Pet Food Trends: Cat Owners in the US

Explore the current trends of cat owners across the United States

Understanding the unique needs and preferences of cat owners is crucial for success in the pet food market. Here we examine cat ownership in the US, providing invaluable insights into their demographics, behaviors, attitudes, and purchasing habits. From the age and income of cat owners to their preferred pet food brands and treat choices, our 360 research offers a comprehensive overview of the cat owner landscape. Explore the key factors that influence purchasing decisions, including price, ingredients, and health concerns.


Cat ownership is common, with one-third of dog/cat owners having at least one cat in their household. Cat owners span all age groups, with millennials being the most prevalent. Cat owners tend to have low to mid-low incomes. Half of cat owners have children, and half do not. Cat owners are more likely to live in urban areas than rural areas.

Cat Characteristics

Around half of cat owners have cats that are two years or younger. A lesser, but still substantial number have cats aged between three and six years. The majority of cat owners have pets with a normal weight. They also tend to have cats with normal builds.  Most cats are acquired from friends or family members or found as a stray. Many cats are also acquired from a shelter or adoption agency.

Pet Food Trends: Feeding Behavior

Pet food trend research indicates that cats are typically fed twice a day, with one-quarter of cats receiving food multiple times a day. One in four cat owners use automatic food and water dispensers. Dry pet food is the top choice for cats, with dry food being more common than wet food. Store bought treats are also commonly given to cats. Cat owners prefer large or medium-sized bags of food, with some preferring smaller single-serving packs. Pellets are the preferred texture for cat food, followed by chunks in gravy, mousse, raw foods, and flakes. Fish and poultry are the most popular ingredients.

Pet Food Trends Cat Owners in the US

Pet Owner Attitudes

Two-thirds of cat owners consider their pets to be part of their family. Veterinarians are the most trusted source of pet food and diet advice. Cat owners have a wide range of health concerns for their pets, with weight being the top concern. Cat owners prefer food with animal-based protein and are interested in including vegetables, fruits, herbs, fibers, and grains in their pets’ food. Functional benefits are the most desired innovation in cat food and treats. Pet food trend research also shows that owners are interested in cat foods with complete nutrition, high protein source, and foods customized to their pet’s age. Routine veterinarian visits, and grooming are the top two pet activities for cats.

Purchasing Habits

Price, ingredients, and flavors are the most influential factors in cat food purchasing decisions. Complete nutrition, high protein claims, and customization for age and pet size are also important considerations. Most cat owners stick with one brand of food and switch infrequently. Reasons for changing brands include veterinarian recommendations, price, and deals. Generally, cat owners change their pet food brands for reasons that are beneficial to their pets or veterinarian suggestions, rather than price or deals.

Treats and Supplements

One-third of cats receive a treat every day. Multivitamins are the most common supplement provided to cats, followed by probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes. Most cat owners feed their cat treats to make them happy. Crunchy, or soft and chewy treats are the most common choices.

Key Takeaways

Cat owners are a diverse group with a wide range of needs and preferences. Price is a key factor in cat food purchasing decisions, but owners are also interested in quality and innovation. Pet food trends research also indicates that health concerns are a top priority for cat owners, and they are looking for food and treats that can help address these concerns. Treats are an important part of the cat-owner relationship, and owners are interested in innovative treats that are both healthy and enjoyable for their pets.

What’s Next in Pet Food Trends?

Pet food trends are constantly evolving, and there are a number of opportunities for innovation in the cat food and treat market. Companies can evaluate innovation and marketing opportunities that emphasize the concept of pets as family members, including key birthdays and holiday-specific value-oriented solutions. They can also explore meeting the needs of households with multiple pets through multipacks and benefits across food, treats, and supplements.

Product ranges can be reviewed to introduce products that address specific concerns, such as allergies and digestive issues. Finally, dental treats can be marketed to demonstrate their importance for cats.


This article is based on our report, “Exploring Tomorrow’s Trends for Cat Owners in the US.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
You can do this by either booking a demo or using our Contact Form.

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