Russia has most dog, cat pets 2021; UK, fish; Italy, birds

Russia had the highest pet dog and cat populations in Europe for 2021. Italians owned the most pet birds, while France was home to the most reptile pets. The United Kingdom had the most aquariums.

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Russian blue cat (ElenaPopova | BigStock.com)
Russian blue cat (ElenaPopova | BigStock.com)

As in the U.S. and other nations, Europeans acquired new cats, dogs, snakes and parrots in early 2020 to keep themselves and their children company as they sheltered in place. In 2021, pet food stockpiling that occurred in the early pandemic subsided and didn’t return with new virus variants and associated lockdowns. Nor did the boom in adoptions reoccur. Nevertheless, those new pandemic pets did need food and treats in 2021, and pet populations continued growing. European pet food industry group FEDIAF reported that pet food sales value in Europe increased 3.1% in 2021, reaching 27.7 billion Euros (US$28.89 billion). Although the rate of sales increase slowed from 2020, many of the same factors fueled sales of dog, cat and other pet food and treats in Europe as the pandemic continued into its second year. In total, FEDIAF estimated that 90 million households in the European Union own at least one pet animal, which accounts for 46% of all households. 

Russia had the highest pet dog and cat populations in Europe for 2021, according to the FEDIAF report "Facts & Figures 2021." Italians owned the most pet birds, while France was home to the most reptile pets. The United Kingdom had the most aquariums.

Top cat populations

  1. Russia – 22,950,000
  2. Germany – 16,700,000
  3. France – 15,100,000

Total Europe: 113,588,248

Total EU: 83,622,248

Top dog populations

  1. Russia – 17,550,000
  2. United Kingdom – 12,000,000
  3. Germany – 10,300,000

Total Europe: 92,947,732

Total EU: 72,708,732

Top bird populations

  1. Italy – 12,880,000
  2. Turkey – 11,200,000
  3. France – 5,300,000

Total Europe: 48,719,769

Total EU: 33,949,769

Top aquarium numbers

  1. United Kingdom – 5,000,000
  2. Russia – 3,950,000
  3. Germany – 2,300,000
  4. Total Europe: 16,403,937

Total EU: 10,700,937

Top small mammal populations

  1. Russia – 6,530,000
  2. Germany – 4,600,000
  3. France – 3,600,000

Total Europe: 29,347,757

Total EU: 21,543,757

Top reptile populations

  1. France – 3,300,000
  2. Italy – 1,365,000
  3. Germany – 1,200,000

Total Europe: 11,436,776

Total EU: 9,810,776

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