European pet ownership: Cats are the most popular


The European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) has found that cats are the most popular pets in Europe. In 2021, there were an estimated 113.6 million cats in European households.

Cats Or Dogs in Europe

Cats in Europe

In most European countries, between 20 and 40% of households own at least one cat. Romania has the highest number of pet cats, with almost half of all households (48%) owning one. Lithuania follows with a 37% share, and Hungary, Poland, and Russia are all at 34%.

Other countries:

  • France: 33%
  • Lithuania and Slovenia: 32%
  • Norway: 31%
  • Switzerland: 30%
  • Austria: 28%
  • Belgium and the United Kingdom: 27%
  • Netherlands and Bulgaria: 25%
  • Finland: 23%
  • Czech Republic: 22%
  • Sweden and Italy: 21%

Cats In Europe

Greece and Turkey have the lowest percentages of cat ownership, at 13% and 14%, respectively. Istanbul is known for its large population of stray cats. Slovakia and Spain follow with 15% and 16%, respectively. Overall, the FEDIAF data for 2021 suggests that cat ownership remains a widespread and sustainable practice in Europe.

Dogs in Europe

There are slightly fewer pet dogs in Europe, with an estimated 92.9 million. Romania again has the highest percentage, with 45% of households owning a dog. Poland follows with 43%, the Czech Republic with 42%, and Portugal with 39%.

Other countries:

  • Lithuania and Hungary: 34%
  • United Kingdom: 33%
  • Slovenia: 30%
  • Slovakia: 29%
  • Russia: 28%
  • Spain and Lithuania: 27%
  • Ireland and Italy: 25%
  • Belgium, Finland, and Bulgaria: 24%
  • Estonia: 22%

Dogs In Europe

Like cats, dogs are also not particularly popular in Turkey. Only 5% of households in Turkey own a dog, which is by far the lowest percentage in Europe. Switzerland has only 12% of households with a dog, followed by Greece with 14%.

Experts note that cats are more independent and require less attention and care than dogs. They do not need to be walked and can be left alone for longer periods of time at home. Dogs require constant interaction with their owners. They need to be walked, played with, and given a lot of attention in order to be happy and healthy. Dogs are also better at being trained.

Pets are highly valued in Europe, according to the FEDIAF study, but cats are more popular. In 26% of European households, there is at least one cat, while 25% have at least one dog. The highest percentages of these pets, as already noted, are in Romania, while the lowest percentages are in Greece and Turkey. Hungary is the only country where the shares of households with cats and dogs are equal (34%).

Reasons for popularity

The reasons for the popularity of cats and dogs vary from country to country. In some countries, cats are seen as more independent and low-maintenance pets, while dogs are seen as more loyal and affectionate companions. In other countries, the popularity of cats and dogs is influenced by cultural factors, such as the prevalence of rural or urban living.

Regardless of the reasons, it is clear that pets play an important role in the lives of many people in Europe. They provide companionship, love, and support, and they can help to improve our mental and physical health.

We understand the deep emotional bond between humans and their pets, and we believe that every pet deserves to be treated with love and respect. ALMASCOTAS is dedicated to supporting pet owners during difficult times, including the loss of a beloved pet. We offer compassionate pet cremation services in Barcelona and memorialization options to help families honor their furry friends.

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