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Hey, Manufacturers! Pet Retailers Want More of These Cat Products

PETS+ readers feel kitties take a backseat to dogs when it comes to pet product creation. They shared a wishlist for manufacturers.

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In the PETS+ Facebook Community, readers regularly ask for and give product recommendations. Requests for leads on cat products, in particular, post often as members feel that kitties take a backseat to pups in the industry.

With that in mind, we asked the community to create a wishlist for cat products. Here’s what they had to say:

“I’ve been trying forever to build my cat section and spread the word on all things cat! More food options, bigger sizes of treat bags, more toy options, etc. My cat area is pretty good, but I’d love to expand it! More ‘whole prey’ options would be fun. I carry Northwest Naturals, Vital Essentials and Answers raw. Some customers have asked me for more variety. Feline Naturals is a very popular freeze dried food, but it’s expensive and the bags are small, specially for big cat households. More USA toys that are as cool as China-made toys, like a treat-hiding toy or a toy that looks like an actual bird or mouse or rabbit. We encourage our customers to ‘hunt’ with their cats before feeding them their dinner… hunt, catch, kill, eat… — Samantha Youngblood, Youngblood’s Natural Animal Care Center & Massage, Wilkinson, IN

“More products for larger cats. I have a lot of customers with large cats that are just big, not chunky. I’ve even got a 26-pound orange tabby, and there is nothing for his size. Beds, trees, scratchers. Things that will hold up to their weight. When I’m looking at trade shows, I’m always testing the strength of cat products because they will need to suit the needs of small and large cats.” — Keith Henline, Asheville Pet Supply, Asheville, NC

“More interesting cat toys other than the typical laser, wand and ball! More cat health products, calming treats. More items for sore tummies, not just hairballs! More dental treats. There really is nothing for cats in terms of natural flea and tick management. More cat clothes, sweaters, etc.” — Shannon Heitt, Wiggles and Whiskers Pet Supply, Unity, SK, Canada

Holly Montgomery of Tail Blazers Legacy in Legacy, Calgary, AB, Canada, pointed out: Adored beast has some cat specific digestive products. Emerald Pet has dental treats.” And she added her wants: “More large cat cans! More kitten can options. Almost all good cat food is small tins and ‘for adults only.”

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And Karen Conell of The Bark Market in Delavan, WI, added: “Earth Animal has natural cat products.”

“I’d love to see more activity-type toys for cats that won’t scare my customers with the cost, treats with packaging that shows health benefits, and shelf-talkers to help me sell food products with necessary moisture. I would love any help that food manufacturers can provide to show cat owners why their cats need these things. Cat owners can be a hard sell when it comes to changing diets (as can be the cats themselves). I’d much rather try to help a cat owner with a healthy cat than try to put out fires when the poor kitty has developed health issues due to an inappropriate diet. I’d love to be able to provide to my customers more insight into how cats think and education about their nutrition requirements. If you’re a food/treat manufacturer wanting to place products in my store for cats, please send samples that I can pass out for customer testing. The smart reps have been willing to do this, and we have brought in several new lines because we have cat customer approval.” — Jodi Etienne, Razzle Dazzle Doggie Bow-tique, Bradley, IL

“Market better the benefits of their products and why people should buy them. Example, wet food vs. dry, and how it benefits urinary and kidney health. Education of the benefits to customers I feel is lacking. Even toys. Why are they important? Why are cats obese? Carbs in food, etc.” — Jennifer Braunschweig Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop and Grooming, Wenatchee, WA

“Bigger sizes in cat food, especially frozen raw. Most people who have cats have multiple cats, so a 3-lb bag (most cat size frozen) doesn’t go very far.” — Talina Santos, The Dog Spaw of Little Silver , Little Silver NJ

“Freeze dried whole mice. I keep hearing the cost would be high for farmed mice, but our customers would pay for the perfectly balanced whole food for cats in a heartbeat!” — Matthew O’Leary, Felix & Oscar, Springfield, VA

Want to add to this list? Join the PETS+ Facebook community! This group is for independent pet retailers and service providers only.

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Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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