Cat Habits Revealed in New Poll

What cat parents think cats do and what cats actually do can be very different.

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% brought their pet home without researching its lifestyle.
• 61% 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 do not think about their cat’s health each day.
• 72% don’t consider their cat’s health when selecting pet food.
• 93% don’t factor in their cat’s breed when purchasing food.
• More than half ignore their cat’s age when making food decisions.
• 42% consider flavor to be important when choosing cat food.
• 15% 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 Dr. 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% of U.S. households own a cat, according to the American Pet Products Association’s latest National Pet Ownership Survey.

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