Cat-focused oral care products are vastly outnumbered on U.S. store shelves when compared to products for dogs. Yet, despite the dominance of dogs, cat-specific oral care products represent an increasingly profitable market opportunity.
Because cats are not as prone to chewing action as dogs, cat-focused oral care products need to be easy for both cat and owner to use while also appealing to cats’ notoriously finicky nature. Overcoming these obstacles would allow marketers to participate in what has, up until now, been a largely neglected segment.
Canines remain top dog, accounting for 85% of retail sales in the multi-billion pet oral care product market, with cats making up the remaining 15%. Similarly, dogs up the majority of oral care/dental hygiene services, accounting for 74% of the market, with cats making up the remaining 26%, according to Pet Oral Care Services and Products in the U.S., 3rd Edition, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts.
While dogs still rule, don’t be fooled, however. Cat-owning households in the U.S. number approximately 30 million, but oral care products for felines are noticeably underserved.
Marketers looking to enter the pet oral care market or extend their offerings would therefore do well to focus on felines. Because cats are not as prone to chewing action as dogs, cat-focused oral care products need to be easy for both cat and owner to use while also appealing to cats’ notoriously finicky nature. Overcoming these obstacles would allow marketers to participate in what has, up until now, been a largely neglected segment of the oral care market, notes David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
“For the most part, pet oral care products such as dental chews and treats target canines, with many marketers offering only dog-focused products,” Sprinkle says. “However, as the cat population in the U.S. continues to grow, and with dental hygiene being just as important for felines, marketers of dental care treats and chews would do well to consider this opportunity.”
The “pets as family” trend is only deepening growth opportunities for more oral care products for cats. Just as pet owners know that caring for their own dental health is important from an overall wellness standpoint, they are now realizing that the same holds true for their furry companions, the report states.
Oral care is part of most people’s daily routine, and veterinarians, pet product retailers, oral care marketers, and even mainstream media outlets are trying to make it part of a pet’s as well. Presently, periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, according to Packaged Facts.