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Cat ownership on the rise in Brussels
More people in Brussels are welcoming cats into their homes, according to new figures from the Brussels minister responsible for animal welfare, Bernard Clerfayt.
The statistics, collated from the CatID and DogID databases, showed that while dog registrations decreased slightly - from 89,167 to 88,384 in 2023 - the number of registered felines went up significantly, from 47,145 to 57,241.
Uccle, Anderlecht and Schaerbeek households have the most dogs – with 10,162, 9,652 and 6,470 respectively.
The most popular dog was once again the Chihuahua – a spot it held from 2016 but lost last year to mixed breeds, which were second place in 2023.
Next in line were the Border Collie, Dachshund and, new in the top five ranking, the German Spitz.
The Labrador Retriever did not do so well as in previous years, coming sixth.
Meanwhile, the European shorthair cat – often known as the "alley cat" – ranks the favourite amongst Brussels households.
Turning to the most popular names, Simba was the favourite for both cats and dogs and Bella, Luna and Lola were other top female pet names. For male dogs, Max and Milo were also preferred names.
Tigrou and Cookie were often chosen for male cats; while for females, Luna, Nala and Mia did well.
CatID and DogID are the official cat and dog registration platforms in Belgium. Financed by the three Belgian regions - Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels - they provide centralised databases of dogs and cats in the country.
By formally linking the animals to their owners, the databases contribute to a more effective management of the canine and feline populations.
For example, if Brussels residents lose their pets, they can contact the platforms to see if anyone has found them. The status of your animal can also be changed and the website gives full instructions on how to register new pets.