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Home > Cats > Are Cats or Dogs More Popular in Canada? What Statistics Say

Are Cats or Dogs More Popular in Canada? What Statistics Say

gray cat beside a black and white dog on a grass

The pet population in Canada has soared in recent years, with approximately 73% of Canadian households owning at least one pet. The COVID-19 pandemic drove these numbers higher, as many Canadians sought companionship during this time. What pets are most popular in Canada? Do more Canadians choose dogs or cats?

While 38% of pet owners in Canada own cats, 35% own dogs. So, while the ratio is fairly evenly split, cats are the most popular pets in Canada.

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How Many Cats and Dogs Are There in Canada?

There are an estimated 8.1 million domestic cats in Canada and 7.7 million domestic dogs in Canada. Approximately 18% of these animals were obtained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interestingly, Nova Scotia and Quebec residents are more likely to own a cat than a dog. In contrast, the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia have a higher population of dogs than cats. Whether this is due to the west having more rural residents than the east is unclear.

What Age Group Has the Most Pets?

According to age, the largest demographic of pet owners in Canada are individuals between 45 and 54. As people’s ages increase, so do the percentage of households with pets. However, the highest number of dogs and cats per household occurs among households with children.

woman holding a cat and a papillon dog
Image Credit By: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock


What Other Pets Are Popular in Canada?

After cats and dogs, birds are the next most popular choice of pet in Canada. There are over 1 million pet birds in the Great White North. The most common choices are cockatiels, parakeets, lovebirds, finches, cockatoos, and macaws.

Ontario has the highest population of pet birds, with British Columbia and Alberta following close behind. It is estimated that Canadians spend $50 million on pet birds each year.

Pet Population by Region

Region Percentage of Households With Pets
Quebec 65%
Atlantic Canada 64%
Ontario 56%
Alberta 50%
British Columbia 49%
Saskatchewan/Manitoba 47%
Cats and Dogs
Image Credit By: jellypet, pixabay



While it is fairly evenly split, cats are more popular than dogs in Canadian households. There is also a higher population of cats in eastern provinces, while dogs are more popular in the west. Coming in third for the most popular pet in Canada are birds. Households with children and aging individuals are the most likely to own pets. While the preference for the type of pet varies across the country, it is clear that Canadians love their animals.

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Featured Image Credit: Andrew S, Unsplash

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