A census-based epidemiological study was carried out to investigate factors associated with cat ownership in a semi-rural community of 1278 households in Cheshire, UK. Twenty-two per cent of the households were identified as cat-owning and 52 per cent owned a pet of any type. There was evidence to suggest that some types of household were more likely to own a cat than others. Multivariable logistic regression indicated that households were less likely to own a cat if they had one dog compared with no dog, but were more likely to have a cat if they also owned a horse. There was strong evidence that the composition of members of the household was also associated with cat ownership. Households that included people over 60 years old were less likely to own a cat. Households that consisted only of male adults were less likely to own a cat when compared with mixed-sex households. Conversely, households consisting only of female adults were more likely to own a cat.