Are men ditching dogs for cats?

Ed Sheeran is a cat man

Ed Sheeran is a cat man

We all suspect men are softies at heart and now it’s official.

A huge increase in the cat population in Wigan has largely been driven by a rise in the number of men owning feline friends - up from 13% in 2016 to 17% in 2017. And for the first time more young people own cats than those aged between 35-44.

The top 10 pets owned by domestic households are:

15-20 million fish kept in tanks

15-20 million fish kept in ponds

8.5 million dogs

8 million cats

900,000 rabbits

700,000 pet birds

700,000 reptiles

600,000 domestic fowl

500,000 guinea Pigs

300,000 hamsters

Cats Protection’s Social Media Manager, Gemma Croker, said: “Cats have always been on social media but we have definitely noticed more men openly expressing their love for their feline friends. We now see more male celebrities talking about their cats such as our The Vamps’ James McVey whose cat is called cat Mickey, Ed Sheeran whose pet is Graham and Russell Brand who has named his cat Morrissey. It is possible that this trend may have triggered an increase in popularity for cats among the general male population, which is great news for rehoming cats.”

Michael Bellingham Chief Executive of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), said: “Pet ownership is a rewarding experience for everyone.

“It’s wonderful to see that men are realising the huge benefits of pets with an increase in cat ownership in this sector. Our research also showed 38% of families with children were considering a small mammal so its good news for all pets. We are delighted that in spite of the challenges presented to pet ownership, our population is stable with a four per cent increase to 12 million households owning a pet.”