The cat’s out of the bag—at, we’re total cat fans. What’s not to love about a feline friend? It’s hard to resist the sassy tail twitches, the baby soft belly, and oh man, the toe beans! (Don’t even get us started on the toe beans.) And while cats may not always be as high maintenance or needy as other pets, cat parents across the country know that plenty of work goes into keeping the notorious “cattitude” at bay. So, we wanted to know where in the U.S. a cat will be happiest, and where its claws may come out instead. To find out, the Special Reports team ranked 50 major cities against a set of cat-friendly criteria. Read on to see how your city is, ahem, cat-egorized in this list of the most cat friendly cities in the U.S.!

Most Cat Friendly Cities in the U.S.: Methodology

To determine the best and worst cities to be a cat, we looked at the five ranking factors below for each city. We assigned weights to each factor based on their level of contribution towards a cat’s quality of life. Lastly, we calculated the sum of the nine weighted factors, which gave us an overall city score for each city. The highest possible city score was 50.

The factors are listed below with their respective weights and source data.

Ranking Factors

  1. Number of Pet-friendly Rentals (Per 100K People)
    • Source:
    • Weight: 2.00
  2. Number of Veterinarians (Per 100K People)
    • Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • Weight: 2.00
  3. Number of 2020 Cat Adoptions (Per 100K People)
    • Source: Shelter Animals Count
    • Weight: 2.00
  4. Number of Cat Cafes
    • Source: Meow Around
    • Weight: 2.00
  5. Number of Pet Stores (Per 100K People)
    • Source: Yellow Pages
    • Weight: 2.00


The Best Cities to Be a Cat

Map showing the best US cities to be a cat

Miami, FL, the number one city for cats with a score of 43.47, is purrfect for the cats that love the feeling of sand between their toe beans. With 642 cat adoptions per capita in 2020 and a high number of pet stores, the coastal city offers animal lovers plenty of opportunities to adopt then shop for their furry new family member. Nicknamed “Magic City” for its remarkable early growth, Miami will certainly need some magic to do the impossible—getting a cat to go in the water.

The Sunshine State makes two more appearances in the top 10 cities for cats, with Orlando, FL filling the number two spot and Tampa, FL taking ninth place. As the only state to make the list more than once, we suggest a rebrand—Florida, the Feline State!

Other cities among the top 10 for cats include Salt Lake City, UT with 981 cat adoptions per capita in 2020, and Denver, CO, with a whopping 1,342 per capita adoptions during the same time frame. Cat parents in Minneapolis, MN know their cats can receive help when needed; the city boasts the highest number of veterinarians per capita out of the 50 cities in our analysis.


The Worst Cities to Be a Cat

Graphic showing the worst US cities to be a cat

The 10 worst cities for cats tend to make it difficult for cat owners to find a cat-friendly home, a local veterinarian, and a pet store. Only three out of the 10 cities have cat cafes—New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Houston, TX. Cat adoption in the worst city for cats, New York, is the lowest per capita out of all 50 analyzed cities, at only 187 adoptions per capita; even if New Yorkers do adopt a cat, their chances of finding a pet-friendly rental are slim, with only 17.3 available rentals per capita. Me-ouch.


The Cities with the Most Cat Adoptions

Map displaying the US cities with the most cat adoptions

Animal shelter adoption is truly the cat’s meow! With increasing rates of returns for animals adopted during the pandemic, we were excited to see such high rates of cat adoption in major U.S. cities. Four out of our top 10 cities for cat adoptions boast at least 1,000 adoptions per capita in 2020, with Denver, CO leading the charge. Both Denver and Salt Lake City, UT, the number five spot, were also featured in the top 10 best cities for cats overall. Oklahoma City, OK made its first appearance in this analysis, coming in at number two with 1,075 cat adoptions per capita. Jacksonville, FL became the fourth city in the Sunshine State to rank in this analysis, rounding out the top 10 cities for cat adoptions with 739 adoptions per capita. Cats finding their forever homes? That’s catnip for us!


The Cities with the Most Cat-Friendly Rentals

Map showing the most cities with the most cat friendly rentals

If you and your cat are looking for a place to cozy up and call home, Georgia should be on your mind. While ranked sixth among the top 10 best cities to be a cat, Atlanta (or should we say, Catlanta) also comes in first for cat-friendly rentals, with 286.5 rentals available per capita. Austin, TX, ranked seventh for cat adoptions but jumps up to third for rentals, with about 235 listings per capita. Birmingham, AL showed that southern hospitality extends to the four-legged, with 127 cat-friendly listings per capita.


Final Thoughts

If you’re a new or longtime cat parent, you know that a healthy pet is a happy pet. Avoid expensive emergency veterinary bills with One Vet, a subscription-based, virtual vet clinic, where licensed veterinarians are available 24/7 to meet all of your pet’s needs. Get started today!

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Special Reports Team