Are We a Nation of Mad-Catters?
Let me just throw some facts and figures at you.
On average, 1 in 8 of us in the UK own a cat. 1 in 7 of us own a dog. Our total pet population is over 56 MILLION, and we spend some £6,000,000,000 (billion) a year on our pet industry. That is the equivalent of every single person in the UK spending £90 a year on pet produce, even if they don’t own a pet.
If we deserted London and allowed for our feline population to take over, the population change wouldn’t significantly alter. There are some 7.5 million cats living among us, enough to fill 94% of London’s human population. The obsession doesn’t just stop with owning cats, though. Take the 5 most famous cats on social media: Hamilton, Venus, Grumpy, Pudge & Nala. They have a total following on Instagram of 7.9 million. That is more that the populations of Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Paraguay, Bulgaria... The list goes on.
It won’t come as a surprise that our cities are choked full of cats. In London’s southwest region, there is an average of 803 cats per square mile. North London has an equally massive 734 cats per square mile. Despite this absurd density, it is in fact Birmingham that has the highest population of cats, with some 72,000 packed into the Black Country’s capital. British Shorthairs, Bengals and Siamese are our most-loved pedigree cats, with those three breeds numbering over 120,000 strong. Perhaps oddly, Guernsey and Jersey are the UK most popular cat havens, with the highest cat-to-human ratios recorded on those isles. If you are lost and have somehow found yourself on this cat blog, don’t fear, Northern Ireland is where you will find sanctuary. With just 1 cat for every 252 people, we wonder how the Northern Irish get by.
With all these mind-blogging numbers in mind, the UK is (for the most-part) a nation of mad-catters. We are not alone though. Just across the pond, the US and Canada are equally cat-mad, boasting a staggering 98 million cats between them. It’s no wonder we have such a special relationship.