Pets in Austria are becoming more common and, thanks to good care, getting older

Pets in Austria are becoming more common and, thanks to good care, getting older
Cats are among the favorite pets of Upper Austrians

The life expectancy of pets in Austria is increasing. This is shown by a study carried out by the market research institute GfK on behalf of the Austrian Pet Food Association (ÖHTV). The investigation attributes the result, among other things, to “good care and nutrition of these animals” as well as qualified veterinary care, as ÖHTV managing director Bernd Berghofer explained at a press conference in Vienna.

At the same time, according to the survey, the total number of four-legged friends in the country is increasing – cats in particular are becoming increasingly popular. A record high has been reached with around two million house tigers across Austria. According to Berghofer, Austria remains a “cat country”.

The number of dogs is at its peak in 2022 at 836,000 animals. Around 36 percent or over 700,000 of Austrian cats are now over ten years old and twelve percent over 15 years old. According to the study, around 30 percent of dogs are older than ten years – three percent more than in the most recent survey.

Most dogs are found in Lower Austria and Burgenland

The highest density of dogs and cats can be found in Lower Austria and Burgenland, with 46 percent of all households in Austria keeping at least one animal. Vienna has the smallest pet population per household, but there is also slight growth. In addition, the study confirms “the often-quoted cliché of the family with children and cats,” while dogs are predominantly found in single-person households or apartments with two people.

According to Berghofer, a previously observed corona effect when purchasing animals has leveled off again. A highlight during the pandemic was “characterized by the fact that animals were taken from animal shelters at short notice, but then a lot of them were returned.”

But it doesn’t always have to be a cat or dog: 14 percent of households (around 544,000) have other pets, such as rabbits, turtles, ornamental fish or birds. This number has decreased slightly by two percent since 2022.

Dogs and cats live peacefully side by side in around 146,000 households, of which around 77,000 households also have other pets. “This shows that dogs and cats get along very well in many cases,” says Hermann Habe.

The figures are based on a survey of 4,000 households that GfK carried out for ÖHTV and the Austrian pet trade.

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