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Demographics of Cats in the U.S.

Chu, K., W. M. Anderson, et al. (2009). “Population characteristics and neuter status of cats living in households in the United States.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234(8): 1023-1030.

The objective of this study was to document the neuter status and identify demographic characteristics of cats living in the United States using a cross-sectional, random-digit-dial telephone survey. During April and May of 2007, 1205 adults in the continental U.S. were contacted. About 32% of the respondents had at least one cat at the time of the survey, yielding an estimated population of over 82 million cats living in about 37 million U.S. households. Eighty percent of the cats were reported as neutered. Of the female cats, about 82% had been neutered before having any litters. Annual family income was the strongest predictor of whether cats in the household were neutered, with only 51% of cats in households with annual family incomes less than $35,000 being neutered. This study did not attempt to gather data on stray and feral cats which represent an important part of the U.S. cat population. [SL]
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Related articles:
Murray, J. K., M. A. Roberts, et al. (2009). “Survey of the characteristics of cats owned by households in the UK and factors affecting their neutered status.” Vet Rec 164(5): 137-41.
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Levy, J. K., J. E. Woods, et al. (2003). “Number of unowned free-roaming cats in a college community in the southern United States and characteristics of community residents who feed them.” J Am Vet Med Assoc 223(2): 202-5.
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