19 Most Interesting Cat Adoption Statistics Picked By Editor In 2022

Many animals around the world, according to statistics, find their forever home. Cat adoption statistics show they become one of the favorite pets in the United States as well as the whole world.

Adoption rate increases every year, which affects the number f euthanization. Do you know how many cats are adopted in the country annually? The number might surprise you positively.

Even if many pet owners decide to buy a cat, adoption is still the number one decision for many humans. There are many pure and mixed breed cats that are adopted, and it is a myth black cats are the least adopted cats. Do you know the percentage of adopted black cats every year?

Check our list of the 19 most interesting cat adoption statistics and keep on reading.

8 Interesting Cat Adoption Facts
(Editor’s Pick)

  • The United States has the largest cat population with 74 million.
  • Approximately 2.1 million cats are adopted every year.
  • From 2016 to 2021, the cat adoption rate increased by 26.4%.
  • According to stats, around 82% of adopted pets are kittens.
  • More than 80% of adopted cats during pandemics are still with their owners.
  • Stats show that cat adopters will only adopt outgoing cats.
  • Around 31% of adopted cats are black cats.
  • Adoption fees range between $50 to $200.

The List Of 19 Cat Adoption Statistics

1. The United States has the largest cat population with 74 million

There are over 74 million household cats in the United States. Comparing it to the largest countries in the world, in China, there are 53.1 million and Russia has 17.8 million household cats.

Comparing it to the dog population, there are more than 59 million household dogs, while in China there are 27.4 million. Russia is again in third place with 12.5 million. We can assume that cats are the most popular pets in the United States.

Source: petpedia.co

2. Approximately 2.1 million cats are adopted every year

Every year around 3.2 million cats enter animal shelters all across the United States. From this number, according to shelter statistics, about 2.1 million cats will be adopted every year.

Unfortunately, many of them won’t find their forever home and will be euthanized but the adoption rate increasing every year and more and more animal shelters are not overcrowded that much.

Source: aspca.org

3. In 2020., around 1.1 million cats were adopted

Pet adoption statistics in the United States show that Americans adopted 1.9 million pets in 2020. Of this number, 1.1 million were cats. Half of the adopted cats were kittens, around 50.4%. Fostering become more popular which affects the annual number of euthanasia in shelters.

Source: spots.com

4. From 2016 to 2021, the cat adoption rate increased by 26.4%

Statistics that include pet adoption rates among shelter animals show different results every year. In 2017. the cat adoption rate was 55% and 5 years later it hit 81.4%. Comparing it to the dog adoption rate, we can assume that from 2016 till 2021 there was no significant increase.

Adoption rate among animal shelters from 2016-2021

Source: spots.com

5. According to stats, around 82% of adopted pets are kittens

When a cat reaches around 18 months, it is a lower possibility for adoption, according to cat statistics. Only 60% of older cats will find them forever homes. Owners usually prefer kittens, and statistics show that around 82% of kittens will be adopted.

According to statistics from 2020, about 8% of all cats that were adopted were kittens and only 20% of adult cats were adopted in the same year. Senior cats are least likely to find a new home, statistics show that only 3% of the senior cats were adopted in 2020.

Source: petpedia.co

6. More than 80% of adopted cats during pandemics are still with their owners

Even the adoption rate during the global pandemic because of Covid 19 increased, as more people stayed at home because of quarantine, still many cats were turned back because of family issues. Fortunately, most of them, around 85% of cats still have homes.

Source: petkeen.co

7. Stats show that cat adopters will only adopt outgoing cats

One of the main factors to adopting a cat is their behavior, and many owners asked how kitty act while being in a shelter. If the cat approached and greeted them in the shelter, it is large possibility humans will adopt cats that like people.

There was a study in 2012 that included 1600 people who adopted either dogs or cats Most of the cat owners said the behavioral characteristics influence adoption more than any other factors like breed or color.

Source: mentalfloss.com

8. About 10% of adopted pets are turned back to shelter in the first 6 months

The rescue group requires applications with answers about the experience with pets, plans with new pets, and other needed information. Even if sometimes applications seem very extensive, there is a reason behind it. Not all adopted pets will be forever with their owners, many of them decided to turn them back because of many family issues.

In several U.S. cities is made a survey with more than 570 pet adopters, and 11% of them admitted they left their pet back in a shelter in the first 6 months. Luckily owners left them in a rescue place, so they can have another chance to find them forever homes.

Source: mentalfloss.com

9. Around 31% of adopted cats are black cats

Even if in some cultures black cat means bad luck, in many others black cats are one of the most adopted cats from animal shelters, show black cat adoption statistics. According to ASPCA data from 14 different regions in the United States, there are approximately 300,000 adoptions.

Of the whole number, 31% of them were black cats, in the second place were grey ones with 20% and on the third with only 18% were brown ones. The rest of the adopted cats were mixed breeds.

