Mom just returned from the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida last week and there was a lot of talk about CATS for a change! Using her fashion lingo, she said that cats were very much “on trend!”
Mom has always complained, and many agree, that is it a dog-centric pet world out there, yet there are 90 million household cats and only 78 million household dogs.
There are a lot of reasons as to why that is so but in a nutshell, man domesticated the dogs and us cats domesticated ourselves.
Simply said, dogs have many more needs, relying on their masters for every little thing 24/7. Because of all these needy canines, the pet world has devoted 80% of the market to the dogs.
Us cats, on the other hand, are more independent and can take care of ourselves for a couple of days if necessary. Being smaller than the average-sized domesticated dog, we eat less food, don’t destroy toys the way dogs do, don’t get into as much trouble since we don’t free roam outside and are self-grooming machines.
As a result, we have not gotten the same attention from the Industry as the dogs because we haven’t needed all the stuff the dogs need.
Lately mom says she sees the tide turning as more companies have designated and/or expanded cat products in the areas of food, treats, wellness products, household solutions and cat size specific toys.
The reason for this increased offering for cats is that finally, the pet industry is stepping up to a new generation of pet owners, namely the millennials. This generation is the largest group of pet parents of any generation currently and often view adopting a pet to be practice for eventually becoming a parent! Many of them try to live a holistic life and they want the same for their pet.
Many of these new pet owners are choosing to adopt a cat as they view cats to be “lower maintenance than a dog” meaning, they don’t have to be walked 2-3 times a day and “more eco-friendly” as cats have a lower carbon footprint than dogs because they consume less food such as beef.
More and more, us cats are considered cool and entertaining which seems to suit the mood of many of the new adopting cat parents. Just think about all the cat videos and memes out there! We are a bit more challenging, having a mind of our own which seems to captivate our humans! Nothing new to us, just cats being cats!
This generation of pet owners are very interested in the raw food diet and its variations including the organic food offerings that have expanded greatly as cat ownership has increased and the treat category for cats has followed. Frozen, freeze-dried, dehydrated, etc are becoming the norm and the benefits for the cat and the cat parent are many versus a cooked and processed diet.
Cats are now being offered their own feline specific wellness products starting with CBD and all types of preventative and integrative supplements to help with digestion support, arthritis relief, anxiety reduction, etc. Immune-support and dental solutions are more prevalent with many more in the pipeline.
Cats are very sensitive to essential oils and certain scents that are fine for dogs. So grooming companies are coming out with more items that are cat specific, having eliminated the harmful ingredients.
Some of us cats need help with our grooming such as the hairless and very short hair cats who need to be bathed frequently and the long-haired cats who need to be brushed daily! Also, older cats need help as they are often not as flexible as younger cats.
Speaking of older cats, since some of us cats are living a very long life indoors, there are more items offered to the senior cats specific to their stage in life including softer chew treats and wellness products.
Mom says it’s a great time to be a cat as we are finally getting our due!