Claws Out: Unveiling the Most Unwelcoming Cities for Cat Owners in the US

In a recent study conducted by Forbes Advisor, major cities across the country were evaluated and ranked based on their pet-friendly attributes. Owning a cat comes with a considerable amount of responsibility, and one crucial aspect is ensuring that your furry companion has a comfortable and suitable home environment. However, it’s worth noting that not all cities in the United States provide the same level of pet-friendly features and amenities. 

The study considered factors such as the availability of veterinary services, the number of pet-friendly parks, and the presence of cat-centric businesses, shedding light on the varying degrees of feline-friendliness across different urban landscapes. From cat cafes to leash-free zones, the range of amenities directly impacts the ease and satisfaction of both the cats and their owners.

The Study

Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

The study looked at a number of factors – veterinarian costs for cats, including the cost of vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries, the concentration of veterinary office and veterinarians, and the percentage of pet-friendly apartments and concentration of pet stores per 10,000 establishments.

Los Angeles, California

Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Los Angeles was the worst-ranked city in the whole study, with low scores across the board – high veterinarian costs, poor access to vets, and a lack of pet-friendly accommodation and pet stores.

New York, New York

Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

New York didn’t fare well – while it has a reasonable score for pet-friendly spaces and apartments, it is one of the worst for veterinarian costs and the absolute worst city in the study for access to vet offices.

San Jose, California

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San Jose ranked third-worst due to its high veterinarian costs for cats – the joint worst in the entire study. It has poor access to vets, although it scored OK for pet-friendly spaces and pet store access.

San Francisco, California

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San Fran is the city that joins San Jose as the most expensive for cat veterinarian treatment (and it was the standalone worst for dog treatments, too). It has marginally better access to vets, which is why it ranks better overall than San Jose.

Boston, Massachusetts

16-year old Seal mitted ragdoll cat with a blaze Murphy outside playing with an acorn
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Boston has poor – but not terrible – scores across the board. Access to veterinarians is OK, but costs are high, and access to spaces is poor.

Newark, New Jersey

Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat on a scale at the vets.
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Of the 91 major cities ranked in the survey, Newark got a top-half score for vet access. However, it is the worst for pet-friendly accommodation and pet store access, and costs are one of the highest in the country.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

cute ragdoll cat laying on the floor
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Philly doesn’t have a stand-out strength for being cat-friendly. All the scores were in the bottom 25% of the cities studied.

Fresno, California

FUKUMARU Cat Carrier Airline Approved Breathable Soft-Sided Collapsible Small Pet Travel Carrier6
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

Fresno is another that, like Philadelphia, is just generally poor for being pet-friendly. The best score is for cat vet costs – it is only in the bottom 30% of cities for that score.

Jersey City, New Jersey

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Jersey City is in the top half of the study for vet access and the top 60% for being pet-friendly. A shame, then, that it’s super-expensive for vets, being tied with Newark.

Baltimore, Maryland

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Baltimore had similar scores to Fresno, being generally low-scoring across all metrics. The best was vet access, scoring in the top 70% of the cities.

The Best Cities

16-year old Seal mitted ragdoll cat with a blaze Murphy in oxygen chamber at mission med vet
Photo credit: Used with permission for Floppycats.

The best overall city for cat ownership is Tuscon, Arizona. Memphis has the lowest cat vet costs, and Plano (Texas) has the best vet access. Albuquerque is best for pet-friendly accommodation and pet store access.

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Seal mitted with a blaze ragdoll cat sitting outside
Photo Credit: Floppycats.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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One Comment

  1. Patti Johnson says:

    Wonderful post, Jenny honey! TYSVM! <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle <3

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