UK Pet Population

UK Pet Food has been commissioning research looking at the UK’s pet population for over 15 years. Our survey is answered by almost 9000 households.  Our objective is to provide our members, the public, media and the wider pet industry with useful statistics.  Annually, we also ask a smaller group, of around 2500 people, questions about acquisition, habits, cost of living and relinquishment.

After years of running face to face surveys, in 2021, due to the Covid Pandemic, the survey moved online.  Due to the change in methodology, it is not possible to compare current data with data sourced prior to 2021. 


UK Pet Population 2023

Top 10 Pets

  1. Dogs: There are approximately 12 million dogs as pets in the UK, with 31% of households owning a dog.
  2. Cats: There are approximately 11 million pet cats in the UK, with 26% of all households having a cat.
  3. Rabbits: There are approximately 1.5 million rabbits as household pets in the UK, with 2.8% of households having at least one.
  4. Indoor Birds: There are approximately 1.3 million birds kept as indoor pets in the UK, with 2.3% of households keeping them.
  5. Guinea Pigs: There are approximately 1 million guinea pigs as pets in the UK, with 1.8% of households having at least one.
  6. Domestic Fowl: There are approximately 1 million domestic fowls as pets in the UK, with 1.3% of households having at least one.
  7. Hamsters: There are approximately 900,000 hamsters as pets in the UK and 2.1% of households have one.
  8. Tortoises & Turtles: There are approximately 900,000 tortoises and turtles being kept as pets in the UK, with 1.8% of households having one.
  9. Lizards: There are approximately 800,000 lizards as pets in the UK, with 1.8% of households having a pet lizard.
  10. Snakes There are approximately 700,000 pet snakes in the UK, with 1.4% of households having one.

Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000.

Pet Fish Population

  • There are 7 million indoor fish tanks in the UK and 15% of households have one.
  • 11% of households in the UK have an outdoor pond, making 6 million in total.

Note: Kantar / Soulor Consulting online survey with 8,901 respondents, 2023.

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