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Less Than Two Thirds Of Cat Owners Feed Their Cats Solely Cat Food

Just less than two thirds (64%) of cat owners will feed their cat solely on cat food, down from 70% in 2017, with a significant increase (33% from 24%) in the proportion who will feed them a mixture of both cat food and leftovers, while there are 3% who claim to only feed their cat leftovers. This research, conducted on behalf of Retail Intelligence by Empathy Research, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,058 adults aged 18+, sought to understand purchase behaviour in this category.

Dry food/mixers continue to be the most popular type of cat food purchased amongst those who buy cat food, with 7 in 10 (70%) claiming to purchase, up significantly from 61% in 2017. The purchase of cat food which comes in pouches has also increased significantly, rising from 46% in 2017 to 62% this year. The purchase of canned cat food has decreased from 33% to 28% year-on-year.

When it comes to the key brands in the cat food category, supermarket own brand plays a significant role but its role has somewhat diminished this year, with 40% claiming to purchase, down from 48% in 2017. Of the branded options available, Whiskas has increased in popularity with 46% claiming to purchase compared to 42% last year. Go Cat (27%) also takes a sizeable share and Felix (22%) also performs well, with both brands increasing in popularity year-on-year. Purina One has recorded an increase in share from 7% to 11% this year.

Ensuring that the cat will actually eat the cat food continues to be the most important aspect cited when it comes to selecting a type of cat food to purchase, with almost 6 in 10 (57%) claiming this to be their key consideration. The quality of the product has dropped in importance this year, with just over 1 in 7 (15%) cat food buyers claiming this aspect to be most important, significantly down from levels recorded in 2017 (22%).

For further information and more in-depth analysis on consumer behaviour when it comes to purchasing cat food and other pet food products, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.

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