Mar 30, 2021
Cats vs Dogs — A Nation Divided
Are you a dog or a cat person? Perhaps you’re a bit of both? Have you ever wondered which are the most popular breeds of cat or dog in your area, or whether more people in your region own a cat or a dog?
Well, thanks to a recent survey conducted by Sainsbury’s bank, now you can find out the most popular pets in your area.
Overall, as a nation, we prefer dogs.
So, if the UK is a nation of people barking mad for dogs, what about our capital city? What do Londoners prefer when it comes to domesticated pets?
Well… it turns out they’re crazy about cats!
London: a City of Cat Lovers
That’s right, a whopping 84% of people surveyed in central London owned a cat, compared to 16% owning dogs.
As is often the case, London bucks the trend.
This said, it is perhaps understandable—dog-walking can’t be as easy in urban areas as it is in greener lands. (This may explain why in North Wales, one of the most rural regions in the country, 62% of people own dogs, with only 38% owning cats).
The top breeds of cat in London are as follows:
- Domestic Shorthair
- British Shorthair
To mark the release of this data, we thought we’d look at the top 3 most unusual breeds of cat living in the UK.
The UK’s top 3 most unusual breeds of cat
Bred to resemble jungle cats such as tigers, leopards and ocelots, these striking pets are not cheap. (A Bengal cat will set you back between £500-£700.) But for a pet that looks this elegant, it’s probably worth the money!
They may look feral, but Bengal cats are an ideal breed for those who desire an exotic-looking pet. Although Bengal cats are domesticated animals, their ancestor is a small, wild Asian leopard cat that was crossed with domestic shorthairs.
Bengal cats are highly intelligent and active—making them fun pets. They generally have a domestic cat temperament but are known to be very inquisitive and playful.
According to the Sainsbury’s survey, the Welsh own the most Bengal cats; 3.2% of cat owners surveyed have one.
2. Maine Coon
Source: Tambako The Jaguar
One of the largest breeds of domesticated cat, Maine Coons can grow up to 41cm tall and they can reach a length of up to 120cm. Their bodies are solid and muscular, which is needed to support their weight, and their chest is broad.
Despite their imposing stature, Maine Coons have a kind disposition and are noted for their intelligence. Possessing valuable hunting skills, they make great rodent catchers.
Known for its distinctive appearance, large, tufted ears and long, shaggy coat, the Maine Coon is a large and sociable cat—hence its nickname the ‘Gentle Giant’.
Considering how unusual they are, Maine Coons are surprisingly popular across the UK regions—with 2.2% of Northerners, 2.7% of East Midlanders and 4.4% of North Easterners owning one.
3. Blue-Eyed Ragdoll
The blue-eyed Ragdoll is an impressive-looking pet. Coming in both long and short haired variations, the Ragdoll is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature.
Especially popular in the United Kingdom, Ragdolls are known as ‘dog-like’ cats, due to their propensity to follow people around, their ease at being physically handled and their relative lack of aggression towards other pets.
According to Your Ideal Cat: Insights Into Breed and Gender Differences in Cat Behavior, the Ragdoll is ‘one of the most frequently registered breeds and also one of the fastest growing in popularity. [...] You can expect your Ragdoll to greet guests as they come to the door, and even perhaps to be keen on the game of playing fetch.’
The Ragdoll is most popular in the West Midlands region of the UK, with 2.4% of cat owners surveyed possessing one.
So, there you have it: a breakdown of some of the strangest and most intriguing breeds of cat in the UK. We want to say thank-you to Sainsbury’s bank, money matters, for coming up with and sharing this interesting data!