How many cats are in American households?

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Statistics place the owned cat population of the U.S. at 86.4 million as opposed to 78.2 million dogs. Thirty-three percent of households in the nation have at least one cat, with fifty-two percent sheltering more than one feline. The average per owner is two cats.

About 80 percent of owned cats are female, and 21 percent of owned cats were adopted from an animal shelter of some type. About one-third of all cats are adopted directly as strays, while the majority are obtained from friends, family members, or acquaintances.

On an annual basis, cat owners spend $219 on veterinarian care, with $600 to $900 going for the cat’s overall yearly maintenance. Eighty-eight percent of cats living in American households have been either spayed or neutered.

While an accurate feral population count is impossible, estimates suggest that there are 70 million stray cats in the United States. Free-ranging female cats will produce, on average, two litters of 4-6 kittens per year.

Pet ownership has been increasing steadily since the American Pet Products Manufacturer’s association set the owned pet population at 51 million in 1988. By 2006, the figure had already hit 69 million, and is now in excess of 80 million.

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