French Felines: Why people in France Keep Cats


When it comes to pets, dogs are often associated with French culture. From long walks along the Seine to outdoor café visits, it’s common to picture the French with their four-legged canine companions. However, amidst the dog-centric stereotype, one must not overlook the deep affection that many French people have for another beloved pet: cats.

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of feline companionship in France and explore the role cats play in the lives of the French people.

Cultural Significance

While it is true that dogs have traditionally held a prominent place in French society, cats have not been forgotten. French literature, art, and folklore often feature cats, and their enigmatic allure is recognized and appreciated. From Marcel Aymé’s enchanting novella “The Man Who Walked Through Walls” to Charles Baudelaire’s poetic musings on cats, these furry creatures have made their way into the hearts and minds of the French people.

Cultural Significance

Urban Living and Cat Ownership

One reason why cats are particularly popular in France, especially in urban areas, is their adaptability to apartment living. With many French people residing in cities and having limited living spaces, cats make ideal companions due to their independent nature and lower exercise requirements compared to dogs. Cats can provide comfort and companionship without the need for extensive outdoor activities, making them a perfect choice for those living in apartments or busy city lifestyles.

Low-Maintenance Companions

Cats are renowned for their self-sufficiency, and this aspect appeals to the French, who value a certain level of independence. As busy professionals, many French cat owners appreciate that cats are relatively low-maintenance compared to other pets. Cats are known to be clean animals that groom themselves, use litter boxes, and require minimal training. They can provide companionship while allowing their owners to maintain their work-life balance.

Café Culture and Street Cats

The café culture is deeply ingrained in French society, and it is not uncommon to find cats roaming around the outdoor seating areas of cafés, basking in the warm sun. These “café cats” are not typically owned by the café itself but are rather welcomed guests, adding charm and character to the establishment. They have become an integral part of the café ambiance in France, and patrons often enjoy their presence as they sip their coffee or enjoy a leisurely meal.

Café Culture and Street Cats

Respect for Cats and Animal Welfare

French people, in general, hold a deep respect for animals, including cats. This is evident in their strong animal protection laws and various animal welfare organizations throughout the country. Many French cat owners prioritize the well-being of their feline friends and take proper care of them, ensuring they have regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and a safe environment.


While dogs may be the first animals that come to mind when thinking of pets in France, cats hold a special place in the hearts of the French people, especially Persian cats even if it’s costly. From their presence in literature and art to their adaptability to urban living, cats have found a niche in French society. Whether it’s the café cats charming patrons or the cherished companionship they provide at home, these feline friends have undoubtedly become an integral part of French culture. So, the next time you envision a typical French pet, don’t forget to include those enigmatic, graceful, and independent felines that make France all the more enchanting.

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