Cat Habits Revealed in New Poll

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

By CatChannel News Editors | Posted: December 3, 2013, 12 p.m. EST

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Curious Cats

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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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Reader Comments

Linda    Fairfield, TX

3/2/2014 6:07:39 PM

I wish this were not true but it is. I love my cats, I have 8. Long story. Anyway, I take into consideration on every level of my cats each individual taste, ability and likes and dislikes. I can tell you which one likes which food best and I try to by the best my money can by for them. I feed the mother of the 7 kittens a healthier food then what she has ever ate. She is about 7-8 years old. I found her at a garage sale where the owners planned to just leave her, because she "went and got herself pregnant again". I know it happens more time then not but it is my one fighting point. Not spaying and neutering. To make a long story short I know that I am more a tuned to my cats then most. Even my vet said he wished his other cat owners were as aware of what their cats needed as I am. I know their likes and dislikes in almost everything they eat and play with. Liked the story just wish it wren't so true.

Edward    Tallahassee, FL

3/2/2014 5:03:42 PM

Cats are the smartest animals. I have raised cats for the last 30 years. The only thing is they can hide health problems very well. My 19 year old just passed with cancer. I was saddened for not catching this sooner.

Don    Syracuse, NY

12/22/2013 1:45:22 AM

Wow, very interesting, thank you.

patricia snyder    hendersonville, TN

12/8/2013 12:46:47 AM

I may be wrong but from watching my 3 fur babies for 8 years, they like to have dry food out all day for grazing. At night, I give them a can of food, and their main requirement for it seems to be plenty of gravy. My cats go out for the bathroom, they have a litter box for bad weather. Our vet is happy with their weights and general health. Our boy weighs 18 pounds but his paws are the size of silver dollars, his sister and litter mate, weighs 14 pounds and our 3rd cat, a rescue weighs 11 pounds. Funny thing, all three are Siamese.

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