A global cat owner survey has revealed the challenges that pet parents are facing when finding suitable food for their furry feline.

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

It revealed that most pet parents like to buy food that is good for their animal’s health and well-being, but choosing the right product and brand proves to be difficult.

Across the surveyed markets, most cat owners (40 per cent) stick to the same cat food brand, but on the other hand, 37 per cent like to experiment and continuously look for new flavours or brands their cat might enjoy even more.

UK cat parents are more likely to vary the brands and flavours they buy (48 per cent), while only 29 per cent of Canadians follow this behaviour.   

When it comes to feeding, 54 per cent of respondents prioritise products that are good for the cat’s health. However, 62 per cent 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 per cent) and that the food is high quality (15 per cent). 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.

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

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 per cent of respondents find it difficult to determine whether the ingredients used are beneficial for their animal’s health.

The second most important factor seems to be the brand (for 44 per cent of owners). Yet, most owners (57 per cent) 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 between the buying behaviours 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 cats.
  • About one in five owners in Canada and France base purchasing decisions on recommendations from their vets. Only one in 10 owners do so in the UK and the US.
  • Price is an important factor for 34 per cent 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.
  • The 25- to 54-year-old age group 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 per cent 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.

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