Pet ownership varied around the country, with two thirds of most of the North Island owning at least one pet; 52% have a cat, 37% have a dog, and 22% have both. The two North Island exceptions were Auckland and Wellington, where only half of the residents own a cat, a dog, or both.
The South Island was found to be above average in its love of pets, with 47% of both Canterbury and the rest of South Island owning a cat compared to the 45% average, and 34% and 36% respectively owning a dog, compared to the 31% average.
It might come as a surprise to many that cats are a more popular pet than dogs in New Zealand, with 45% of Kiwis owning a cat compared to only 31% of Kiwis owning a dog. However many Kiwis aren’t making themselves pick one or the other, with 18% of New Zealanders having at least one cat and one dog; maybe they get on better than we thought!
We mentioned the proportion of pet owners that pay for pet care services per month (15%); the research found that dogs were much more pampered than their feline counterparts, with 1 in 5 dog owners splurging on grooming or vet expenses in a four week period, compared to only 1 in 7 cat owners.
While less Australians own pets than New Zealanders (38% of Aussies have cats, only 23% have a cat, and 12% have both), it doesn’t mean that they love animals any less! Economic and personal factors may be responsible for this discrepancy, or it may be that there are simply more dogs and cats per person in New Zealand. Either way, our four-legged friends are definitely an important part of our neighbourhood structure.