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How many cats are there in the world?

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Throughout history, cats have been one of man's closest companions. There's no getting around the fact that these tiny balls of fluff are absolutely adorable. All over the world, cats have captured the hearts of many people. Therefore, they are one of the most popular pets in the world. Cats are such a popular pet, how many cats are there in the world? Find out how many of these adorable creatures there are, and some fun facts about them.

How many cats are there in the world?

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There are three types of cats: domestic cats, farm cats and wild cats. Feral cats move freely and avoid contact with people.

©Diana Golysheva/Shutterstock.com

The history of cats can be traced back thousands of years. They have been companions of humans throughout history and their numbers have been growing due to their cuteness. So how many cats are there in the world? You might be surprised how many there are!

According to recent research, the number of cats in the world has increased dramatically over the past forty years. As of 2021, the number of cats owned worldwide is estimated at 220 million, while the number of stray cats is estimated at 480 million. It is estimated that there are approximately 600 million cats on the planet. Compared with this number, the feral cat population is estimated at only 100 million, and most of them are therefore endangered.

Of the 600 million cats in the world, 400 million live in Asia and 60 million live in Europe and North America. Let's take a closer look at the number of felines around the world.

Cat Populations Around the World

Cat's face is stroked by woman's hand
The United States has the most pet cats in the world.


According to 2017 estimates, Americans own 95.6 million cats and 42 million households have at least one cat. As of 2020, there are an estimated 10.9 million pet cats in the UK.

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Let's take a look at the top four countries with the most cat populations:


Cats seem to be very popular pets in the United States. Some 25.4 percent of American households own a cat, the highest rate in the world. It is estimated that there are an average of two cats per household. However, pet cats make up only a small fraction of the country's large feline population. It is estimated that there are more than 58 million pet cats in the United States, and between 30 and 100 million feral cats roam the streets of the United States independently.


2021 marks the first year cats have become the most popular pets among Chinese urban dwellers. According to statistics from Statista, there were 58 million cats in urban households in China that year, an increase of nearly 10 million over the previous year. China's pet industry ranks third in the world, so it's no surprise that pet cats play an important role in the population. In addition to pet cats, the number of domestic stray cats and wild cats is also soaring, with thousands in Beijing alone. It is estimated that there were more than 200,000 stray cats in Beijing alone in 2017.


From 2010 to 2021, the number of pet cats in Russia will gradually increase. In 2021, Statista reports that there are 22.95 million domestic cats nationwide, up from 22.75 million the previous year. Across the country, there are large numbers of households with one or more cats, most of whom were originally adopted from the street. However, some of them are also part of the top cat family, such as the Russian blue.

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The number of Brazilian households with at least one cat has grown to almost 18%. It is estimated that, as of 2013, there were approximately 22 million cats in the country. In addition to pet cats, a large number of feral and stray cats also contribute to the country's staggering feline population.

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Cats, like dogs, are loyal, loving companions, despite what most people think.

© Sharomka/Shutterstock.com

The popularity of cats as pets can be attributed to many factors. Let's take a look at the most popular reasons why domestic cats are valued by humans!

They are low maintenance and make great companions

The main difference between cats and other pets like dogs is that cats are more independent. For potty and walks, cats don't need to be taken outside to defecate multiple times a day. It's also worth noting that cats don't require as much training as dogs.

In the meantime, cats will still want your love and attention whenever possible. If you're busy at work, cats will usually curl up next to you and don't need much attention. Cats are generally more willing to be alone than dogs, such as when you're out at work, and they're also less likely to damage your home. In general, cats are both very independent and very affectionate.

Cats Provide Excellent Pest Control

It is believed that just having a cat around is enough to keep mice away. Occasionally, unwelcome mice may sneak into your house, but if they do, your cat will trigger its natural predator instincts. As scary as it may be to find the remains of your beloved pet's latest hunt, it's better than a house full of pests. Cats are known to be excellent insect hunters, which can help protect your home from moths, houseflies, and other creepy critters.

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cats are great for smaller living spaces

One of the great things about owning a cat is that it is usually a quiet animal that doesn't need a lot of space to live well. Unlike a barking dog, a cat's meow won't bother your neighbors in your apartment building. Due to their small size, cats are better suited to living in apartments than dogs, especially large breeds. Many apartment dwellers find that cats easily adapt to the space and are generally happy pets!

Pet cat walking between human legs
Fun Fact: The oldest known pet cat existed 9,500 years ago.

© iStock.com/Chalabala


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about the author


Volia Nikaci is a freelance writer and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding and marketing. She has a background in broadcast journalism and political science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, visiting used bookstores, and hanging out with her significant other.

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