Tampa, Fla., is the nation’s most cat-friendly city, the CATalyst Council reported Friday at the American Animal Hospital Association conference.
The council based its Top 10 list on criteria such as a city’s cat population, the percentage of microchipped cats, the number of American Association of Feline Practitioners members and the number of CAT FANCY magazine subscribers. Extra points were awarded for cat-friendly local ordinances and if the city’s mayor owned a cat.
“Cats really are America’s No. 1 companion,” said Dan Kramer, senior marketing manager for Pfizer Animal Health of New York and chairman of the CATalyst Council. “Our goal is to recognize and celebrate why cats are such popular companions. We applaud the efforts of these major metropolitan areas for providing a wealth of resources for cats and their owners.”
The Top 10 cat-friendly cities are:
- Tampa, Fla.
- San Francisco
- Portland, Ore.
- San Diego
Kramer joined Jane Brunt, DVM, the council’s executive director, in announcing the results. Dr. Brunt is spearheading the council’s “It’s All About the Cat” education campaign in cooperation with the AAFP and the AAHA.
“We are reaching out to all parties — the pet health-care community, shelter and welfare organizations and the public — to ensure that cats receive the proper care and attention they need and deserve,” Brunt said. “It truly is all about the cat.”
Phoenix, which is hosting the AAHA conference, placed second on the Top 10 list. Laura Nordan of Safe Haven for Animals, a no-kill shelter in suburban Tempe, brought four cats to the presentation and said she expects that attendees will adopt the animals by the time the conference ends Sunday.
A 2006 survey by the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators found that animal shelters were seeing more cats surrendered than dogs.
CATalyst Council board member Jan McHugh-Smith said the Top 10 list can help reverse the trend “in these economic times of financial strain and home foreclosure.”
“We are eager to showcase these cities that demonstrate outstanding compassion and resources for cats and their owners in order to elevate the status of the cat,” she said.
Ithaca, N.Y., was awarded honorable mention for being home to the Cornell Feline Health Center, which educates the public about felines and their health.
The CATalyst Council is a coalition of the veterinary community, industry, academia and animal welfare and nonprofit groups.