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The historic naval town of Plymouth has struck the elegant seaside town of Brighton on the south coast to claim the title of Britain’s ‘Cat Capital’, it has emerged.
Researchers who conducted a detailed study found that two-thirds (66.1%) of people who live in Plymouth are self-styled cat lovers.
Legend has it that Sir Francis Drake, who envisioned the threat of Spanish invasion while bowling on Plymouth Hoe in 1588, once rescued a cat from the sea and adopted it.
Plymouth has just beaten Brighton, which is well known for its vibrant LGBTQ community, to move up to number one, with Nottingham third and Sheffield fourth.
Southampton, another southern coastal port, completed the top five, according to the study commissioned by sustainable natural cat litter company Natusan.
Overall, the top ten were made up entirely of English towns, many of them south of Birmingham, showing the cats may be losing their underdog title south of the border.
The trend emerged from a study of 2,000 British Britons, which also found that cats ultimately captured the hearts of the male population, with many men following in the footsteps of celebrities such as Russell Brand and Ed Sheeran, having a cat.
While this domain belonged firmly to dogs, cats are resuming their path with as many men (17%) as women (17%) now considering themselves as “ cat lovers ”.
The research was published days after figures released by the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes revealed that felines were twice as likely to have been abandoned by their owners during the lockdown.
Rachel Andre, CEO of natural and sustainable cat litter company Natusan said: “It is sad to hear that the nation’s cats had a rough deal during the lockdown, especially since we know that There is a strong contingent of responsible cat lovers and pet parents around the country who go the extra mile to put their felines first.
Overall, one in six (17 percent) of those who participated reported being cat lovers, compared to one in three (33 percent) who claimed to be dog lovers.
Another in three (31%) said they liked cats and dogs alike, while 17% said they didn’t like cats or dogs.
But the growing role cats play in our lives has been laid bare in Natusan research.
About one in four cat lovers went so far as to say their pet was their best friend (24%) and one in three admitted that their cat helped them during difficult times (35%), like the current pandemic of COVID-19. .
One in five said their feline companion was ‘more loyal’ to them than anyone they knew (23%) and a similar number said their cat ‘understood’ him (22%).
It also appeared that more than one in ten (12 percent) believe cats’ bad reputation is unfair and that they are getting a bad deal.
Leading British animal behavior specialist Professor Peter Neville added: “Our feline friends can often run up against a bit of a stick to be aloof and free-spirited, so it’s important to shed light on their compassionate natures.
“The number of pets for cats has grown faster than the rate of dogs over the past decade, proving that cats may not be the ‘underdog’ for much longer.
“The fact that they can be left alone longer than dogs and are happy to give their owners unconditional love earns them big brownie points.”
A big blow to man’s best friend, cats have even achieved excellent results in Southampton and Birmingham, towns where dogs play a key role in the identity of local football clubs as the ‘Saints’ ‘and Birmingham City have’ dog ‘mascots.
Professor Neville continued, “Cats have the perfect design. They are the Porsches of the animal world. Beautiful and fabulously efficient in design – they are capable of unleashing immense speed and power in an instant.
“Recent studies have shown that men today seem to find cats more attractive than in the past and are able to show a softer, more empathetic side more comfortably.
“It has also become more acceptable for men to have cats for practical reasons, in part because they are better and easier to keep in the city, but also because of the generally growing acceptance of transgender traits,” now allowing men to practice a more, caring role with their pets, while enjoying the privacy that results.
“The physical contact we enjoy when stroking, cuddling and grooming our cats can also help reduce stress in the cat and parent by prompting the release of oxytocin; a neurohormone closely associated with social ties and the feeling of being in love.
“Other ‘feel-good’ chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin are also released when we relax or play with our cats, which can help lower our blood pressure and reduce stress for us.
“A ten-year study even suggested that parents of cats are less likely to die from a heart attack than those who don’t, so the benefits to our health and their emotions are very clear – cats are good.” for us!”
But despite the lure of cats and their ever-increasing popularity, for now, Britain is still a nation of dog lovers.
Professor Neville added: “There are two reasons why dogs might take the initiative to win the affections of the nation; They are not only great exercise companions, but a dog can also act as a social lubricant to help even the most introverted among us strike up a conversation with other pet parents.
“There are also so many different types of dog breeds, shapes and sizes, and so there may be more possibilities for us to team up with a dog that complements or reflects our personalities at home and in the home. outside.
According to the study, the reasons many people dislike cats are because they come and go as they please (34%) are considered “ disloyal, ” (23%) and about one in five (18%) said they cats felt they were “distant”.
Another in five said they were put off by feline grooming habits because cats need a litter box in the home, which can often be unpleasant and smelly.
Natusan CEO Rachel Andre continued, “Cats can be a real source of emotional support, so it’s right that we take care of them in return.”
TOP 15 CITIES IN WHICH THE MOST IN LOVE OF CATS LIVE
1. Plymouth – 66.1%
2. Brighton – 66%
3. Nottingham – 63%
4. Sheffield – 61%
5. Southampton – 59%
6. London – 58%
7. Norwich – 58%
8. Manchester – 57%
9. Bristol – 55%
10. Birmingham – 55%
11. Liverpool – 53%
12. Edinburgh – 53%
13. Glasgow – 51%
14. Leeds – 49%
15. Newcastle – 49%