Cat Names – Do They Affect Adoption Rates?

Cat Names – Do They Affect Adoption Rates?

I saw an interesting post in a group I am a member of and thought it was a great thought provoking question.

Does the name of a cat at a shelter affect the adoption rate?

Would you rescue a cat named Ivan – or would your prefer Walter? Does Fluffy fit your fancy but you find Rapunzel to be just ridiculous?

Well, thankfully there is research for that! Really – there is!

The ASPCA put together a small study that was conducted by a Hunter College student, Lisa Rotter. She was assisted by Dr. Katherine Miller from the ASPCA and Dr. Sheila Chase and Dr. Martin Chodorow both from Hunter College.

Here are the details of the study.

384 potential cat adopters at the ASPCA Adoption Center in NYC and in some off site adoption events also in the city were showing four cats and were asked to rate their perception of the cats based on the following criteria:

  • Health
  • Playfulness
  • Friendliness
  • Ease of new home adaptation
  • Could they attract potential adopters?

Now, keep in mind that the adopters were not given any information or did not even meet the cat – all they had to base their perceptions off was a photo of the cat and the the name of the cat.

The Results?

Well, basically — it was found that no one cares what the cat is named! The study results showed that cat names will not ultimately affect whether a cat gets adopted or not and nor did it affect the length of stay of the animal at the shelter.

To read more of the full study visit the ASPCA Cat Name Study page!

The Numbers Prove It – Animals Are Worth It!

The Numbers Prove It – Animals Are Worth It!

The Humane Society releases data annually that estimates the number of animals that are euthanized as well as those that live in homes. The latest numbers kind of show what we already knew – the rescues and shelters need our help and owning a pet is a pretty popular thing to do!

The latest numbers, as shared by The Humane Society are below.

US Pet Ownership Estimates For 2012

[col span=”1/2″] DOGS

  • 83.3 million dogs are owned
  • 70% own 1 dog
  • 20% own 2 dogs
  • 10% own 3 or more dogs
  • 20% of owned dogs were adopted from shelters
  • 83% of owned dogs are spayed or neutered[/col]

[col span=”1/2″]CATS

  • 95.6 million cats are owned
  • 46% own 1 cat
  • 31% own 2 cats
  • 24% own 3 or more cats
  • 26% of owned dogs were adopted from shelters
  • 91% of owned dogs are spayed or neutered


*data provided by the American Pet Products Association.


Shelter and Adoption Estimates For 2012-2013

Animal Statistics From the Humane SocietyThe following information is based on data provided by the former National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy.

  • Number of shelters – 3,500
  • Number of cats and dogs that enter shelters each year – 6 to 8 million
  • Percent of purebred dogs in shelters – 25%
  • Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters each year 3 to 4 million
  • Number of cats and dogs euthanized in shelters each year – 2.7 million
  • 30% of shelter dogs are ultimately reclaimed by their owners
  • 2-5% of shelter cats are reclaimed

While the number of animals euthanized each year has dropped tremendously, clearly there is still a lot of work to do!

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