UK: Profile of the sort of person who likes cats

What differentiates people who like cats from their comparison set? These are the words of YouGovProfiles on their page about people who like cats. The sample size is 3573.

The images below tell us about the sort of person who owns a cat in the UK. The information is based YouGov polls. YouGov are a well-known company in the UK who often conduct polls on behalf of organisations such as newspapers to find out what people think about all manner of things. The most common of these polls concerns how people are voting at elections.

Of course, there are different levels in skill, concern and knowledge with respect to cat ownership. The poll refers to liking cats which is quite a general description and does not necessarily include cat owners but probably does.

I comment myself below the series of 12 images below which are self-explanatory. This is the profile of the cat lover (liker) in the UK…


What do I think about this cat loving profile? It is reasonably good, I believe. It more or less chimes with my impression of what the cat lover in the UK is like in 2014. It is interesting that Yorkshire is a major cat loving area in the UK. That is in the north of England and happens to be close to where Ruth and Barbara live (two regular contributors to PoC). They live in county Durham.

The overall profile is perhaps of a middle-aged woman (the poll results are in a younger age bracket), who is rather conservative in her tastes but intelligent, thoughtful and concerned. You could say that the UK cat lover is, perhaps, somewhat old-school England in mentality but that is me guessing and extrapolating from these results. They might reflect the way England was about 50 years ago. They probably hanker after those times but these are my personal views and not based on any poll.

Here are some statistics from a study conducted a little while ago but still valid about pet ownership in the UK:

TopicStatisticComment – these are mine alone unless stated otherwise
Estimated number of cats in UK (2006)10,332,955 (Number of dogs: 10,522,186)1986:  Estimated of about 6.2 million cats and 6.4
million dogs in the UK (Thrusfield) – inaccurate?
2007: Estimated 7.2 million cats and 7.3
million dogs (Pet Food Manufacturers Association – PFMA) – inaccurate?
The current information contradicts anecdotal evidence.
Percentage of households owning cats in UK26% (31% owned dogs). People who had a garden were more likely to own a cat or dog. The number of cats and dogs is related to the number of people that live
in that household1.This compares to US study by Patronek that found that 19.7 per cent of households owned cats (dogs
(28.8 per cent)2.
Understandable that a garden encourages pet ownership
Households where someone was qualified to degree levelMore likely to own a cat (1.36
times more likely to own a cat than other households).
Does this mean more intelligent people prefer cats? Certainly more independent people prefer cats and the two sets of data may do hand in hand. The authors say this: “it could be related to occupations
requiring higher qualifications being associated with longer working hours and
therefore less time available for care of a dog.
WomenMore likely to own a catBecause women are generally less likely to be pack animals
Household with at least one dog and children aged 11-15More likely to own a cat
Percentage of households owning one cat58.3% (compared with 73.3% owning one dog)
Percentage of households owning two cats29.3%
Percentage of households owning three cats7.2%
Percentage of households owning four cats2.1%
Percentage of households owning five cats1.4%
Percentage of households owning 6 – 12 cats1.6%
Average number of cats per household1.66
Percentage of households owning one or more dogs and one or more cats7%
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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Well we live in County Durham which is next to North Yorkshire and we are older than the profiled people so maybe why not much is right about us.
    Yes to cats and animals and nature and charities, but no to swinging to the right politics, Bank, Daily Mirror (WHAT? Read anything other than the Northern Echo!) Woman's weekly, TV shows, sports (hate them all) films, scrabble, video games, food etc etc lol
    Very interesting though, but as you say Michael, the survey sample isn't very big.

  • I live in the Anglia region and can relate to some of the results, but many of them don't apply to me.

    When Channel 4 broadcast their "Psychopath Night" I took part in their on-line survey (lol). Out of 2,452,313 responses to they discovered that people with the least psychopathic tendencies prefer cats to other pets. Probably something to do with not wanting absolute control over others ;)

    • That's a neat comment. Thanks Michele. I guess you don't fit the profile. It can't be that accurate. The sample size isn't that big, for a start. I found it quite interesting though.

      • Michael: Maybe it's because I'm older than the survey group averag.

        Whilst I agreed with the Niche Interest section, the only person on the favourite movies, shows, artists personality list I actually like is Derren Brown. I never buy papers or magazines. Have never played scrabble or owned a Rover. Most sports bore me rigid, but I do enjoy watching a game of American Football.

    • LOL!
      May have to do with no time or energy to explore or act on devious fantasies.
      Cats keep me grounded and in the "now".

    • I'd like to comment, but there are so many listed things that I've never heard of. So, I guess I can't tell whether I would be a good fit in this profile study.
      But, some things I like or love, and one is Sarah Brightman

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