What Pets Do the Russians Keep?

What Pets Do the Russians Keep? And who prevails – cat-keepers or dog-keepers?

Official statistics are hardly aware of pet keeping in Russia. The Federal State Statistics Service diligently takes into account the number of livestock: pigs, cows, goats and others. Private ancillary holdings are part of the economy, that’s why the state keeps an eye on them. But it has no interest in dogs, cats, aquarium fish or hamsters. So we decided to right the wrong and wrote an article with statistical data about pets.

How many pets are there in Russia?

VCIOM’s sociologists report that 68% of the Russians have pets (61% if livestock is not taken into account). According to the 2010 All-Russian Population Census, there are 54.6 million households in Russia. Based on these numbers, it turns out that there are at least 33.3 million pets in the country — and this is in case of one animal per family. But we know, there are much more.

What Pets Do the Russians Keep?

In 2017, there were approximately 33.7 million domestic cats and 18.9 million dogs in Russia, according to Mars Petcare, an animal products and food producer. Every second family has such pets. And more often they can be found in rural areas: 41% of cats and 54% of dogs live in the country, despite the fact that three-quarters of the Russians are city dwellers.

The most popular pets are cats and dogs. According to information provided by Avito, they make up 70% of all pet selling ads. Namely 42% are cats, 28% are dogs. Rabbits take third place – they are 4.7%, parrots take fourth and they are 1.1%. The last ones are hamsters – they are 1% of the total number of ads.

According to VCIOM, 54% of Russian families have cats, and 38% have dogs. Hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles and other small animals – in 3%. The same number of respondents said that they keep fish and birds at home. 1% of Russians keep exotic animals like crocodiles, lizards or monkeys.

The Russians’ answers to the question: what kind of pet do you have at home?

  • Cat – 54%
  • Dog – 38%
  • Livestock (farm animals) – 7%
  • Hamsters, turtles and others – 3%
  • Fish – 3%
  • Birds – 3%
  • Snakes, monkeys, crocodiles and others – 1%
  • No pets – 32%

Cats vs dogs

There are 522 million dogs and 399 million cats in the world, according to Mars Petcare. In 2016, the GfK research company conducted a large pet survey of residents of 22 countries around the world. It turned out that almost everywhere dogs are more popular than cats. Globally, 33% of households have dogs and only 23% have cats.

The exception was only eight countries, and Russia turned out to be the most «cat friendly» country. According to GfK, 57% of Russian families have cats, and 29% have dogs. For comparison, in the United States these numbers are 39% and 50%, in China — 10% and 25%, in Mexico — 24% and 26%.

Countries where the percentage of cat keepers is bigger than the percentage of dog keepers:

  • Russia: 57%–29%
  • France: 41%–29%
  • Germany: 29%–21%
  • Sweden: 28%–22%
  • Belgium: 33%–29%
  • Turkey: 15%–12%
  • Canada: 35%–33%
  • Netherlands: 26%–25%

According to Mars Petcare the average Russian cat is a mongrel: three quarters of cats are representatives of mixed breeds. As for pets with a pedigree, the most popular breeds are the British Shorthair, Siamese, Siberian, Persian and Maine Coon. But, according to Avito, Scottish cats runk first in sales, and British cats are only in second place.

Russians have slightly more she cats than he cats: 51% versus 49%. There are only 37% of pets who constantly live in a house or apartment. Only a third of these animals are sterilized or neutered.

The average Russian dog is also a representative of a mixed breed, 51% of all such pets. The most favorite breeds among Russians are German Shepherd, Toy Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua and Caucasian Shepherd Dog. But this data doesn’t match with the Avito rating: Spitz is the best-seller there.

Males, as in the cats’ case, are outnumbered: they are 37%. Dog keepers rarely sterilize and neuter their pets and only every tenth dog was subjected to this procedure.


In 2019, the NAFI analytical agency conducted a pet owners survey. Their average monthly amount of expenses is 1.5 thousand rubles. The most generous investors in their pets are residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg. 44% of them spend 2 thousand rubles and more, and 16% of this amount spend more than 5 thousand.

The main items pet keepers spend money on are food and medical services. Some more owners periodically pay for the animals’ transportation, grooming, walking, and activities with trainers and handlers.

According to Tinkoff-Bank’s report, 5.7% of clients have monthly expenses in the «Animals» category. 43% of clients have such expenses at least once a year. This category includes money spendings in pet stores, vet clinics, grooming salons and so on. But some products such as feed and cat litter can also be found in ordinary supermarkets and these expenses would be included in the Supermarkets spendings category, so the statistics of the actual expenditure of money on pets is almost impossible to track.

The average amount, according to bank data, is 1.2 thousand rubles. This is what the monthly pet expenses look like for Tinkoff Bank clients with different income levels (but if we take into account only those who have expenses in the «Animals» category).

What part of the monthly expenses do the Russians with different income levels spend on animals?

  • Up to ₽12,000: 3.1%
  • ₽12,000–₽25,000: 3%
  • ₽25,000–₽50,000: 2.6%
  • ₽50,000–₽70,000: 2.8%
  • ₽70,000–₽75,000: 3.3%
  • ₽75,000–₽100,000: 2.2%
  • ₽100,000–₽250,000: 2.5%
  • ₽250,000–₽400,000: 1.5%
  • From ₽400,000: 2.1%

Mars Petcare gives approximately similar amounts of animals in million-plus cities research: more than half of Russians spend 1-2 thousand rubles per month on their pets.

At the same time, pet food is the smallest part of all pet expenses. GfK research company reports that an average Russian spends only ₽499 on special food for cats and ₽299 for dogs. The main expenses go to vets, medicines, toys and the like. And we need to admit the bigger the city, the more expensive is the pet’s nutrition.

How much do the Russians spend per month on food for cats and dogs?

  • In Moscow: ₽801 – ₽573
  • In million-plus cities: ₽615 – ₽508
  • Cities with a population of over 100,000: ₽54 – ₽297
  • In villages and cities with a population of up to 100,000: ₽396 – ₽212
  • On average in the country: ₽499 – ₽299

Attitude towards pets

In 2019, Mars Petcare and Yandex Market conducted research on how Russian big cities’ residents treat their pets. Almost three-quarters of surveyed ones said they love their pets and consider them family members. The number of cat lovers and dog lovers was approximately the same.

About 70% of keepers buy special food for their pets. Every tenth family prepares a separate ration for cats and dogs. The rest give the pet both its feed and food from their family ration.

More than 80% of owners visit a vet at least once a year. As for vaccination, only every third owner vaccinates his cats, and two out of three do it to their dogs.

VCIOM also reports that the Russians most often buy pets or just take them from friends or acquaintances (over 30%). A quarter of the interviewed picked up an animal on the street and sheltered it. Sometimes people become pet keepers because they get an animal as a gift from someone or even find the animal as a plant.

As for homeless animals, almost half of the Russians are ready to take a pet from the shelter. But unfortunately the older the person, the less is such a desire.

According to research by Mars Petcare, dogs are more likely to be taken from a breeder: more than half of the surveyed owners said so. But cats, on the contrary, are more often picked up on the streets.

Percentage of the Russians of different ages who are ready to adopt an animal from a shelter:

  • 18–24: 90%
  • 25–34: 66%
  • 35–44: 56%
  • 45–59: 44%
  • 60 and older: 22%