Getting Catty – The Growth of Pet Cats

cat and human

Cats are being adopted in larger numbers globally and this should give rise to a larger share of cats in the pet care industry

Rising pet ownership in Asia has spurred the region’s pet care industry to expand fast. While the popularity of smaller pets was on the rise before the epidemic, it skyrocketed after 2020 as people sought the companionship of pets in the isolation of their homes. The number of cats and small dogs kept as pets in Asia is expected to increase by 59 million between 2017 and 2022.

Becoming Cattish

The greatest contributor is China, where the cat population increased by 143% between 2017 and 2022. So by 2021, the number of cats kept as pets has exceeded the number of dogs. The popularity of cats as pets has spread well beyond China; between 2017 and 2022, the number of cats owned by Indonesians increased by 16%, while the number of cats owned by Indians and South Koreans increased by 15% and 13%, respectively. While small and medium-sized dog populations grew steadily, large-sized dog populations shrank in places like Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Japan.

According to Statista, the number of cats kept as pets in India will increase from 1.21 million in 2014 to 2.44 million in 2023.

The rise of dual-income families and a desire for more independent pets, as well as urbanisation and the diminishing size of houses in cities, are all contributing to the popularity of cats as pets. Pet owners analyse the components of pet food and seek accessible choices to cater to their pet’s unique health requirements and difficulties, despite (or maybe because of) the necessity to combine work and personal aspects of life at home with an increasingly hybrid lifestyle. Specialised goods that may meet the demands of the growing number of cat owners in emerging nations like China, Indonesia, and South Korea are needed.

When more people adopt cats, the market for cat food expands, and sometimes that expansion includes premium cat food. In Asia, the premiumization of pet foods has begun to approach a limit owing to inflation, and the economy and mid-priced cat and dog meals certainly have a place in certain nations, particularly those with smaller pet food markets.

Growing Affinity for Cats Globally

The popularity of cats is increasing, not only in Asia. There are more cats than dogs in Europe (127 million to 104 million) because people there tend to live in smaller spaces. The percentage of American homes with kittens is rising, while the percentage with puppies is falling.

MRI-Simmons found that between 2014 and 2023, the number of American families having pups younger than a year fell from 5.6 million to 4.4 million. Cat-owning households rose from 3.1 million to 3.9 million within the same period.

Even in Latin America, where most nations are more dog-oriented, cat food sales have climbed at a compound annual growth rate of 7% through 2023, compared to 5% for dog food, according to Euromonitor International.

Euromonitor predicts that sales of cat food will increase by 11% over the next five years, whereas sales of dog food will increase by just 1%. This is because of the growing popularity of cats and smaller dogs among pet owners, as well as the impact of urbanisation.

Consequences for India

Due to the country’s youthful population, rapid urbanisation, and expanding middle class with greater discretionary means, the Cat industry in India is undergoing significant development. Since the urban scenario of the nuclear family views a pet as a way to “complete” the family or “make the house a home,” there has been a rise in the popularity of cat ownership. The kitties are a wonderful way to relax after a long day at the office.

Now that we live in more urban areas, cats make great pets. Cats are practical pets in dense urban environments because of their smaller size. Cats are more independent and need less human interaction than larger pets like dogs. Cats make better flat pets than dogs do.

Dogs, cats, birds, and even exotic pets showed a dramatic increase in adoption during the epidemic. Demand for pets increased nationally during the lockdown, in both urban and rural areas.

As India’s cat population has grown, the country’s traditionally dog-centric market has begun to include more items aimed at feline health and happiness. The value of the Indian pet food market increased from INR 663 million in 2013 to INR 1320 million in 2019, an increase of 95.8%. By 2024, it is anticipated that this market will have grown to INR 2,590,000,000.

The market has seen an influx of new brands of cat food, with many of the more well-known manufacturers also releasing new varieties tailored to different cat types, ages, and health statuses.

The rising demand for cat items such as litterboxes, litter sand, cat toys, etc. demonstrates that people are becoming more conscious of cat care.

The urban population has a clear opportunity to increase their usage of cat litter. However, cost is still the main driving force behind this; customers are looking for businesses that offer a lot of kitty litter for a low price. Sales of cat litter have been hampered in India since many cat owners still recycle and reuse it. However, widespread adoption and use are likely to increase. Even in the high-end market, new types of cat litter are being launched despite bentonite’s dominance. The self-cleaning litter box for cats is another hot commodity.

The importance of cosmetics and items for cats, like apparel and playthings, is rising.

In recent years, cat grooming in India has become more popular among pet owners, leading to the proliferation of pet spas and salons catering to cats around the country. There are now shampoos and grooming treatments on the market that are designed specifically for cats. As a whole, sales of cat-related goods should remain strong.

Time for the felines to shine!


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