Special Report

States With the Most Cats as Pets

Cats are enormously popular as pets and it’s not difficult to see why. They don’t need much training; they don’t need to be walked; they don’t eat a whole lot; they’re clean. Most important of all, while they like to do their own thing, they’re good companions. 

In fact, watching them doing their own thing is entertaining. That may explain the popularity of the musical “Cats,” not to mention the countless cat memes all over the internet. They also have comparatively long lifespans, and can live up to the age of 20 or beyond. Compare them to the 50 longest-living animals in the world.

Tens of millions of American households have feline residents, although the numbers vary considerably from place to place. To compile a list of the states with the most cats, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, published in 2020 by the American Veterinary Medical Association for companion animal veterinarians and the animal health industry. 

Collected in 2017-2018, the data is the most recent available, reflecting the total number of households and the number and percentage of cat-owning households in the 48 contiguous states as of December 31, 2016.

Click here to see the states with the most cats

Cats seem to be particularly popular in the Northeast. The states with the most cats include Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire — though another New England state, Rhode Island, is at the bottom when it comes to cats. Like cats themselves, the statistics seem to have a mind of their own. Take a look at the official pets and animals of every state.