Japan Has More Pets Than Children

In Japan, where the birthrate is declining, data shows that there are actually more pets than children. The number of pets has been increasing every year since the pet boom hit Japan during the high economic growth period of the 1950s. Pets used to be for practical purposes, but now it seems that the people seeking pets for their comfort have been increasing more and more.


Japan with many pets

According to a 2018 announcement by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of children under the age of 15 has declined for the past 37 consecutive years to about 150,000. In comparison, the number of dogs and cats kept in Japan is about 180,000, indicating that there are 30,000 more pets than children. However, the number of pets is decreasing because more and more people are unable to keep pets even if they wanted to due to the aging population. In fact, as of 2018, there are about 9.65 million cats and 8.9 million dogs in Japan, and it seems that cats, which are easier to care for, are more popular than dogs.

Popular dog breeds

The most popular dog breeds have remained almost the same, with the top three making up about half of the total.

Toy poodles

Toy poodles have held the number one in popularity for 10 consecutive years. The reason for the popularity of the poodle seems to be that it does not shed easily and that you can enjoy designing the cut.


In second place is the Chihuahua. Chihuahuas are popular not only because they look cute, but also because they require little care and their small size makes them suitable for keeping indoors.

Mixed breed

Combinations of Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, Maltese and Toy Poodles, and Toy Poodles and Chihuahuas are especially popular. Mixed breeds have become popular in recent years because they tend to have a unique appearance and don’t look like anyone else’s. They are also less expensive than pure breeds, which is another reason why many people keep them.

Popular Cat Breeds

The American Shorthair and Russian Blue used to be popular, but in recent years smaller breeds have become more popular.

Scottish Fold

The Scottish Fold is popular because of its cute folded ears. In fact, only about 30% of Scottish Folds have folded ears, and 70% of them have standing ears. For this reason, the competition for Scottish Folds with folded ears was quite high


The Munchkin is the second most popular breed because of its short legs and cute appearance. One of the reasons for their popularity is that they are cute even as adults, with legs that are about 10 centimeters long.

Mixed breed Cat

Most mongrel cats are domesticated from abandoned, stray or sheltered cats. They are stronger than purebreds and have a longer average lifespan of 14.3 years.

Pets are on the increase

Since the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), the number of people owning pets has skyrocketed; there have been over 60,000 new pets owned since 2020. More and more people are keeping pets due to the stress of social distancing period and stimulus check. As a result, the most popular toy poodle is trading at 400,000 yen ($3,637), 1.5 times the price before COVID-19. At the same time, the number of people who easily keep pets has increased, which has led to a sharp increase in the number of requests for protection of dogs and cats less than one year old, which has become a problem. Now that you have a pet, I hope you will take responsibility for raising it.

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