May 11, 2022

Global Cat Owner Survey Reveals Challenges to Find Suitable Pet Food

A survey carried out by GlobalPETS and Yummypets in Canada, the US, the UK and France highlights the differences in buyer preferences between consumers in the different countries. 

The survey concludes that most cat owners (40 percent) stick to the same cat food brand. On the other hand, 37 percent like to experiment and continuously look for new flavors or brands their cat might enjoy even more. 

UK cat parents are more likely to vary the brands and flavors they buy (48 percent), while only 29 percent of Canadians follow this behavior. 

When it comes to feeding, 54 percent of respondents prioritize products that are good for the cat’s health. However, 62 percent of owners find it difficult to choose a product that matches their cat’s nutritional or health needs. 

Consumers also value that the cat likes the taste (21 percent) and that the food is high quality (15 percent). UK and US owners are the most concerned about the taste of the food and if their cat likes it or not, French the least. For French owners, it’s most important that cat food is beneficial for their cat’s health.

Purchasing decisions

While 7 out of 10 cat parents like to go to a physical store to buy food for their felines, consumers in the UK (80 percent) and US (79 percent) are the most prominent ones – followed by Canadians (65 percent) and French (62 percent). 

Half of the cat parents state that the quality of ingredients is the most important factor when purchasing cat food. At the same time, 66 percent of respondents find it difficult to determine whether the ingredients used are actually beneficial for their animal’s health. 

The second most important factor seems to be the brand (for 44 percent of owners). Yet, most owners (57 percent) find it difficult to pick a good brand. US owners tend to be guided more by the brand in their purchasing decisions, than owners in other countries.

Other differences

Other differences between the buying behaviors and preferences of cat owners in the different countries:

  • French consumers and the older generations are the most likely to never give treats to their felines.
  • About one in five owners in Canada and France base purchasing decisions on recommendations from their vets. Only one in ten owners do so in the UK and the US.
  • Price is an important factor for 34 percent of respondents. UK cat owners are influenced by the price the most, whereas French consumers care a little less about price. 
  • UK owners tend to look for age-appropriate food more often than owners in other countries, while US and Canadian owners find this aspect of small importance.
  • 25- to 54-year-olds do most of their cat food purchases online. Canadian cat owners buy online the least and are more likely to buy in pet retail stores.
  • Products that mention they’re grain-free are important for 12 percent of respondents, predominantly in France and Canada.
  • British cat owners and the younger generations are most open to the idea of feeding their felines food with alternative proteins. French respondents take to the idea of alternative protein the least, while elderly respondents are much less outspoken on this topic.

A total of 1,776 pet owners responded to the survey, carried out in March. 

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