New research has found that British cat owners spend £7.9bn per year on their pets, with cat ownership in the country at a five-year high.
The research by pet food manufacturer Iams, found that a fifth of UK households owned a cat with 20 percent of owners buying their pet a present every month.
Just under half of British cat owners were found to be buying their pets presents for special occasions such as Christmases and birthdays. As many as 76 percent of cat owners were found to view their animal as their own child a trend that has seen pet food markets mirror the trends of human food markets.
The research found that cats were much more popular in the south of the country with Wales, the south west and the south east the three areas most populated by pet cats. The top reasons cited for ownership were, company (52 percent), cuddles (33 percent), playful nature (30 percent), intelligence (22 percent) and independence (28 percent).