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What Kind of Cat Parent Are You? 5 Ways Pet Ownership Has Changed

Posted by Emily McMahon on
What Kind of Cat Parent Are You? 5 Ways Pet Ownership Has Changed

Family, Best Friend, or Pet?

Do you consider yourself a pet pawrent? If you do, you’re not alone!

Pet ownership has increased dramatically in the last 12 months. No doubt lockdown and the opportunity to work from home has spurred many of us to become new pet parents. But what does the modern-day cat owner look like and how are we treating our cats differently to before?

Gus & Bella Box, the cat + owner subscription box, teamed up with Edgard Cooper, the natural cat food brand, to run a survey to understand what the modern-day pet owner looked like, and what their top priorities are. The survey with 800 cat owners found that 55% of pet owners described their relationship with their cat as “parent and child”.  

Within this same survey,  22% of pet owners described their relationship with their cat as “best friends”, which shows us that 77% of pet parents surveyed identified themselves as being either “pet parents” or “best friends” with their cat. 

The bottom line? More and more people consider their cats to be family or a best friend rather than “just a pet.” 

So what kind of pet owner are you? 

Cat Parents seeing their Cats as ‘Mini’ People

Do you feel like your cat understands you or that they have strong feelings just like we do? 

You're not alone. 

While our cats likely process and show their emotions differently, it’s believed that their emotions are just as strong and complex as any human’s emotions. 

Cats have even been shown to recognize negative and positive emotions in their owners, but unable to recognize the same difference in strangers, demonstrating that our cats do understand us on a familial or best friend level

Dogs may be claimed “man’s best friend,” but cats are truly complex companions that form deep bonds with their favoured humans. 

Cat paw and human hand - cat ownership

Feed them Natural 

Our survey found an increased awareness around cat nutrition, with almost 70% of cat owners stating that they felt ‘relatively knowledgeable’ about nutrition, and a keen 86% expressing an interest to learn more. As more and more cat parents come to view their cats as family members and best friends, there is an increased interest in providing our pets with high-quality, premium food. Clean label descriptions like “all-natural” or “free-from” have become increasingly popular for both human and pet food. 

More pet parents realize the connection between high-quality, natural food for their cats and their cat’s health. Feeding our pets a healthier diet may also reduce the need for more frequent vet visits, which are rapidly becoming more expensive. 

An Increased Emphasis on Keeping Our Cats Safe

With rising numbers of millennials owning cats and viewing their cats as children or best friends, it makes sense that many are concerned about their cat’s safety outdoors! Microchipping, tracking systems, or safety collars - are all increasingly important to the “pet pawrent” or “best friend” cat owner. 

Only 17% of cat parents surveyed had “outdoor-only” cats, leaving us to think that many cat parents may be concerned about their cat’s safety outdoors. 

Despite popular belief, cats can be very happy indoors and make great pets - so long as they're kept company and played with regularly. 

It’s fair to say cats are probably very happy with the recent lockdown measures - so their favourite human gets to spend more time with them!

cat chewing hand

Treat Yourself...and Your Cat!

Premium, luxury cat treats and goods are on the rise. Notably, high-end, luxury cat products and treats have been making a place for themselves as cat owners love to feel close to their cats by occasionally indulging them. Cats can give us so much love and companionship, why shouldn’t the modern-day cat owner treat their furball and return the love!? On top of treating our cats, we can ourselves enjoy the delightful, imaginative, and, sometimes the sumptuous look that new luxury cat treats and goods are rocking - all while pampering our furry friends. 

We’re sure our cats don’t mind the pampering either! 

Smaller businesses have also been shining in this area. Especially during COVID times, many still choose to support smaller businesses and their unique products versus large corporations.

Pet obesity is on the rise

The downside of indulgence? As much as we enjoy treating our pets, we still need to be careful that we’re not overfeeding our cats. Rationed treats and choosing a healthier food option can help. Natural cat food and treats, which are rich in protein, are a naturally healthier alternative to treats with sugar or additives. They’re also packed with nutrients and vitamins that can help with your cat’s digestion, eyesight, heart, and overall health. 

Between the rise of online shopping and the desire to pamper their cats, many cat parents are on the hunt for something that gives them a shared experience with their cat.

We’ve got you covered on this front! 

Gus & Bella subscription boxes for cats include adorable monthly themes that’ll appeal to you - and your cat is sure to love our delicious, natural treats and innovative toys sourced from other small businesses.

Got a picky or sensitive cat? No problem! Customization options are available so that you can find your perfect mix of treats and toys. 

Treat yourself and your cat to a box of happiness delivered right to your door!

Get started here.

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