Top 10 Cat-Loving States 2023: States With Mostly Cats as Pets


Cats are cute and irresistibly adorable companions. No wonder they are loved by millions of Americans especially those in the Northeast. As of January 2023, it is estimated that 45.3 million homes in the United States own a domestic cat. Nevertheless, there are certain states where pet cats are virtually more popular than pet dogs. For instance, with some 45% of households having a feline resident, Vermont is the leading state in terms of cat ownership. See U.S. States with the highest percentages of pet owners. Furthermore, Persian Cats and Maine Coon Cats are the top most popular cat breeds among cat lovers in the United States. That said, below are the top ten states with the most cat lovers.

Statistics of US States With Mostly Cats as Pets

1. Vermont - 45%

A fluffy Persian cat

In terms of cat ownership, the state of Vermont leads the country with 45 percent of households owning a pet cat, according to Statista data. The Green Mountain State has the highest percentage of cat people in the United States. Vermont might be the right state to move into if you’re looking for a place with beautiful scenery and plenty of cat lovers like you. You can own up to 12 cats in Vermont if you have the time, money, and required space to properly take care of them. Furthermore, some of the most pet-friendly places in Vermont include Middlebury, Barton, Burlington, Brandon, and Wallingford.

2. Maine - 44%

A giant fluffy Maine Coon Cat

Maine unsurprisingly follows Vermont as the second state with the highest cat ownership rate. An impressive 44% of households have feline residents in the Pine Tree State. Needless to say, Maine Coon cats are more popular in Maine, the state from which they originated and designated as the official state cat. The city of Portland in Maine is the most cat-friendly in the United States and probably the whole world. Depending on your property size and where you live, you can keep as many cats as possible in Maine.

3. West Virginia - 38%

Next is West Virginia, one of the most pet-friendly states in the country. With 38% of households owning pet cats, the Mountain State is the third most cat-loving state in the U.S. West Virginia cat ownership rate increased by 0.3% from 2022 to 2023 and it will be interesting if the trend continues. Some top pet-friendly places in West Virginia include Barboursville, Beckley, Bluefield, Bridgeport, and Charles Town.

West Virginia orange tabby cat named Oliver
Oliver the cat

In July 2022, a West Virginia orange tabby cat named Oliver made headlines when he showed up at his owner's new house two months after going missing. Oliver vanished when his owners were preparing to move from their home in Bridgeport, West Virginia, to Morgantown. The owners made the extremely hard decision to leave without their cat after he was nowhere to be found. However, they did promise to come back and look for him. According to The Dodo, the 2-year-old determined cat traveled forty miles to reunite with his family at their new location two months after going missing.

4. Indiana - 38%

Starting off the top four is the Hoosier State. Indiana comes in close behind Maine with also thirty-eight percent of households owning cats. The meaning of Indiana is probably changing from 'Land of the Indians' to 'Land of the Cats.' The top five cat-friendly cities in Indiana include Angola, Bloomington, Carmel, Elkhart, and Evansville.

5. New Hampshire - 36%

The state of New Hampshire is the fifth most cat-loving in the U.S. with feline companions residing in thirty-six percent of its household. The Granite State loves cats to the point that it had to name one of its baseball teams "the New Hampshire Fisher Cats." The Minor League Baseball team is based in Manchester, New Hampshire. However, don't celebrate just yet. Funny enough, Fisher cats are not actually felines nor do they even fish, despite the name. Instead, they are small carnivorous mammals native to North America. The top three cat-friendly places in New Hampshire include Bedford, Portsmouth, and Claremont.

6. Iowa - 36%

A Bobcat in Iowa

Iowa unsurprisingly comes in at number six as the state with the most cat lovers. Thirty-six percent of households own cats in the Hawkeye State, which allows up to six cats per household. The top six most cat-friendly cities in the Corn State include Ames, Ankeny, Bettendorf, Clive, Coralville, and Council Bluffs. The most commonly found wild cats in Iowa are Bobcats.

7. Arkansas - 35%

Next in line is the state of Arkansas with 35% of its population being cat people. The Natural State is taking its love for cats to the next level with its 459-acre wildlife refuge called Turpentine Creek. The Eureka Springs, Arkansas, refuge provides lifetime support for abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars. Furthermore, the top five most cat-friendly cities in Arkansas include Benton, Bentonville, Blytheville, Conway, and El Dorado.

8. Idaho - 34%

A cat being cuddled

The Cat ownership rate in Idaho increased by 0.7% from 2022 to 2023. It will be very interesting if the trends continue. The Gem State has 34% of households owning cats. Cats love Idaho. In September 2022, a tabby-colored domestic housecat named Harriet made national headlines. Harriet was found in Idaho after going missing for almost ten years in California, according to USA Today.

9. Wisconsin - 32%

There is thirty-two percent of households with cat lovers in the state of Wisconsin, aka the Badger State or the Cheese State. Wisconsin residents love cats just the way they do cheese. In July 2022, a Wisconsin couple took their love for cats to another level by launching a 'mewseum' to exhibit a cat figurine collection. According to UPI, the bottom line of the "mewseum" is to raise money for shelter cats.

10. Kansas - 32%

A Ragdoll cat
Photo: @ragdollcats_lover

An incredible thirty-two percent of households in Kansas own cats. In addition to dogs and cats, the Sunflower state is also known for its love for hamsters. Kansas City ranks among the top fifty most pet-friendly cities in the United States.

Top 10 States with the fewest cat owners

  1. California - 22.9%
  2. Montana - 22.8%
  3. New York - 21.1%
  4. Illinois - 21.0%
  5. Texas - 20.5%
  6. Georgia - 20.4%
  7. Louisiana - 19.0%
  8. New Jersey - 18.9%
  9. Maryland - 18.6%
  10. Rhode Island - 16.7%


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