Irvine, California - Cat lovers will stick by their pets, no matter how many times the little troublemakers destroy the furniture or make as much noise as they paw-ssibly can at 3 a.m.
But where are the best places for felines and their long-suffering friends to call home?
To mark International Cat Day, August 8, LawnStarter found 2021's Best Cities for Cat Lovers by ranking the 200 largest U.S. cities across 11 factors, such as vet access, cost of cat sitting, and cat-friendly rental properties.
Find out which cities me-wowed us (or landed at the bottom of the litter box) below, followed by some highlights and lowlights.
Highlights and Lowlights:
- Orlando: The Most Magical Place on Earth for Cats, Too: A certain mouse better watch out — Orlando is the cat capital of 2021. The City Beautiful earned the No. 1 spot in both our overall ranking and the Housing and Accommodations category. Whether you're happy at home or ready to get away from all the tourists, Orlando has a place for your kitty with a good share of cat-friendly rental homes (No. 26), boarding establishments (No. 1), and cat sitters (No. 1).
O-Town is purrfect even for cat lovers who can't take on the responsibility of owning a pet. The city ranked No. 1 in cat cafes, where you can spend endless time playing with cute kitties without having to take care of them yourself. Plus, Orlando ranked No. 53 for animal shelters, where you can volunteer and show love to homeless cats who need it most.
If you're only visiting Orlando, don't expect to make it a va-CAT-ion. Orlando is surprisingly lacking in pet-friendly hotels, at No. 147. Ironic, you might say, for one of the world's most popular vacation spots.
- New York City Says No More Kitties: You'd think the City That Never Sleeps would make a great home for cats and their nocturnal habits, but no. New York City finished dead last in our overall ranking. NYC simply doesn't have enough pet stores (No. 171), veterinarians (No. 191), or cat sitters (No. 185) to satisfy its hundreds of thousands of cat owners' needs.
Even finding a place — especially one spacious enough — for you and your cat to live can be a struggle in the Big Apple. NYC ranked near the bottom again (No. 194) for cat-friendly rental properties per 100,000 residents and last for average home square footage — the city is notorious for lack of space.
While full-time cat owners might find life difficult in NYC, casual cat lovers can still enjoy the City of Dreams. NYC outnumbers 170 of America’s biggest cities in cat cafes.
- Cat-lifornia Dreaming: There must be something catty in the air on the West Coast, because eight of the top 20 cities for cat lovers are in California. Golden State cities took the No. 1 spots in two of the three categories we measured: Irvine for Supplies and Care and Oakland for Access and Community.
California dominated in the number of pet stores, veterinarians, and animal shelters per 100,000 residents, too. Plus, after Orlando, the California cities Long Beach and Orange boast the second and third most cat sitters when adjusted for population size.
All in all, if you want to settle down somewhere with all the amen-kitties your cats could need, you have loads of options in the Golden State. Just avoid the larger cities of San Francisco (No. 196) and Los Angeles (No. 195).