Combining the SEO juice of a “10 best places” list with the viral punch of cat photos, Estately says it’s identified the 10 best and worst states for cat lovers by crunching numbers like longevity, percentage of households with cats, Facebook “likes” for cats, and the number of no-kill shelters.

To its credit, the online real estate brokerage and referral site did not restrict the lists to the 23 states where it’s licensed.

Maine, for example, where Estately provides referrals to other brokers, ranks as “far and away the best state for cat lovers,” based on factors including percentage of households who own cats (46.4 percent), Facebook “likes,” and the strength of animal protection laws. Maine even has an official state cat, the Maine coon.

Rounding out the “10 best”  list were:

  • Vermont (“home to cat-themed a cappella groups like Cat’s Meow, Top Cats, and The Hit Paws”).
  • New Hampshire (“Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire may just secede and become their own cat-friendly country”).
  • Wyoming (“most no-kill shelters per capita of any state in America”).
  • Washington (“home to the author of Office Cat, the best cat parody account on Twitter: @CatAtTempJob”).
  • West Virginia (“They say ‘Virginia is for lovers,’ but West Virginia is for cat lovers.”)
  • Oregon (“Oregon-based Etsy stores have 5,978 cat-related products for sale … locally produced cat sweaters, cat-themed art, and even an informative guide titled, ‘How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety.'”)
  • Montana (“Montana cats reach the ripe old age of 12.4 years.”)
  • Massachusetts (“The Bay State has 10 percent more homes with cats than dogs.”)
  • Indiana (“… Even convicted murderers can have a pet cat at a local prison.”)

As long as Estately was doing all that number crunching, they figured they might as well call out the 10 worst states for cat lovers, too. Using the same criteria, Estately shamed Utah, Louisiana, Washington, D.C., Texas, Alabama, New Jersey, Georgia, California, Delaware and Maryland as the pits.

Inman News readers are already aware of “How cat videos are changing the world” when it comes to viral marketing, and that “Laughter can be business’s best medicine.”

Estately’s rankings of the best and worst states for cat lovers drive that the point home — the blog posts, which incorporate plenty of viral-worthy photos, have already generated more than 1,000 Facebook likes, a few dozen tweets, and press coverage in California, Oregon, Montana and Maine.

Cats don’t have a monopoly on cuteness, as Bedford, N.Y.-based Houlihan Lawrence agent Brian Lawrence proved in a listing video that starred the owners’ golden retriever canines. And lets Realtors enlist photos of a “spokesdog,” Otis, to market pet-friendly rental listings.

When New York City-based brokerage The Corcoran Group recruited Marcel, a French bulldog puppy, to star in the firm’s first scripted live-action TV commercial, a series of YouTube videos depicting the puppy’s apartment hunt generated more than 1 million views.

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