Bologna

As many pets as people in Italian homes

Cats and dogs lead as preferred domestic companions

As many pets as people in Italian homes

Bologna, May 9 - Italy has nearly as many pets as people, with more than 60 million domestic animals being kept as companions in Italian homes, a report released on Thursday said. A survey by the association for pet nutrition and health Assalco, released for the 15th edition of the trade show Zoomark International 2013, showed that among the four-legged variety, cats rule in number as the preferred home companion with 7.5 million kitties living with Italian families. Coming in a close second at seven million is the beloved canine. Meows and bow-wows aren't the only sounds coming from Italy's pet-loving homes - small mammals, especially rabbits, hamsters and mice number 1.8 million, while reptiles count for 1.4 million of the country's chosen pets. Some 13 million birds brighten homes and 30 million fish fill the nation's aquariums. According to a 2013 Eurispes report, 55.3% of Italian families have taken in one or more animal companions. Italy has a population of 60.8 million, according to the 2011 census.

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