Cats knock dogs off top spot as man’s best friend

New data from pet insurance provider Bought By Many reveals that during the pandemic, insurance policies for cats grew by 205% year-on-year, 13% more than dogs.

The residents of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire are turning into feline fanatics as the town has seen the popularity of cats increase by more than thirteen times compared to the same period last year (1,350%) – 11 times more than the national average.

This is closely followed by those in Wembley, North London (1,300%) and St Helen’s in Merseyside (1,300%).

However, those in Edgeware, Barnet are firmly feeling the puppy love, with the popularity of dogs having increased more than 16 times compared to last year (1,650%). This is followed by those in Rochdale, Greater Manchester (1,500%) and Hillingdon, West London (1,200%).

And whilst cat owners are often depicted as old women, Bought By Many data shows that there has been a 74% growth of people in their 20s purchasing cats, with an equal split of men and women. This is compared to 42% of people in their 20s getting dogs.

Sarah James, Vet Nurse and Bought By Many’s Technical Claims Manager said: The ‘cats vs. dog’ debate is as old as time, but it’s clear our feline friends are finally having their moment. Cats are extremely independent creatures and are fairly low maintenance. Whilst dogs require regular exercise, cats are quite happy entertaining themselves, but it’s important to schedule in regular play time so they can let off a bit of steam.

“As dogs are generally more expensive pets, it’s normal for them to be insured more often than cats. However, the huge spike in sales clearly shows that they are now considered to be just as much a part of the family as our canine companions. Cats also provide great companionship, which has no doubt been much appreciated during these uncertain times. Both cats and dogs are wonderful for different reasons, so if you’re looking to get a pet then it’s important to consider your lifestyle, and which will fit best.”