The CATalyst 2009 Top 10 Cat Friendly Cities Criteria Backgrounder

In furthering its mission to elevate the status of the cat, the CATalyst Council developed a list of criteria to identify what makes a city cat-friendly. The calculation process started with the top 25 largest metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The criteria were ranked and assigned a numerical weight relative in their importance in defining cat-friendliness. The data for each criterion were obtained from key companies and organizations. The CATalyst Council then compiled the data for each criterion. The CATalyst 2009 Top 10 Cat-Friendly Cities, as defined by the CATalyst Council criteria, were then calculated by an independent research firm. Below is the list of criteria developed by the CATalyst Council and used to determine the final list:

  • Number of cats
  • Percent of cats microchipped
  • Number of American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) members
  • Number of American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) hospitals
  • Number of American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) veterinarians
  • Number of American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialists
  • Number of American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) board-certified veterinary behavior specialists
  • Number of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society (VECCS) members and board-certified veterinary emergency and critical care specialists
  • Number of Cat Fancy magazine subscribers
  • Number of Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) cat shows held

Extra credit points were given to cities that met the following criteria:

  • Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) members’ shelters
  • City mayor owns a cat
  • Favorable ordinances for licensing, where cats are defined as companion animals, I.D. is required and ordinances mention cats

Criteria and additional specifics about the CATalyst 2010 Top 10 Cat-Friendly Cities rankings will be announced at the 2009 American Veterinary Medical Association Conference in Seattle, Washington this summer.


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