How Many Cats Are There in the World? Facts on Cat Population

how many cats are in the world

There’s no question that cats are one of the most popular pets in the world. But did you know that there are more than 600 million cats living on planet earth?

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the global cat population and some of the fascinating facts about these animals.

We’ll also discuss how cats have been domesticated for centuries and why they remain such a popular pet choice today.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

How many cats are in the world?


According to the American Pet Products Association, there are approximately 74 million pet cats in the United States alone.

When taking into account all domesticated and wild cats, a study from the University of Georgia estimates that there are around 600 million cats in the world.

This number includes both owned and stray/feral cats, as well as those living in shelters or on the streets.

Why are there so many cats in the world?

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, with evidence showing that they were first tamed by ancient Egyptians as far back as 4,000 years ago.

Their natural hunting abilities made them valuable companions for controlling rodents and other pests.

Today, cats are still appreciated for their hunting skills, as well as their companionship and affectionate nature.

In addition to being kept as pets, cats also thrive in the wild due to their adaptable nature and ability to reproduce quickly.

This has led to a global population that continues to grow steadily every year.

Cat populations around the world


United States

As mentioned earlier, there are approximately 74 million pet cats in the United States.

This makes cats the most popular pet in the country, with dogs coming in second at about 69 million.


In Japan, it’s estimated that there are around 7.6 million owned cats and 1.4 million owned dogs.

This means that cats make up a larger percentage of the pet population in Japan than they do in the United States.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, it’s estimated that there are about 8 million owned cats and 9 million owned dogs.


Australia has one of the highest percentages of cat ownership in the world, with approximately 25% of households owning a cat.

This equates to about 3 million owned cats in the country.

North America

North America as a whole has the highest cat population, with Canada and Mexico also having a high number of pet cats.


European countries have an estimated 80 million pet cats, with the United Kingdom alone having about 8 million pet cats.

In total, Europe has a higher dog population than cats, but individual countries such as France and Italy have more pet cats than dogs.


In Asia, China has the highest cat population, with an estimated 16 million pet cats. Japan also has a high number of pet cats, with about 8 million in the country.

Africa and South America

The exact numbers are not known, but it is estimated that there are at least tens of millions of pet cats in Africa and South America combined.

Some interesting facts about the global cat population

  • The country with the highest cat ownership rate is Latvia, with approximately 44% of households owning at least one cat.
  • According to a study done in Australia, around 20% of owned cats are allowed to roam freely outside and do not have a designated outdoor space or enclosure.
  • In the United States, about 37% of owned cats are kept exclusively indoors.
  • There are approximately 500 million stray cats worldwide, with the majority living in urban environments.

Clearly, cats have been valued companions for thousands of years, and their global population shows no signs of slowing down.

While these numbers may seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember the importance of spaying or neutering our pets to help control the population and prevent overpopulation and homelessness.

Final words

There are an estimated 600 million cats in the world. Of these, around 400 million are pets, while the remaining 200 million are either strays or ferals.

The majority of pet cats are found in North America and Europe, while the highest concentration of strays and ferals is in Africa and Asia.

Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, and their popularity is only increasing.

In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of cat cafés, shelters, and adoption centers across the globe.

As awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering grows, it is likely that the number of cats in the world will continue to rise.


What country has the most cats?

The United States has the highest cat population, with about 74 million pet cats. China and Japan also have a high number of pet cats.

How many species of cats are there in the world?

There are 36 species of wild cats, including the domestic cat. Some well-known wild cats include lions, tigers, and leopards.

How many big cats are in the world?

There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 big wild cats worldwide, including lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards. These numbers continue to decline due to poaching and habitat loss.

How many wild cats are there in the world?

The exact number is not known, but it is estimated that there are around 40 million wild cats worldwide. This includes species such as the African wildcat, puma, and lynx.

Are there more cats or dogs in the world?

There are estimated to be about 600 million dogs in the world, compared to around 500 million cats. However, it is believed that there are more pet cats than pet dogs globally.

What percentage of households have cats?

In the United States, about 31% of households own at least one cat. In Australia, this percentage is 25%. Latvia has the highest ownership rate at 44%.

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