Why Pet Stores Should Refocus on Their Cat Litter Assortments | Current problem

Cat owners continue to seek litter boxes and related accessories that solve problems and provide convenience, and today they have more options to meet those wants and needs.

Core attributes such as “odor control, low dust, hard clumping, and low tracking” are sought-after standards for pet owners who purchase litter, said Gina Zaro, marketing manager for Dr. Elsey’s Cat Products, a manufacturer in Cheyenne, Wyo. are expectations that will not go away.

Dr. Elsey’s is currently working on a new line of products using Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Litter as a base, Zaro said. Ultra+ is engineered to deliver long-lasting performance, low tracking, hard clumping, and superior odor control.

Convenience and cleanliness are paramount in litter, said Jean Broders, marketing manager for Muscatine, Iowa-based Kent Pet Group, maker of the world’s best cat litter.

“Finding trash all over the house is not acceptable, and consumers are showing it by the trash they choose,” Broders said. “The same goes for dust. Consumers are finally realizing that there are options and they don’t have to settle for these weak spots. »

In January, World’s Best Cat Litter launched its Low Tracking and Dust Control Litter, which Broders says is an unscented multi-cat litter specially formulated to stay in the box. It’s made with long-lasting corn and with larger pellets to dramatically reduce tracking and virtually eliminate dust, she added.

Aidan Gannon, owner of Petzlove Food ‘n Stuffz, a pet supply store in Lone Tree, Colorado, said the biggest demand is usually for “dust-free” litter.

“Since there is no completely dust-free or track-free litter box, offering litter mats is a great way to solve the problem,” Gannon said. “Along with minimal dust, odor control is high on the list of requirements cat parents look for in litter.”

Gannon admitted that trash can be a difficult category, but said highly visible displays are key.

“At PetzLove, we’ve found that the most effective way to maximize litter sales is to place inventory on a low table in the center of the cat section,” he says. “We found that the 360 [degree] the display and accessibility of the product leads to a significant increase in sales.

Independent pet retailers who take the time to promote and stock a section of litter can see their efforts rewarded, despite the competition, Gannon added.

“With low margins and heavy competition from online stores, grocery stores and big box stores, not to mention space requirements, it’s easy to get frustrated and reduce the focus on this category,” he said. -he declares. “But a product that every cat owner needs on a monthly or fortnightly basis is worth the effort. Most customers will purchase it with their monthly food purchase if it is visible and accessible to them rather than to make another stop.”

In addition to providing convenience to customers, retailers would do well to embrace this category because of its importance to cat health.

“At Dr. Elsey, we believe the litter box is an essential function in keeping cats in loving homes,” Zaro said.

The company’s cat litter products address specific issues and behaviors through research and using a veterinarian-formulated approach, she added.

“Not using the litter box is the #1 behavioral reason cats are sent back to shelters, abused and euthanized,” she said. “Our Cat Attract litter is the proven original solution for problem cats. Our other solution-based litters address respiratory issues, sensitive paws, anxiety, stress and senior cats.

Today’s cat owners have many litter products to choose from, especially when looking to solve problems or meet specific needs.

“Litters made from truly natural and sustainable substrates provide consumers with the opportunity to make the right choice for their litter box,” Broders said. “More and more people understand the need to have a healthy and safe product at home. Health and well-being are a priority for pet owners, as well as their cats. Doesn’t everyone want the best for their cat? Consumers are more educated and are willing to pay more for products that meet their personal needs.

Janice Yamamoto, director of marketing for Next Gen Pet, a manufacturer in Laguna Niguel, Calif., noted that the emergence of clay-free litter has made a difference in the daily lives of people like her.

“As an asthmatic with allergies, being able to use clay-free cat litter makes a huge difference in my daily life,” she said. “The beauty of the alternative litter segment is that there’s a litter for every concern: clumping, lightweight, eco-friendly, extra-strength odor control – Next Gen’s Fresh litters have it all.”

The introduction of so many different types of litter has been welcomed, but Allison Francy, owner of The Cat Shoppe, a pet supply store in Nashville, Tennessee, noted that it created a need for different types of litter. litter mat.

“Different spans require different mat types – there’s no one-size-fits-all product that will work with all of them,” she said. “As some litters are finer, you really need a trapping mat. But with larger pellets, a trapping mat means all the pieces are stuck together and won’t come out. We offer different litter mats that match to different types of litter.

Helping owners find the right solutions

Retailers can match customers with the litter and related accessories that will best meet their needs.

“Education is so important in helping customers find a litter box solution,” said Jessie Nixon, brand marketing manager for PetSafe, part of Radio Systems Corp., a manufacturer in Knoxville, Tennessee. “There are innovative products that address customer concerns, but they are often overlooked due to a lack of understanding or awareness. When retailers listen to customer needs, they can match them with the quality solution that’s right for them. PetSafe is focused on providing high quality litter solutions that exceed customer expectations.Sometimes customers didn’t even know of a solution like [PetSafe’s] ScoopFree existed or was possible before it found us.

When talking to cat owners, it’s important to ask the right questions.

“Customers may be in the store looking for a solution to their litter box issues,” Zaro said. “Retailers should ask about litter box issues that cat parents might be facing. For example: does the cat use the litter box? How many cats and litter boxes are there in the household? And what type of substrate does the cat prefer? When changing litter, it can be helpful to mix the new litter with the old and change it slowly to prevent the litter from not being used. Adding an extra box and giving your cat a choice of litters is also a good idea.

keep it clean

As with cat litter, convenience and cleanliness are also key considerations that come into play for litter-related products, such as litter boxes and other accessories.

“At PetSafe, we find that pet parents are looking primarily for convenience and odor control when looking for the right litter box solution,” said Jessie Nixon, brand marketing manager for PetSafe, part of Radio Systems Corp., a manufacturer in Knoxville, Tenn. “Cleaning the litter box is nobody’s favorite part of having a cat in their home, so we try to make the process as easy and mess-free as possible. Pet parents should be able to focus on the relationship they have with their pet, not the cleaning chores.

PetSafe recently launched the Multi-Cat Litter Box, an all-in-one solution for multi-cat households large enough for cats to share.

“It features two convenient, removable compartments – one is designed to hold the included large metal shovel, and the other features a rubber seal for trash bags and trash,” Nixon said.

The brand also offers a ScoopFree litter box that automatically rakes dehydrated waste into a covered waste trap to trap odors.

Sherry Redwine, owner of Odyssey Pets, a pet supply store in Dallas, said when buying litter boxes, her customers often look for a deep box so it keeps more litter in the pan rather than on the floor.

“Our best-selling litter box is actually a ‘bus box’ from the restaurant supply store,” she added. “It’s the perfect size and it’s deep and durable.”

Allison Francy, owner of The Cat Shoppe, a pet supply store in Nashville, Tennessee, said high-sided litter boxes are attractive in her store. It all comes down to a mess-free experience.

At Petzlove Food ‘n Stuffz, a Lone Tree, Colo. retailer, owner Aidan Gannon said odor-reducing enzyme sprays are still popular, in addition to other supplies.

“Litter box liners are also great sellers – everyone loves a mess-free cleanup,” he added. “Litter mats that trap dust and pellets from the cat’s paws when they come out of the box are also easy to sell.”