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Five things you may not know... about pets in France

We take a sideways look at French attitudes to cats, dogs and other furry bébés

Well-behaved lapdogs in France are allowed in places that otherwise ban dogs Pic: Iryna Budanova / Shutterstock

1. Les animaux

Around 54% of households in France have at least one pet, and a large proportion of them are bought as gifts for children. 

The most popular breed of dog in France is the Australian Shepherd, but (sssh!) cats are a far more popular choice than dogs, and most of them are simple moggies. 

Je l’adore!  

Read more: Is there a ‘lost and found’ pet register in France?

2. Le toutou

French men don’t mind walking fluffy little lapdogs late at night – even if the aforementioned darling is wearing a glitter collar and a pink lead. 

It is a strange kind of status symbol: this is a man who has a woman who has a lapdog, and she is worth it, kind of thing... 

Mais dis donc!

3. Mon bébé

Well-behaved lapdogs are allowed in places that otherwise ban dogs, eg. restaurants, bars, hotels – and even supermarkets. 

More than once, lapdogs have been spotted sitting nicely in the child’s seat of a supermarket trolley – in some cases, causing less mayhem than their human counterparts. 

Que c’est mimi! 

Read more: Can I take my dog or cat with me on a train in France?

4. Le minou

Cats are the most popular pets in France. 

There are an estimated 13.5 million pet cats in the Hexagon, compared to seven million dogs. 

Photo: Cat sculpture in La Romieu; Credit: Marion Kaplan / Alamy

The village of La Romieu in Gers bears witness to this feline love affair: visitors can spot hundreds of beautiful cats all around the village, sculpted by Maurice Serreau. 

T’as vu?

5. Les déjections canines

It is illegal for your pooch to decorate the pavement in the way nature intended, but the 150,000 dogs living in Paris are estimated to produce 16 tonnes of freebies a day. 

In Bergerac, the fine for not picking up your canine’s latest déjection is now €750. 

Could this work in Paris? 

Il faut essayer!

Related articles

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How to raise alarm if you see a pet in distress on your French travels

Career change in France: I Googled ‘can animals talk to people?’

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