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Cat population in the United Kingdom (UK) 2010-2019

The UK cat population reached a steady 8 million in 2017 and 2018, which marked the highest after 2013 when the number of pet cats in the UK peaked at 8.5 million. After these two years, the number of cats in the country regressed by half a million again in 2019. As it is, across the UK the share of households owning at least one cat is going strong, if a little behind those who choose the company of canines.  

Cats make people happy

  Dogs may reign supreme in the nation, but cats are still a popular choice for pets in the UK, and for the sweetest reasons too. It is safe to say that UK cat owners have strong emotional ties with their furry friends, with majority of people viewing cats not just as pets but as reliable sources for love, affection and happiness.   

EU loves cats more than UK

  When compared with the rest of the EU, United Kingdom fares relatively behind in pet ownership. In 2018, the share of UK households with at least one pet cat placed the country in the lower ranks. In contrast, Centreal European countries such as Romania, Hungary and Slovenia had the highest share of households with cats.

Number of pet cats in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2010/11 to 2018/19

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Release date

July 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2010/11 to 2018/19

Number of respondents


Age group

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Figures based on estimates from a survey, showing rolling totals over each respective two year period.
* Sample sizes vary as follows:
n (2018/19) = 8,000; n (2017/18) = 8,000; n (2015/16) = 8,000; n (2014/15) = 8,353; n (2013/14) = 6,192; n (2012/13) = 4,223; n (2011/12) = 4,205; n (2010/11) = 4,156.
Exact publication date unknown.

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Statistics on "Pet ownership in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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