Australia.

  • 26% of E.U. households own at least one cat

Cats are the first choice as a household pet all over the European Union. Dogs come in as the second favorite.

  • Germany has 14.5 million domestic cats – the most significant number in the E.U.

23% of all German families own a cat. Followed closely by France at 13.5 million, the number of cats in Germany is believed to be much higher because the quoted figure does not include stray and feral cats.

How Many Americans Own Cats?

  • The United States has the world’s largest population of pet cats

A survey by World Atlas reveals that cats kept as pets in American homes account for about 77 million. This figure does not include strays.

  • In the U.S., 42.7 million households have a cat

The cat is a top pick for a domestic pet. One in every three households in the U.S. owns a cat.

  • The average number of cats per household is 2.2

Most cat owners have at least two cats. Also, quite a considerable number have three, and a few households have more than three cats.

  • Over 50% of households receive their cats from family and friends.

More than half of all cat-owning households in the U.S. got their pet cat as a gift from either family or friends.

Do People Buy or Adopt a Cat?

  • In the world, 4% of 94.2 million cats were bought from a breeder

According to a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) study, very few cat owners buy from a breeder. A more significant percentage gets one from a shelter.

  • Only 3% of American cat owners purchase from a cat breeder

Most cats are adopted from shelters or taken from the streets. Only 3% account for those bought from a breeder. And usually, most of these are rare breeds.

  • About 34% of cat-owning families in the U.S. have adopted stray and feral cats

Americans are praised for their compassion towards animals in need. This means 34% of cats were strays and ferals.

Where Cat Owners Acquire Their Cats

  • Since March 2020, 1 in 3 households adopted a cat

A recent report by the Insurance Research Council studied ‘Consumer Responses to the Pandemic and Implications for Insurance,’ revealed an increase in the number of cat adoptions over the past year.

Cat Breeds Statistics

  • The Ashera cat is the most expensive cat breed of the 21 century

The Ashera cat is very rare, making it a highly-priced breed all over the world. It’s produced by crossbreeding the Asian Leopard cat with the African Serval. Prices are upwards of $125,000.

  • The biggest cat breed grows to over 40 inches

Of all pedigree cats, the Maine Coon is the biggest. They trace their origin to the state of Maine and can grow to lengths of up to 40 inches.

  • Female cats produce an average of 4 kittens twice a year

A cat can breed up to 12 kittens per litter, but on average, four survive. The gestation period lasts 63 – 67 days. If stray and feral cats are left unspayed, an overpopulation problem is inevitable.

  • The shortest cat in the world is 5.25 inches (13.34 cm) tall

Lilieput holds the world title for the shortest cat. This feline from Napa, California, USA, measures 5.25 inches from the ground.

  • The record for the longest domestic cat is 48.5 inches (123 cm)

The Guinness World Book record for the longest cat ever goes to Stewie (Mymains Stewart Gilligan). He was a Maine coon and passed away in January 2013. But the record still stands.

  • The tallest pet cat is 19.1 inches tall (48.4cm)

The tallest domestic cat is Arcturus Aldebaran Powers. He reaches a stature of 19.1 inches. His brother, Cygnus, has the longest tail on a domestic cat.

Pet Industry Expenditures – Cat Statistics

  • The U.S. pet industry grows at a rate of 3 billion dollars per year

The cat market sees a 3 billion dollar increase yearly. This includes veterinary care, over-the-counter medicine, food, grooming, boarding, and other supplies.

  • Annual premiums for coverage are 40% less than that of dogs in the U.S.

Premiums taken to cover accidents and illness of pet cats cost about $400 a year; this comes to around $10 – $40 per month.

  • Families spend up to $2000 on cat care

The annual expenditure of wealthy households on their pet cat ranges in the thousands. The average U.S. household spends roughly 329 – 500 dollars annually on cat food only.

Data on Feral and Stray Cats

  • Feral cats can give birth to over 60 kittens yearly

Feral cats (and sometimes strays) can reproduce at a rate of 420 cats in seven years – about 60 kittens per year. If males are not neutered and females spayed, they can give birth to over 60 kittens per year.

  • China has the largest number of domestic stray cats

Households in China hold the current record for the country with the most stray cats. Most of these felines are abandoned when families move or are thrown out for fear of being carriers of diseases.

  • Istanbul has the largest population of free-roaming cats

The Daily Sabah refers to the city as ‘Catsanbul’ due to the large number of cats left to roam the streets freely. The significantly Muslim community regards cats as ritually clean.

A common saying in Istanbul is that you have to build a mosque to be granted forgiveness if you kill a cat.

  • There are about 70 million ferals in the United States

It is estimated that there are probably about 70 million feral cats in the United States. Some are found in rural areas, but most are located in urban settlements as it’s easier to fend for themselves.

  • 6 million cats are adopted each year

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, adoption rates have decreased by 36%. All the same, 1.6 million cats are adopted from animal shelters in the United States every year.

  • Roughly 76% of ferals live in urban areas

While examining population management in urban cities, the National Feline Research Council estimates that 76% of all feral cats are found in urban environments.

  • A feral or stray cat colony is about ten cats

Typically, ferals and strays will merge in the world to form small societies called colonies. A colony can have 10 – 12 cats.

Other Interesting Facts about Cats

  • Only one cat has held a position in government

Stubbs, the cat, is a feline from Alaska. He served as honorary mayor of the town of Talkeetna. He served from 1997 to 2017, when he died at the age of 20.

  • How many cats have gone to space?

Only one cat has ever been successfully launched into space. On 1963 October 18th, Félicette from France was put in a rocket and sent to space as the first biological payload.

  • The world’s richest cat has a net worth of $99,500,000

Internet sensation Grumpy Cat is the richest cat in the world. She got her wealth from playing a lead role in a movie, merchandise sales, and sponsorships.

  • The most intelligent cat can perform 26 tricks in under a minute

Alexis, an 8-year old Austrian cat, can accomplish a fantastic 26 tricks in a minute, making him the smartest cat in the world.

  • Only three cats have been cloned in the world

Between 2001 – 2019, three clones of cats have been successfully conducted. The most recent is a cat clone named Garlic, a product of Sinogene Biotechnology. The first cloned cat, Copy Cat (CC), passed away at the age of 18.


  1. APPA, 2019 – 2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey
  2. Statista, Pet market sales in the United States from 2011 to 2022
  3. Guinness World Records
  4. American Veterinary Medical Association, U.S. pet ownership statistics
  5. National Feline Research Council, Trap-neuter-return (TNR)
  6. Insurance Information Institute, Facts + Statistics: Pet Ownership and Insurance
  7. Wikipedia, Fèlicette
  8. CNBC, 10 Outrageously Expensive Pets
  9. WorldAtlas, 10 Countries In The European Union With Most Cats
  10. MDPI, Global Strategies for Population Management of Domestic Cats
  11. CNN, Honorary Alaska ‘mayor’ dies at 20
avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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