By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 7 April 2011)
Humane Society Cat Statistics (30 December 2009)
According to the Humane Society of the United States:
- There are about 93.6 million cats living in U.S. homes.
- 1/3 of American households have at least 1 cat, and more than 1/2 of these own multiple cats (the average is approximately 2 1/2 cats).
- Just over 1/5 of cats with homes were adopted from animal shelters.
- 87% of cats living in homes have been neutered or spayed.
How Many Kittens Can a Cat Produce Over a Lifetime?
- According to the BC SPCA, one unspayed female cat and all of her offspring (assuming 2 litters per year of 3 surviving, fertile offspring) could produce 450,000 cats by the end of 7 years.
SPCA Cat Statistics
The following SPCA cat statistics are provided by the Animal Assistance League:
- More than 1/2 of all cat owners give their cats Christmas presents.
- Cat owners purchased $100 million worth of cat treats in 1995 – 15 years prior to that, there was no real market for cat treats.
- Nearly 1/3 of cat owners prominently display pictures of their cats in their homes, and 1 in 10 even carry pictures of their cats in their wallets.
Cat Adoption and Euthanasia Statistics
According to the National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy Shelter Statistics Survey (1994-1997), in 1997:
- 33.2% of cats entering shelters were submited by Animal Control
- 35% were relinquished by owners
- 31.8% were brought in via other/unknown sources
- 24.4% of shelter cats were subsequently adopted
- 2% were eventually returned to their owners
- 71% were euthanized
- 2.6% suffered other/unknown fates
Jazzpurr Society for Animal Protection Cat Survey
The Jazzpurr Society for Animal Protection conducted a survey of 224 randomly chosen people in the Windsor, Ontario, area, which found that 26% were cat owners (with an average of 1.34 cats per person), and of these:
- Nearly 1/4 had adopted strays
- 19% had obtained their pets from a Humane Society or other shelter
- 7% bought them from pet stores
- 2% said that their pets were born at home
Of the cat owners, 76% had had their cats fixed. Of those who did not, about 1/3 cited expense as a barrier, whereas 17% said that their cats were not allowed outside and an additional 17% said that their cats were too young.
The majority of owners (86%) had had their cats vaccinated, and 67% kept them indoors at all times. However, only 26% had purchased identification for their cats.
Of the 8.6% who had, at one time, given up a cat, many did so because they (the owners) were ill. The fates of these surrendered cats were as follows:
- 40% were euthanized
- 20% were adopted by strangers
- 20% were given to friends
- 20% were not specified
Other interesting statistics from the study include the fact that more than 1/3 of respondents (both cat owners and non-owners) had seen stray cats in their area, 10% fed these cats, and 3% had had a neighbour complain about their feeding strays. An overwhelming majority (93%) supported the protection of urban wildlife and 83% believed it was important to protect feral cats as well, while 11% wanted to see them trapped and killed. However, 88% supported free spay/neuter clinics.
Lifetime Television Pet Survey
A 2008 Lifetime Television survey of women aged 18 to 49 found that:
- 87% consider their pets members of the family
- 59% would risk their lives to save a pet
- 13%, if stranded on a desert island with just one companion, would choose a pet over a person
- 28% name their pets as the best listeners they know
- 12% have sacrificed relationships for their pets
- 28% put their pets’ needs before their own
- 49% allow their pets to sleep on their beds
In addition, 66% buy presents for their pets (and 37% have spent over $100 on a pet present). Other pet purchases included:
- 26% – professional grooming services
- 22% – organic food
- 16% – outfits
Despite the sagging economy, 89% of women surveyed planned to spend the same amount or even more on their furry friends in the year to come. While this might sound a little one-sided to those who aren’t “animal people,” in addition to amusing and entertaining their human companions, research has found that pets provide health benefits for the people who live with them, so they do give something back.