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These Are The 10 Best Cities for Cats In America

Which city is just purrfect for cats? We look at the finest feline places for kitties to call their own.

Laura Allan

67 articles, 1 comments


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Hey, cats, are you sick of those scary metal beasts zooming past on the road outside? Are you tired of it raining when all you want to do is sunbathe? Are you so over chasing the same bird across your turf each morning? Well, it sounds like you need to find a new place to live.

Yes, we know that those tall, strange creatures you live with control the money and food, but we also know you can be very convincing if you want to. Remember that dead bird you left them last week? A few more of those kind gifts are sure to convince them. That leaves you with only the matter of deciding where you’ll move to.

That’s where we can help. Here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we know that our feline friends might need a little direction when it comes to the housing market. So, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best spots for kitties like you, and perched atop it like an apex predator is Tucson, AZ. It’s part of a litter of 10 cat-tastic cities including:

1. Tucson, AZ
2. Las Vegas, NV
3. Scottsdale, AZ
4. Phoenix, AZ
5. Orlando, FL
6. Tampa, FL
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Sacramento, CA
9. Jacksonville, FL
10. Riverside, CA

We know some of these rankings might surprise you, but try not to cough up a hairball and allow us to explain. We used numbers and data to determine this list…yes those squiggly lines humans use. You can also see where other places ranked at the end of this article, if you’re curious where your city ranked. What are we saying—of course you’re curious, you’re cats!

Meow We Got Our Results

We’ve made Big Deal Lists before, but this one was more than a little special, just like you. To get started, we created a list of the nation’s 100 largest cities to study, based on official figures from the 2010 U.S. Census.

Then, we gathered data from cat group websites, the Audubon Society, INRIX Traffic Scorecard, Yelp, and more, across eight specific criteria:

Pet Stores Per Capita
More toys, treats, and things to claw, even if you’ll just play with the boxes and wrapping paper instead.

Shelters Per Capita
We know how easy it is to get lost out there, and you’ll probably want a place to crash for the night just in case you got turned around after an evening of wild partying.

Vets Per Capita
Going to the vet may suck, but we know you do like to be healthy. Just go easy on the thermometers, please.

Sunny Days Per Year
We realize you hate the rain and snow, and we’ve taken that into account. It’s well known that you’d like nothing more than a patch of sunlight all the time.

Cat Events
Admit it: you’re a little vain and you would like a place that worships you. Cat shows to strut around at or festivals centered on cats are right up your alley.

Traffic Score
Cars are kinda big and scary. If you’re outside a lot or just making a break for daylight on a whim, it’s nice to know you’re less likely to be caught in a car’s path.

Dogs Available For Adoption Per Capita (The Fewer, The Better)
The less a chance that your person is going to get too enamored with that cute puppy and buy it, the better. What’s sharing, anyway?

Number Of Bird Species
Variety is the spice of life, and hunting the same old robin over and over gets tiring. However, if there are a ton of interesting birds to hunt, or even just watch from a window, that might take away some of the boredom.

Once we had our data, we gave each city a rank for each criterion, from 1 to 100, with one being best. Then we averaged each place’s individual rankings into one Big Deal Score. The place with the lowest big deal score became our No. 1 city for cats, which was Tucson, AZ.

Want to know a little more about your options? Not a problem. Let’s look in depth at each city on our list, starting with a place that has more sand than any litter box you could ever imagine.

1. Tucson, AZ

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user Erin and Lance Willett

We know what all you Maine Coons and Persians are thinking, and yes, this is a pretty darn hot place. That hot weather also comes has an upside though: very little rain or snow.

Agreeable weather’s not the only thing this place has going for it. You’ll be happy to know that the shelters per capita ranked ninth overall, and there’s also not as much traffic as other places we looked at. There are plenty of bird species to view and chase here, ranking 17th for that category, and there are a few cat-themed events every year that celebrate your sheer magnificence.

There are coyotes in those parts, though, so you’d be wise to enjoy your yard or indoors rather than going out to the wilds. But hey, with such a great city to call home, why ever would you stray?

2. Las Vegas, NV

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user Michael Pritchard

As it turns out, Sin City’s not all just bright lights and casinos, which we know you find noisy and a hastle. There’s also a lot here devoted entirely to your needs. For example, Las Vegas had the third highest number pet stores per capita and the 10th most vets. There are also more sunny days than even first place Tucson, so it’ll be easy to find a well-lit place to nap.

Remember how we said the place is devoted entirely to you? Well, that’s because Vegas had the ninth fewest dog adoptions per capita of anywhere we looked at. The one disadvantage in Vegas is the traffic. You’d be wise to stay inside or close to home and demand attention there. We know your people will be happy to pet you for six hours non-stop (or else).

3. Scottsdale, AZ

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user David Crummey

This place really is a feline-friendly paradise. Scottsdale had the most shelters per capita, plus the second highest number of pet stores and sunny days. On top of that, there are a ton of different Bird species to hunt here and a fair number of vets to look after you just in case you try to catch something that’s a little above your hunting skill level.

