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Looking for a cat statistic? Our CATS report summary shows statistics at a glance

If you're looking for cat statistics on everything from cat ownership to how cats improve our wellbeing, here's our CATS (Cats and their Stats) report at a glance.

Our methodology

  • We spoke to over 10,000 people for the CATS 2020 survey
  • The survey was carried out between 28 February 2020 and 5 April 2020


Read the full CATS report

Cat population

  • There are 10.2m owned cats in the UK – that’s one for almost every six people
  • 5.3 million cats are female and 4.9 million cats are male
  • 70% of owners told us their cats are moggies and 24% said they have pedigree breeds (6% don’t know)
  • Around one in four UK households (23%) own a cat
  • Each cat-owning household has an average of 1.6 cats

Neutering and microchipping

  • 88% of all owned cats are neutered but 16% of the neutered females had had a litter before being neutered
  • Cats Protection recommends that cats should be neutered from four months, but for many cats (60%), neutering occurred at five months of age or later
  • An estimated 2.6 million cats (26%) in the UK are not microchipped (2.2 million (26%) in England) and 7.3 million owned cats are microchipped
  • 92% of owners of microchipped cats told us the details registered on the chip were up-to-date

Accidents, injuries and cruelty

  • One in four cats have sustained significant injuries or been involved in serious accidents. Most are caused by fights with other cats or other animals with a small proportion caused by a road traffic accident
  • Over 175,000 households (2.8%) across the UK reported that their cat had been shot by an airgun or poisoned
  • Around 100,000 households (1.6% of owners) across the UK reported that their cat had been shot by an airgun
  • Around 100,000 households (1.7% of owners) across the UK reported that their cat had been poisoned
  • Over 20,000 households have a cat that had been shot by an airgun and poisoned

Rental issues and households

  • It is estimated that 1 million households across the UK would like to have a cat, but can’t due to the fact they are in a rental property
  • Based on the average number of cats per household, this means there are 1.6m cats that could be given homes if ALL landlords allowed pets
  • 18% of those who didn’t have a cat, but would like one cited not being able to have one due to living in rented accommodation as the reason
  • 9% of those that used to have a cat, but don’t anymore cited not being allowed one in rented accommodation as the reason.

Loneliness and wellbeing

  • 87% agreed that cats can bring joy
  • 59% of respondents agreed that cats can relieve stress or loneliness, this rose to 62% for those aged between 18 and 34


  • 43% of cats miss out on regular vet check-ups with cost being the greatest barrier to cats being taken to the vet more frequently (33%)

Facts and figures about Cats Protection

For more information about Cats Protection as an organisation and how many cats we have helped, visit our media centre.

Facts and figures
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