Why Cat Owners Feel Short-Changed

Cat owners feel there’s a significant lack of products designed specifically with cats and cat owners in mind, according to a survey by Cat Person, a New York-based brand founded just this past March.

Cat Person officials said that they conducted the national survey of 1,000 cat owners to better understand the attitudes, challenges and opportunities among this segment of pet owners. (The survey insights were collected by Cat Person through Ask Your Target Market online research platform from March 11-12.)

While there are more cats than dogs in the United States, 80 percent of respondents said that they felt it’s a dog-centric culture, and 81 percent reported that they do not identify with the stereotype of cat owners.

In addition, the survey “overwhelmingly” showed that cat owners wish they had better options when it came to food and products made specifically for cats, and that cat owners aren’t getting what they deserve from the pet industry or pet store chains.

Other insights from the survey:

71 percent of cat owners are not completely satisfied with the selection of cat furniture
33 percent are not satisfied with the overall options for cat products in pet stores
47 percent believe cat products are underrepresented in pet stores
54 percent of cat owners have bought products for their cats that were actually made for small dogs
50 percent believe the pet industry is not investing enough in innovating products for cats
50 percent feel they must compromise between products that are aesthetically pleasing and what will make their cat happy
26 percent of cat owners take drastic measures to hide their cat’s toys and products when hosting company
74 percent of cat owners wish they had healthier food options for their cat
60 percent of cat owners find cat food labels confusing
56 percent of cat owners have children, while 26 percent are single

Over the years, I’ve had conversations with just about every cat blogger there is regarding the paucity of cat products (and blogging opps) for cat owners vs. dog owners. Swag bags at pet conferences are jam-packed with dog bones, pepperoni, dog collars and the like, with a couple of measly cat products tossed in as an afterthought.

Enter any large pet store and count the square footage devoted to canines (often, half the store) vs. the usual single half-aisle devoted to cats.

It’s not because we don’t spend the money; we certainly do. Is it an extra- vs. intro-vert kind of a thing? Dog owners socialize with their mutts at dog parks and beaches and you see them parading your neighborhood every morning and evening. You rarely see cat owners with their charges outside the home. Nope, we are permanently sheltered in place, content to purr and keep our social distancing perimeters intact. Out of sight, out of mind, maybe?

It’s a stumper and I have no solution to offer. Money talks, so somewhere along the way we probably didn’t jump on some product’s bandwagon and got left behind. Cats are infinitely superior to dogs, so I’m at a loss at to why pet product companies don’t jump at the chance to pay homage to feline royalty. Do you have any ideas?

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Category: Featured, Lifestyle

About the Author ()

Mousebreath Magazine is an award-winning online magazine that celebrates cats and the cat-centric lifestyle. Editor Karen Nichols is a popular conference speaker and writer, whose current project is The Cat Scout Handbook. She is also the denmaster at CatScouts.com.

Comments (6)

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  1. Pumpkinpuddy says:

    I wonder if it’s because cat stuff lasts longer than dog stuff. Dogs routinely destroy their toys and the toys have to be replaced. Cats stuff lasts much longer and doesn’t need to be replaced. Dogs do go out more than cats, so they need more in the way of collars, leashes, halters, travel dishes, etc. Why there aren’t better options for cat food I have no answer for. Especially difficult is finding cat food with no fish by-product of any kind in it. Drives mom crazy that she can’t find affordable food for us with no fish or fish oil or any other part of the fish in it. And don’t get her started on cat trees. If they’re affordable they’re ugly. If they’re pretty, they’re a fortune.

  2. Sally Robertson says:

    As a pampered pet, I can say YES food choices could be better – much better. They could, also, be more affordable for ‘Mom’.
    As for toys – I have string on wands to chase, boxes to unpack, play in, sleep in, and claw (love love love), and mice and balls everywhere. I have windows to sit in and a clean litter box when I need it. I get to go out when it is safe from critters and viruses so I can enjoy grass, climb trees, and run. She doesn’t yell at me much when I go crazy inside. Who needs all that stuff they sell for dogs? I have 2 pet beds but, her bed and chair are nicer. I have a ‘tree’ but, it tips over (it needs a heavier bottom).
    ‘Mom” and I share a home so, she says it is as much mine as hers and I don’t have to clean it. What more could I want? I’m safe, loved, and treated like the queen I am.

    Gracie

  3. Hnossa says:

    Hnossa here, yes to more cat stuff. Why do the doggos get half the store when us superior beings are lumped in with stuff for things that should be food, like fish and birbs and mousies. Those are food, not pets, they don’t need things, just put them in my dish!

    And we need cat beds for lovely big Amazon kitties like myself. Why the human has to buy my beds in the doggo dept? Why do doggos get all the fresh food and treats and walkies jackets?

    Unfair!

  4. Have cats do the designing, of course!

  5. Erin the Cat says:

    Those stats don’t really surprise me. And the reasons are I think as described and that many cats are outdoor cats (dependant on country) and the outdoor paraphernalia that dogs often get lumbered with wouldn’t work for the average cat on the street. Independent minds does, I think, make us more choosy and brands do not like that. They should if they had a nay sense, and I think high end brands do, but for your average cat, nah, they get second best.
    Purrs

  6. Erin the Cat says:

    Those stats don’t really surprise me. And the reasons are I think as described and that many cats are outdoor cats (dependant on country) and the outdoor paraphernalia that dogs often get lumbered with wouldn’t work for the average cat on the street. Independent minds does, I think, make us more choosy and brands do not like that. They should if they had a nay sense, and I think high end brands do, but for your average cat, nah, they get second best.
    Purrs
    ERin

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