living the high life - you can keep pets in the city
Across Australia, over 53% of households own a dog and/or a cat – which means more than half of all Australian homes include a furry, four-legged companion.
Traditionally, the typical Australian pet owner would have been married with children and living in the suburbs. So we weren’t surprised when our research revealed that people living in medium-density dwellings were more likely to own pets than those living in high-density dwellings. It basically boiled down to the smaller the backyard or apartment, the less likely people are to own, or think they can own, a dog or a cat.
We also discovered, however, that plenty of pet owners are able to successfully and responsibly keep dogs and cats in high-rise apartments and small dwellings with very little difficulty.
In fact, dog and cat owners in highly urbanised surrounds reported high levels of satisfaction with pet ownership (94% and 93% respectively), with just 1% of dog owners and 2% of cat owners expressing dissatisfaction.
These levels of satisfaction are equal to that achieved among the general population in another large survey, the 2006 National People and Pets Survey. Such rates demonstrate to us that satisfaction with pets is no lower in higher density housing than in less urbanised areas.
The message is clear: plenty of people keep pets in the densely populated urban areas and enjoy it just as much as those who keep pets in larger houses with bigger backyards.
Information and tips on strategies to help maximise your enjoyment of your pet and minimise any problems are included in the following sections.