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Britons like dogs more than cats

Friday March 18th 2016

Britons own more dogs than cats, according to a new pet census. The Pet Food Manufacturers' Association's (PFMA) yearly Pet Population list shows that 8.5 million pooches and 7.5 million moggies are kept in the UK.

There are an estimated 35-40 million fish either living in ponds or tanks. The study also finds that 800,000 rabbits, 700,000 guinea pigs, 600,000 domestic fowl and caged birds, 400,000 hamsters and 300,000 lizards are kept as pets.

Britain's pet population is about 57 million, with 11 million families having an animal and 16.8 million going without, the study shows.

Work, time and lifestyles are the biggest barrier to pet ownership with 36% of non-pet owners citing this. The PFMA also finds tenancy rules (13%), a dislike of pets (5%) and the expense (4%) as other main reasons. London has the lowest pet numbers with only 12% owning a cat, 9% keeping dogs and 1% having a rabbit.

People are more likely to own a dog if they live in Northern Ireland (44%), while the South-West has the biggest cat-owning population with 21%. Rabbits are most popular among North-East households with 4%. The PFMA's estimates follow interviews with more than 8,000 British households.

Copyright Press Association 2016