The survey of almost 9000 UK households confirmed that dogs top the charts with 13 million, followed closely by cats with a population of 12 million.
The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has unveiled its Top Ten pet chart with over six in ten households (62%) owning some kind of pet. The survey of almost 9000 UK households confirmed that dogs top the charts with 13 million, followed closely by cats with a population of 12 million. Also featuring in the charts are 1.6 million indoor birds, 1.4 million domestic fowl, 1 million rabbits, 900,000 Guinea pigs, 700,000 pigeons, 600,000 hamsters, 600,000 tortoises (and turtles) and 600,000 horses (and ponies).
Stand out figures are for birds. All together there are almost 4 million birds being kept as pets by approximately 1.5 million households – an increase of almost one quarter (23%) on the previous year’s figures. Small mammals are also strong with a total of 2.5 million rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters kept by around 1.5 million households.
In addition to the Top Ten, fish are incredibly popular with 8 million indoor fish tanks (17% households) and 6.5 million outdoor ponds (12% households). These figures are up by around 60% on last year when 5m owned an indoor tank and 4.1m had a pond.
34% of UK households own a dog (10 million) compared to 28% (8.2 million) owning a cat. Households with both a cat and dog are up slightly to 11% (3.2 million). Looking at households with children, 77% have a pet (6.9 million), which is an increase of 12% on 2021 figures, when 6.15 million families owned a pet.
Nicole Paley comments: “Over recent years we have seen an increase in the pet population, and we are not surprised that many are valuing the joy and companionship that all types of pets bring to our lives. Although dogs and cats continue to top the charts, it is lovely to see that so many are enjoying the companionship of small mammals, birds and fish.”
For more information on statistics, interviews with spokespeople or case-studies and photos, please contact Nicole@pfma.org.uk / 07718 518579 or Laura@pfma.org.uk / 07465 262216
NOTES TO EDITORS
PFMA has been working with Kantar since 2008 and Soulor Consulting since 2016. After years of running face to face surveys, in 2021 due to the Covid Pandemic, the survey moved online. The change in methodology has allowed the PFMA to increase the sample size. However, it is not possible to benchmark the change from data sourced face-to-face and online.
The online survey has been run for two consecutive years. In 2021 the size was 5093 and in 2022 is 8983 for the main annual population figures. For 2022, caution is required when comparing 2022 data to previous years due to the change in sample size. Percentages of households owning pets can be compared between 2022 and 2021.
Fish are not included in the Top Ten as the numbers relate to aquaria and ponds rather than actual population numbers.
PFMA’s Top Ten Pets 2022 are:
13m dogs (34% households)
12m cats (28% households)
1.6m indoor birds (2.9% households)
1.4m domestic fowl (1.4% households)
1m rabbits (2.4% households)
0.9m Guinea pigs (1.3% households)
0.7m pigeons (0.9% households)
0.6m hamsters (1.5% households)
0.6m tortoises and turtles (1.4% households)
0.6m horses and ponies (1.1% households)
Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000.
 Kantar / Soulor Consulting online survey with 8983 respondents, providing detail on the pet population, completed in January 2022. Top Ten features non aquatic pets in the UK. Fish are not included in the Top Ten as the numbers relate to aquaria and ponds rather than actual population numbers.
 2021 figures stood at 1.3 m indoor birds (25% growth), 1.2m domestic fowl (17% growth) and 500k (40% growth) pigeons.
 Small mammal populations are rabbits 0.7m (2.4% households), Guinea Pigs 0.4m (1.3% households) and hamsters 0.4m (1.5% households).