Cat Statistics: How Many Cats Are There?

cat and kittensThe total number of cats in the world varies widely from one source to the next, indicating that no one knows for sure. Estimates range from 200 million to more than 600 million (WoldAtlas.com, 2018). As for where all these cats live, statistics are available for some nations:

    • Cats in the USA: 95.6 million living with humans in 2017/2018 (Statista, 2019), plus anywhere from 13 million to 87 million ferals, according to Stray Pet Advocacy
    • Cats in Canada: 9.3 million pets (Global News, 2017), 600,000 in shelters (CBC, 2015), and 1.2 to 4 million ferals (Peter Blancher, Environment Canada, cited by Nature Canada, 2019)
    • Cats in Japan: 9,649,000 (The Japan Times, 2018)
    • Cats in Brazil: 12.5 million (WorldAtlas.com, 2017)
    • Cats in China: 53 million (WorldAtlas.com, 2017)
    • Cats in Australia: 3.9 million pet cats (RSPCA, 2018) and an estimated 18 million ferals (Wikipedia, 2019)
    • Cats in Europe: 102.7 million in 2017 (Statista, 2019)
      • Russia: 12.75 million (WorldAtlas.com, 2017)
      • UK: 11.1 million (PDSA, 2018) and an estimated more than 1 million ferals (RSPCA, 2019)
      • France: 13.5 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Germany: 13.7 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Italy: 9.5 million (WorldAtlas.com, 2017)
      • Ukraine: 7.5 million (WorldAtlas.com, 2017)
      • Poland: 6.1 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Romania: 4.3 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Spain: 3.145 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Netherlands: 2.62 million (Statista, 2018) + 135,000 to 1.2 million ferals (DutchNews, 2018)
      • Hungary: 2.28 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Belgium: 2.025 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Austria: 1.18 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Sweden: 1.44 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Portugal: 1.4 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Czechia: 1.1 million (Statista, 2018)
      • Finland: 960,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Bulgaria: 792,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Denmark: 675,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Lithuania: 600,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Greece: 590,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Slovakia: 510,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Slovenia: 480,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Latvia: 400,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Ireland: 320,000 (Statista, 2018)
      • Estonia: 280,000 (Statista, 2018)
    • Cats in India: 3.9 million (figure extrapolated using a combination of Dr. Sands’ cat-to-human ratios from Cats:500 Questions Answered and CIA population statistics; these stats are older – the current total is unknown)
    • Cats in Mexico: Approximately 13.5 million (Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development Trends in the U.S. Pet Industry, 2003)
    • Cats in New Zealand: 1.4 million domestic cats and an estimated 14 million ferals (NewsNow, tvnz.co.nz, 2016), though another source estimates ferals at just 2.5 million (Radio New Zealand, 2016)
    • Cats in South Africa: 2 million (Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, 2017); a nonprofit organization called CatPals estimates that there are an additional 7 million ferals
    • Cats in Ethiopia:  250,000 (Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, 2017)

Unfortunately, there aren’t good statistics available for every country and many only include pets, as it is very difficult to determine the number of ferals.

Ratios of Cats to People

Here are some cat-to-human ratios for a number of locations (provided by Dr. David Sands, Cats:500 Questions Answered, 2006):

    • World – 1:34
    • Austria – 1:1
    • Europe, USA – 1:4
    • Canada, the Netherlands 1:7
    • Britain – 1:10
    • China – 1:28
    • India and Taiwan – 1:500

For more cat facts, visit the main Cats page.

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