Kiwi love of dogs and cats is fall­ing


New Zealan­ders’ life­styles and at­ti­tudes to­wards pets are chang­ing, mean­ing cats and dogs are fall­ing out of favour while birds and rep­tiles are on the rise.

Ki­wis have his­tor­i­cally been a na­tion of dog and cat lovers, with rates of an­i­mal own­er­ship some of the high­est in the world.

But a new Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional re­port shows the num­ber of Kiwi dogs had fallen from 696,000 in 2012 to just over 680,000 this year.

Cat num­bers have shrunk by about 200,000 an­i­mals in that same time pe­riod and are also ex­pected to keep fall­ing.

Re­search an­a­lyst Alice Yu be­lieves in­creas­ingly busy life­styles, ris­ing ur­ban­i­sa­tion and an age­ing pop­u­la­tion are all con­trib­u­tors to a shrink­ing cat and dog pop­u­la­tion.

Fall­ing home own­er­ship is also sin­gled out as a lead con­trib­u­tor in the re­port.

Yu said con­sumers were opt­ing for smaller pets that were eas­ier to care for such as birds and rep­tiles.

The dif­fi­cul­ties in find­ing a house in Auck­land has meant Ian McDon­ald has been strug­gling to find a house to ac­com­mo­date his ger­man shep­herd Guss for months.

Guss, an eight-year-old res­cue dog, is hav­ing to live with McDon­ald’s father on a farm in North­land un­til McDon­ald buys a house - no small feat in Auck­land.

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