They’re lazy, and they’ll eat anything.
Those are two misconceptions about cats that pet food manufacturer Royal Canin USA Inc. discovered in a survey of cat owners.
A market research firm working on behalf of St. Charles, Mo.-based Royal Canin reported a number of revelations after questioning 541 cat owners:
• Nearly 50 percent brought their pet home without researching its lifestyle.
• 61 percent believed that cats adapt easily to the owner’s lifestyle.
• A majority of respondents were unaware that cats are active every day, marking territory, hunting and hiding.
• Half did not not think about their cat’s health each day.
• 72 percent don’t consider their cat’s health when selecting pet food.
• 93 percent don’t factor in their cat’s breed when purchasing food.
• More than half ignored their cat’s age when making food decisions.
• 42 percent considered flavor to be important when choosing cat food.
• 15 percent admitted to taste-testing cat food.
“In truth, a cat’s ability to taste isn’t nearly as powerful as a human’s ability, and aroma and texture play a much bigger role in how cats choose their food,” said Brent Mayabb, DVM, director of corporate affairs at Royal Canin.
One of the best ways to enhance the bond with a cat is to learn more about felines, Mayabb said.
“Understanding a cat’s physical and physiological traits is critical to not only finding the right fit for your family but also in doing what’s best for the cat’s well-being once they are brought home,” he said.
Many cat owners aren’t sure which factors they should consider when buying food, Mayabb added.
“Feeding cats a food suited to their age, lifestyle, specific sensitivities and breed contributes to the overall health and well-being of the cat,” he noted.
More than 37 percent of U.S. households own a cat, according to the American Pet Products Association’s latest National Pet Ownership Survey.