ASPCA also revealed that 31% of cats were adopted from shelters, about 28% from friends or family members, and only 3% were bought from breeders. Other 39% come from different sources.

Where do cat owners get their pets

Source: petkeen.co

10. People tend to adopt stray cats much more than a stray dog

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) revealed interesting facts comparing the adoption of stray cats and dogs. According to results, people adopt stray cats much more than dogs.

Every year around 6% of all adopted dogs are picked up from streets, and around 27% of cats will be adopted from streets at the same time, show stray statistics.

Source: petpedia.co

11. More cats are adopted than bought from local breeders

Comparing the adoption and buying from breeders, statistics show that around 31% of cats are adopted from animal shelters, while only 3% of them are bought from breeders. This is not the case with most favorite pets in the United States – dogs. Statistics say the opposite, and more dogs, around 34% of them, are purchased from breeders, and only 23% are adopted from shelters.

Source: petpedia.co

12. From 2019-2020 the number of adopted cats from animal shelters decreased

Even if statistics show the increase of adopted cats in the last few years, based on the APPA survey from 2019 and 2020, the number of cats that are adopted only from animal shelters decreased to 43%. Comparing it to 2017 and 2018, it was around 47% of cat adoption.

We can assume that the increasing number of cats adopted included those that are picked from the street.

Source: petpedia.co

13. According to stats, around 23% fewer cats enter shelters in 2020

The increase in adoption affects fewer cats that enter animal shelters. In 2020, about 23% fewer cats were left in animal shelters and comparing it to dogs, there were 32% fewer dogs the year before. This decreased euthanasia by -44%.

Source: thezebra.com

14. Adoption fees range between $50 to $200

Cats’ adoption fees depend on the type of shelter, city, breed, age of cat, behavior, etc. Statistics show that fees range from $50 to $200. Kittens usually cost a lot more than older cats, usually, fees are from $100 to $200.

According to some researchers, the average adoption fee for a cat that has 1 year is $86 and for an adult cat, you will need to pay $57. The average cost for an adoption cat which includes supplies can range from $200 to even $1,500 for a pure breed.

Many adoption organizations don’t have adoption fees. One of them is Cat Adoption Team which doesn’t have waived fees for cats that have 7 years. Adoption fees include a variety of services such as neutered or spayed feline, medical examination, microchip and registration, vaccinations, etc.

Source: petpedia.co

15. In the Cat Adoption Team shelter were 2,690 total adoptions in 2020

Cat Adoption Team shelter is one of the largest shelters in the United States. According to their statistics from 2020, there were 2,690 cat adoptions. Around 61% of adopted pets were kittens and 39% were adult cats.

2020 CAT Adoption Team Statistics 1

Source: catadoptionteam.org

16. Around 36% of people who adopted pets during Covid-19 said the reason was to ease depression

Covid-19 had a significant impact on humans which cause a lot of depression due to quarantine. It also impacts the adoption and fostering rates. Statistics show that 36% of people admitted they adopted a pet to ease depression.

Source: petpedia.co

17. About 14% of cat owners adopted at least one cat in 2020

As adoption becomes more appealing to all pet owners, the number of shelter rescues increases throughout the year. Statistics show that in 2020 around 43% of pet cats were adopted from shelters.

Pet owners said that 14% of them adopted at least one cat in the same year. Also, 7% of pet owners provided foster care to cats from rescue or shelter.

Source: spots.com

18. In 2020, only 6 states in the U.S. saw pet increase adoption

Cat adoption statistics show how only 6 states in 2020 saw an increase in adoption. Leading states according to a number of adopted pets, including cats are California, Florida, and Colorado. Most adopted pets per capita were in Delaware, Colorado, Idaho, and Montana.

Pet owners in New Hampshire, Maine, Washington, and Vermont are most likely to adopt a least one cat. In Hawaii, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Virginia, and people in the Virgin islands prefer kittens, and most of them will rather adopt kittens than adult cats.

Source: spots.com

19. The National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is on the 30th of April

To raise awareness about shelter animals, there is National Adopt a  Shelter Pet Day which is celebrated on the 30th of April. Many animal shelters create events to invite people to adopt a pet, and statistics show that many cats are adopted on this date.

Source: petpedia.co

To Sum Up

All cat adoption statistics show an increase in the last few years. Only in the United States, over 2 million cats will be adopted every year, which affects the lower percentage of euthanasia. Most pet owners adopt cats from animal shelters and the smallest percentage buy from a local breeder. The adoption fee can go up to $1000 depending on breed, age, and other factors. More than 80% of adopted cats during the global pandemic are still with their owners.

Diane has a Master’s degree in Economy. Her work experience began in 2016. when she graduated and got her first job in the pet company. The interest in pets and animals was increasing over time and finally, she decided to write about pets. On Petovly, her domain is dogs, cats, hamsters, and guinea pigs. She is in touch with many experts who share their professional knowledge with her helping her to complete the articles.