As an optimistic figure, around one tenth of one percent of all cats go missing annually or one in 1000. Around half of this percentage go missing and are not found. I have deliberately simplified the figures which relate to the UK. I’d expect similar but slightly better figures for the USA. Less cats should be lost in the USA because a lot more cats are kept indoors.
A less optimistic figure would probably be twice the number at one fifth of one percent or 1 in 500 but that is a guess.
The answer is based in the UK’s largest lost and found database Petlog. They say that over the 11 year period between 2003 and 2014 just over 55,000 cats were reported missing and not found. These were microchipped cats. Around twice that number were reported missing. Some of whom were reunited with their owners.
The less optimistic figures are based on the presumption that the owners of cats who are not microchipped may take a more casual approach to losing their cat and therefore the percentage of lost non-microchipped cats may be higher than those who are microchipped. But of course we don’t have any records regarding these cats.
In simple language there are very few missing cats. They are rare. They are probably cats that have wandered away from their owner’s home and set up home down the street with someone they prefer or in a more suitable home. Cats don’t have an attitude of immutable loyalty towards their human caretaker.
Actual percentages based on Petlog data:
- 0.071 percent lost and not found
- 0.128 percent missing in total