chemical additives, offering pet parents an option that is better for
pets, people and the planet.
THE INFORMED CONSUMER
From food to treats to toys, pet parents are asking more questions
about the products they’re buying, how and where they’re made,
and what goes into them. Cat litter is no exception, which is helping
drive growth in sales in the category’s natural segment.
“Pet parents are starting to really care about the litter that
they are using, and they are demanding better products,”
Spain says. “We believe that the more educated a consumer is,
the more they demand a product that is safe, effective and
In general, consumers are making more educated choices,
shifting towards products that are in some way healthier, whether
for the people or pets consuming them, or for the environment as
a whole. Cantrell says the millennial market in particular is driving
this trend, along with consumers who are particularly concerned
about the environmental impact of their purchases.
For retailers, there is an opportunity to further bolster sales growth of natural products,
including cat litter, in their stores by playing an active role in informing their customers
both about the availability of natural options and the benefits they provide.
“The more educated the market, the greater the
demand for better performing, environmentally friendly
products,” says Cantrell. “Consumers are driving the
innovation because they are raising their own standards.”
While natural cat litters are on the rise, there is still a lot
of growth both in the litter category in general and in the
natural segment for pet specialty retailers. Spain points
out that many pet owners aren’t even turning to the pet
specialty channel for their litter needs.
“We are still seeing that cat parents tend to buy their
litters in the grocery store; it’s the association with cat
litter being a cleaning product,” Spain says. “The biggest
thing that retail owners can do is be experts in the litter
category and then make sure to pay attention to what
their customers are buying. If they’re buying cat food,
it’s inevitable they need litter; make sure they know that
not only do you carry it, but you’re educated on all the
Gina Zaro, marketing director for Dr. Elsey’s Cat
Products, based in Englewood, Colo., also emphasizes
that informed pet parents are also simply looking for
a better product. In a world where consumers are
constantly seeking out products or services for themselves
that make their lives easier, get the job done faster or solve
a nagging problem, cat litter is no exception.
“Cat parents want better products for their cats
that have a proven track record of working—the
humanization trend is still important,” Zaro says.
For some natural litter
manufacturers, playing an active
role in reducing waste is an essential
element, such as by using recycled
materials as the primary ingredients.
“For Fresh News, we define our
cat litter as natural because we
are helping to keep paper out of
landfills, and when 40 percent of
landfill space is estimated to be paper
products, that impact can make a
big difference in our environments,”
says Nicole Spain, brand manager
for BPV Environmental, based in
Byron Center, Mich. “The biggest
advantage that natural cat litters
can provide is peace of mind. It is
reassuring to know that you are using
a litter that is going to be good for the environment, great
Overall, natural litters are often lighter, made from
sustainable or biodegradable materials and free of
are often lighter,
Designed with a simple goal in mind, Next Gen Pet
products provide functional and environmentally friendly
products safe for pets made with natural ingredients.
Natural Cat Litter For
Twice the natural bacteria and odor
suppressing power from Hinoki
Cypress wood and green tea.
• Available in 6 lb. and 14 lb. bags