Why wasn’t this spot No. 1? As usual, the problem was dogs. Those mutts are pretty prevalent around here, with Scottsdale ranking 75th worst in terms of dogs up for adoption (remember, more was worse, in this case).

Look, we know you hate to share the attention, but maybe some of these perks are worth it. Besides, you have claws, and dogs can learn pretty fast that “Hiss!” means “Leave me alone, you moron.”

4. Phoenix, AZ

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user mousetrout

Phoenix isn’t as cat-friendly in the same areas as many other places in our top 10. It only had a mediocre ranking for vets per capita, pet stores per capita, and shelters per capita, and it does have a fair amount of traffic, so watch your paws when venturing outside.

However, what it does have to offer is the second highest number bird species on our list, so if you’re looking to change up your prowling routine, it’ll be pretty easy here. It also has an amazing amount of sunny days, so be ready to find a favorite patch of sun to snooze in.

5. Orlando, FL

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user Ross Hawkes

What, did you think only humans could enjoy sunny Orlando? That’s nonsense—the city was obviously made for the pleasure of felines everywhere. Don’t believe us? Let’s look at the numbers.

This place had the most pet stores per capita on our list—can you say shopping spree? There are a fair number of bird species to hunt and watch, too, so you’ll never be bored. It also had the second highest number vets and the fourth highest number of shelters per capita.

There are a whole ton of dogs up for adoption when we checked, so keep your people on close leashes. There’s also quite a bit of traffic, and fewer sunny days than you’d probably like, so being an indoor cat around here might be for the best.

6. Tampa, FL

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user steve eng

Florida is another state that really made a nice showing on our list, and for good reason. Tampa offers our feline friends the No. 5 vet ranking and the No. 8 pet store ranking, as well as the No. 18 shelter rank. It has a good number of bird species and a fair number of sunny days to enjoy.

The downsides are few, but Tampa does have some pretty serious traffic to watch out for, so an indoor lifestyle might be best. It also has a pretty high number of dog adoption options.

Still, you know there are quite a few of big kitties that call this place home over at the Tampa Zoo, and would you really argue with a lion or tiger? Yes, we know you’re better looking than them. Yes, we know you’re more important, too, so don’t worry.

7. St. Louis, MO

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user Paul Sableman

If you enjoy strutting your stuff, this city might be for you. It has many different cat-themed events and shows, the fifth most on our list. Besides the events, this place had an okay traffic rank, a decent number of vets, and even the third most shelters per capita on our list. There are also a ton of pet stores around, so your person can get you something nice to wear to those events and you can work the catwalk to your heart’s content.

There are fewer sunny days here though, and it’s a little colder, so good news for all you thick-coated cats. There also aren’t really all that many bird species to hunt, so you’ll have to content yourself with attacking your person’s pants legs and shoelaces as they walk.

8. Sacramento, CA

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user Logan Sakai

Sacramento is definitely all about cat love. If you don’t believe it, just check out the name of their local baseball team, the River Cats. Yeah, even baseball belongs to you in this city. We’re sure you’re not surprised.

The numbers for this place may not all be the best in their category, but all of them are pretty high. There are a decent number of pet stores, a few cat-themed events, many bird species, and a lot of sunny days to bask in. Honestly, there’s no real downside to relocating your people to this city.

There is a fair amount of traffic and a good number of dogs up for adoption, but if you’re careful with your people and your prowling you should do just fine. Plus, all the really cool cats want to live in California, right?

9. Jacksonville, FL

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user Mark Kortum

If you thought the cat devotion was great in Sacramento, you should see how this place caters to their feline overlords. They have the Jacksonville Jaguars, a professional cat-themed football team, just in case you’d never heard of them. You might not play football, we know, but you might have stood in front of the TV when it was on.

This city had the second highest number of cat themed events and shows on our list, and is home to the Absolutely Abyssinians Cat Club. If you like to show off how gorgeous you are, this is definitely the spot. We should also mention that it has very few dog adoption options. Yeah, you’re definitely the top species in the area.

10. Riverside, CA

10 Best Places For Cats In America

Source: Flickr user MELISSA MATHIES

This place may be the tail end our top 10, but we promise it still has a ton to offer your kind. For starters, this place has the eighth highest number of shelters per capita and the 11th greatest concentration of pet stores. It also sees the sun for over 250 days of the year, so it won’t be hard to catch some Zs in some warm rays.

Where Riverside really shines is in the bird department. If you want variety, you’ve got it here, with almost 200 local species to stalk. There’s a little traffic, so keep that in mind when chasing something bright and feathery around your neighborhood.

These Spots Are The Cat’s Meow

We’d like to thank you for gracing our blog with your presence, and hope this has enlightened you on your search for the perfect place to claim in the name of cat-dom. As always, be careful for cars, predators, and people who just don’t understand how to properly serve you as humans are obviously supposed to, and any of these top 10 can be a purrfect paradise.

Best Cities For Cats

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Looking for a new home? Movoto’s got you covered. With millions of listings, plenty of property information, and established agents all over the country, we make finding your future home simple. And when you’re ready to take a break from browsing homes, you can always come back here to learn more about your favorite cities.

posted on: May 28, 2014
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