Some useful facts and stats about cat ownership in the UK, from the UK's leading cat welfare charity.
Facts and figures about Cats Protection
- There are around 11 million owned cats in the UK, with around 26% of UK households owning a cat – CATS (Cats and Their Stats) 2022 UK report
- Cats Protection, the UK's leading feline welfare charity, has helped an average of 157,000 cats and kittens a year over the last five years through its national network which includes around 210 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres
- We have thousands of cats in its care at any one time with many more needing the charity's help
- We helped around 430 cats a day over the last five years
- We have rehomed an average of around 34,000 cats every year over the last five years
- We reunited an average of 2,300 cats with their owners a year over the last five years
- We have helped to neuter an average of 130,000 cats and kittens a year over the last five years, including around 15,000 feral cats, via the largest single species neutering programme in the world
- We have around 9,000 volunteers and around 1,000 full and part-time employees
- We have around 100 shops across the UK
- In 2022, we handled over 143,000 enquiries from members of the public via the National Information Line, website, email and social media channels, in addition to thousands of calls handled locally by our branches
- 6.3 million users visited Cats Protection’s websites in 2022
- Paws Protect helped 101 families flee domestic abuse by caring for their cats in 2022
- Cat Guardians took in and rehomed 157 cats, helping 161 supporters in 2022
CATS (Cats and their Stats) report summary
- Our annual CATS report 2022 provides an insight into the lives of cats across the UK
- We spoke to over 10,000 people for the CATS 2022 survey
- The survey was carried out between 3 March 2022 and 15 April 2022
Read the full CATS report
Here are some key cat statistics at a glance.
Cat population and ownership
- There are around 11 million owned cats in the UK, an increase of around 200,000 since 2021.
- Just over one in four households (26%) own a cat.
- According to owners, 63% of cats are moggies, 26% are pedigrees and 6% are cross-breeds.
- A higher proportion of younger people seem to be owning cats – 32% of 18-24 year olds now own a cat, compared with 25% in 2021. UK cat owners are less likely to be over the age of 65 (11%) compared to all UK households.
- 44% of cat owners are male and 56% of cat owners are female.
Where are owners getting their cats from?
- Cats tend to be bought (29%), adopted from a UK rehoming charity (24%) or have been taken on from a neighbour, family member or friend (17%)
- Overall, 61% of cats purchased were found online, up from 58% in 2021. Almost a quarter were found on Facebook (up from 16% in 2021)
Find out more about buying a cat or kitten.
Neutering, breeding and microchipping
- 85% of cats (9.3 million) are neutered. 12% of cats are not neutered. Top reasons for not neutering include that the cat does not go outside (20%), the owner wants the cat to have kittens (14%) and the owner thinks that the cat is too young to be neutered (13%)
- 39% of female cats remain unneutered by the time they reach a year old. Cats Protection recommends that cats should be neutered from four month of age, which is when they are capable of reproducing.
- An estimated 7.8 million cats are microchipped (71%) and 2.8 million (26%) are not microchipped. Top reasons for not being microchipped are that the cat doesn’t go outside (27%), the cat doesn’t stray or go far (17%) and the owners hadn’t thought about getting their cat microchipped (12%).
- 92% of cat owners that have microchipped their cat say that their contact details are up to date.
Find out more about neutering and microchipping
- Over three quarters of owners (76%) say that their cat has no diagnosed health conditions. 21% say their cat has at least one diagnosed health condition.
- 89% of people have registered their cat with a vet, although approximately 1.2 million cats remain unregistered with a vet.
- 60% of cats go to the vet every year for a routine visit, but around 3.9 million cats only go as and when their owner feels they need to (36%) or never go to the vet (4%)
- 46% of all owners have insured their cat – an increase from 43% in 2021.
- 71% of owners say their cat is up to date with vaccinations, up from 69% in 2021.
- 30% of owners identify their cat as overweight, while 26% think their cat is an ideal weight and 38% worry that their cat is underweight – an increase from 35% in 2021.
Find out more about looking after your cat’s health
The role that cats play in our lives
- Companionship, reducing loneliness and reducing stress were collectively the top reasons for owning a cat (51%) for the third consecutive year.
- 21% of owners said the main reason for having a cat in their life is to help them feel less stressed
- 92% of owners consider their cat part of the family
- 87% of owners spend time stroking their cat or sitting together every day, with 88% regularly talking to their cat
- 67% of cat owners say their cat gives them something to get up for in the morning – an increase from 62% in 2021.
Safety of cats
- 31% of cat owners said that their cat had been injured in the time that they had owned them – 22% of injuries were sustained during fights with others cats or animals and 12% were with cats from another household.
- 5% of injuries were due to a road traffic accident
- Of the 78% of cat owners who have seen their cat experience fireworks, 64% say that their cat is adversely affected by them, including hiding (24%) or trying to escape/run away (14%)
Find out more about keeping your cat safe
Cost of living concerns
- 30% of all cat owners expressed significant concern over being able to afford bills and other living costs over the next 12 months due to price increases – this was higher among younger owners, aged 25-44 (39%)
- 5% of owners say that they have had to reduce spend on cat necessities such as cat food and litter to save money in the last 12 months, an increase from 3% in 2021.
- For almost a quarter (24%) of cat owners, cost was the biggest barrier to making vet visits as often as they would like and 13% worried that they wouldn’t be able to afford a large vet bill right now (an increase from 10% in 2021)
- 3% of all cat owners have considered giving up a cat – that’s equivalent to over 300,000 households.
Find out more about how to look after your cat during the cost of living crisis
< Back to the Media Centre