Recently, a large pet food manufacturer (Royal Canin) conducted a survey of U.S. cat owners. According to PetfoodIndustry.com, the purpose of the survey was “To dispel myths and better understand the relationship between cats and their owners.”
Of course, you and I know the real purpose of the survey is to use the information collected to create new products and generate new marketing campaigns that will appeal to cat-owning consumers.
Cat Owner Study Results
Some of the survey results are interesting, and we wanted to share them.
Almost half (49 percent) of cat owners surveyed did zero research or information gathering before bringing their pet home. (Since we believe preparation is priceless, especially when it comes to caring for animals that depend on us, we’re not in favor of acquiring pets on impulse or before you know what you’re getting into.)
- 61 percent of survey responders selected a cat because they felt it would adapt easily to their lifestyle.
- 60 percent liked the fact that cats don’t need to be taken outside to relieve themselves.
- 55 percent of cat owners appreciate that kitties can be left alone for “long” periods of time.
- Many cat owners are not aware that felines spend significant amounts of time each day marking their territory, engaging in hunting activities, and hiding.
When it comes to choosing pet food:
- 16 percent of cat owners feed their pet based on its lifestyle, for example, whether the cat lives indoors or outdoors.
- 95 percent of owners of multiple cats feed them all the same food for the majority of their lives.
- Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of cat owners choose their pet’s food based on flavor, and 38 percent believe cats have a strong sense of taste. (Actually, cats have a weak sense of taste and are drawn by the smell and texture of food rather than its taste.)
- The majority of cat owners don’t consider their kitty’s weight or age when making decisions about what to feed.
- Interestingly, while 50 percent of cat owners report they think about their kitty’s health every day, 72 percent don’t factor it into decisions about what to feed their pet.
The Marketing Spin on These Survey Results
Based on these survey results, Royal Canin’s director of corporate affairs states in PetfoodIndustry.com that, “Many cat owners don’t consider key health factors when selecting their cat’s food, because they aren’t sure which factors they should be considering.”
He then goes on to list which factors cat owners should consider:“Feeding cats a food suited to their age, lifestyle, specific sensitivities and breed contributes to the overall health and well-being of the cat.”
The reality is that a cat fed balanced, species-appropriate nutrition will not require a “special diet” just because he’s older or lives outdoors part of the time. As for specific food sensitivities, generally speaking, cats develop them by eating poor-quality, biologically inappropriate foods, and often those sensitivities disappear when they are transitioned to a more suitable species appropriate diet.
As for breed-specific cat food, those foods are nothing more than a marketing gimmick to sell more cat food varieties. Pet food companies should concern themselves first and foremost with developing species-appropriate nutrition for pets. If the products they’re selling as food for cats and dogs aren’t appropriate nutrition for the SPECIES, what difference does it make whether a formula is BREED specific?
And in case you’re still not convinced the ultimate goal of pet food producers is to sell products, here’s Royal Canin’s director of corporate affairs on the topic of the importance of aroma and texture of cat food:
“In truth, a cat’s ability to taste isn’t nearly as powerful as a human’s ability, and aroma and texture play a much bigger role in how cats choose their food.
“It’s important to consider the kibble texture, shape and size and especially food aromas when trying to pick a food your cat will like.”
The truth is, what’s important to consider when feeding your pet is the species-appropriateness of their diet. For healthy cats, that means… whole, fresh nutrition consisting of about 88 percent high quality meat, organs and bone, and 12 percent veggies – in other words, a diet rich in both the animal protein and the moisture your kitty needs to thrive. This also means ZERO grains and little to no carbs.
As many know very well, dry food (kibble) is the absolute worst type of food you can feed your cat because of the huge lack of moisture content. Even the best dry grain-free kibbles on the market are still not enough because they simply do not have the moisture content and fresh (unprocessed) ingredients your feline obligate carnivore requires. Feeding your cat a canned, raw or balanced fresh home prepared diet would be 20 times better than any dry kibble. Feeding this way makes for a healthy and happy cat and also prevents weight issues, illnesses and disease.
We here at Green Pawz Pet Supply, are working hard to be your best source for cat and dog nutrition. We want to work as your pets preventative care and use our knowledge of pet nutrition and offering a healthy diet as a way to help you maintain optimal health for your pets. Part of this is making sure to carry the best nutrition commercial pet food has to offer. We are also transitioning our store to be more biologically appropriate for your dog and cat so that this can be achieved.
- Carrying NO foods that contain low quality grains like corn, wheat or soy.
- Carrying little to no grained food or treats for cats.
- Offering more grain-free food and treat options for dogs and cats alike.
- Offering a wide selection of frozen and freeze-dried raw foods in multiple formulations, proteins and sizes.
- Making sure the sourcing of all our food and treats are safe
- And so much more!
Dr. Karen Becker, Mercola Healthy Pet