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The truth about cats and dogs in the UK

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There are more cats and dogs in the UK than anyone thought.

According to figures in a new study, there are around 10.3 million cats and 10.5 million dogs in the UK, a total of 4 million more than pet food manufacturers had estimated, according to The Guardian.

The report, based on polling, also concludes that cat owners are better educated.

The study is the first published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 20 years — when there were 6.2 million cats and 6.4 million dogs.

Cats, according to the study, are more likely to live in households with someone with a college degree. A poll of 2,524 households found that 47.2% of those with a cat had at least one person educated to degree level, compared with 38.4% of homes with dogs. We will presume that cat owners did the math.

Last year, the Pet Food Manufacturers Association estimated — not too precisely, as it turns out — the size of the UK domestic cat and dog population at about 8 million each.

The new study, published in the Veterinary Record by Jane Murray, a cats protection lecturer in feline epidemiology at Bristol University, does not take into account strays or those animals in shelters.

About  7% of UK households own both a cat and dog.

(Photos: My dog Ace, your cat Miley, both of whom got their education on the streets; by John Woestendiek)

Comments

Comment from bluhawkk
Time February 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm

If Miley’s look of concern is about pet food manufacturer’s underestimating animal populations, she may need some reassurance that US shelves will not go bare.

I assume she agrees about the general educational levels of cat-owning humans.

Comment from Kate
Time February 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I always knew I was cut above the rest being a cat owner :)

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time February 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I cracked up at the two photos heading up this blog. What emotive beauties! They surely look like “family” and seem to be saying, “We love you John!” And your placing them there says the same love back to them!

Comment from Anna
Time February 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Initially, I thought the pics were just stock – from the original article in UK and then I did a double take and said – hey – that’s Ace! Hey – that’s Miley! He sure looks like one happy dog and Miley – well she sure cleaned up real good and is beautiful! Thank You for putting a smile on my face!

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