Best (and Worst) Cities to Live in if You're a Cat

By: Kristen Hall-Geisler  | 
cat in sun
Being reincarnated as a cat might not be such a bad gig, as long as you could choose where you ended up. Yusuke Okada/Getty Images

People often say that if they could come back as an animal in their next life, they'd choose a house cat. The perks are incredible: soft beds and blankets for napping all day, expensive toys to ignore in favor of hair ties and endless varieties of food to snub.

Sure, you'd have to go to the vet sometimes, but it'd be worth it if it'd mean lazing around in sunbeams the other 99 percent of the time.


But if you were able to reincarnate as a cat, you might want to consider where to live, because it turns out, some cities are better for cats than others.

OneVet, ahem, categorized several American cities based on their feline-friendly amenities, like the number of pet-friendly rentals, how many cats are adopted and the total number of pet stores. OneVet also counted how many veterinarians and cat cafés were in each city.

These might not be features that most cats would look for in a city, but they're probably important to the people who live with cats (or want to live their second life as one) and want to keep them happy. Besides, who isn't charmed by a cat café?

The best city? Miami, Florida, a surprise given its location on the Atlantic coast. That's a lot of water for a species that notoriously hates the stuff. It's not so much that the cats there are headed to the beach for a swim, but that they're likely to find good homes. There were 642 cats per 100,000 residents in 2020, and Miami has lots of pet stores for stocking up on shiny toys and fancy foods.

best city for cats
Miami just barely eked out Orlando as the best city to live in if you're a cat. Meanwhile, New York City, well, it's definitely not as friendly as Florida for felines.

Of course, there are also cities cats want to avoid, too. The worst of those is New York City, despite the rich rat-chasing opportunities. It scored abysmally low, with few cat adoptions, cat vets or pet supply stores per 100,000 residents.

What if you had to make do with inexpensive kibble from the bodega? The horror! (To be fair, those bodega cats on the internet do seem pretty happy.)

So if you do come back in your next life as a feline, avoid these 10 cities at all costs:

  1. New York City
  2. Memphis, Tennessee
  3. New Orleans
  4. Jacksonville, Florida
  5. Phoenix
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Detroit
  8. San Francisco
  9. Houston
  10. Virginia Beach, Virginia