A survey of UK pet owners has found that 22% of them are willing to spend more on energy bills to keep their cats and dogs warm and cosy.
In fact 13% said they boosted their electric heating up from three to seven times a week just to keep their pets comfortable.
The survey of 2,000 owners by Confused.com also showed that 35% of owners were concerned about their pets’ comfort at home when they were not there, and would regularly leave the radio or TV on for them.
The main difference between cat and dog owners’ energy usage was the use of electric fires and radiators. Cat owners use the most energy to keep their pets pampered at an average cost of £858 per cat over their lifespan while dog owners spend slightly less at £675.
Extrapolated up to the estimated 10.9 million cats and 9.9 million dogs living in UK households, that means Brits are spending £584.7 million extra on energy to keep cats warm, followed by dog owners who spend slightly less at £514.7 million.
The comparison website has offered some advice to pet owners about how to reduce these costs, including opting for natural light (which pets may prefer) rather than leaving lights on, and using low-energy sound sources rather than the TV as background noise.
Pet beds should be placed in a warm corner of the room with blankets layered to provide insulation.
Max Green, energy expert at Confused.com comments: “We’re a nation of animal lovers, and it’s clear from our research that some of us are spending a significant amount of money to keep them happy, giving them extra comforts we may not even consider for ourselves.
“We shouldn’t have to cut back on giving our pets these extra treats to save on energy. There are other ways we can reduce our bills without sacrificing their comfort.”