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New Zealanders Really Are A Nation Of Animal Lovers

New Zealanders Really Are A Nation Of Animal Lovers

New Zealanders continue to be a nation of animal lovers and consider their companion animals to be trusted members of the family according to a just released survey from the New Zealand Companion Animal Council.

The Companion Animals in NZ 2016 report notes there are well over 4.6 million companion animals in New Zealand. And with 64 per cent of households owning a companion animal, this is only second to the United States where 65 per cent of households have a companion animal.

Cats are still the most popular companion animal in NZ with 44 per cent of households sharing their homes with at least one cat, followed by dogs in 28 per cent of households. And, although only 10 per cent of households have fish, with an average of around nine fish per household this means there are a total number of 1.5 million fish. Other popular companion animals are birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and horses.

Ownership rates are highest amongst people living in Christchurch and in rural areas. Women are more likely to own a companion animal as are people aged 34 – 49, working full time, living in de-facto relationships or living together and families with children aged nine to 17 years.

Over half of New Zealanders who don’t have a companion animal would like to do so but find their lifestyle, cost and responsibility prevent them from doing so. Another big factor is the landlord or property where they live not allowing them to do so.

People are most likely to get a cat from the SPCA, a friend, family member or adopt a found or stray cat. However, for dogs, just under 40 per cent come from breeders, followed by the SPCA, an animal shelter, friend/family member or pet shop.

The overwhelming majority of cats are mixed breeds while well over half of dog owners are more likely to have a registered or pure bred animal.

Desexing rates for cats are now over 90 per cent and dogs are at 75 per cent while the proportion of cats microchipped has more than doubled in the last five years.

The full report is available on the New Zealand Companion Animal website


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