Cat Food Market Size, Share, Trends, Growth & Report 2017-2031

Global cat food market was valued at USD 41.23 billion in 2023, and is expected to reach USD 55.99 billion in 2031, growing at a CAGR of 3.9% during the forecast period 2024–2031. The increasing number of cat owners, the rising trend of humanization of pets, and the global recognition of the significance of pet nutrition are all considered contributing factors to the expansion of the product market. Furthermore, the growth of e-commerce and the accessibility of cat food online have simplified the process for pet owners to locate and buy goods customized to their animals’ individual requirements.

With a population of over a billion, cats are among the most popular and widely kept pets worldwide. Of them, about 480 million are stray cats, and more than 350 million cats are housed with their human partners. As of 2024, 74,059,000 cats, including strays and ferals, are estimated to exist in the United States.

Additionally, the market is being favorably impacted by the rising demand for high-quality cat food products enriched with high levels of animal protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant and antibiotic qualities because of pet parents’ expanding purchasing power and increased urbanization. Furthermore, the global market for cat food products is growing due to the growing number of pet-friendly cafés, restaurants, and lodging facilities that provide cat food. Moreover, regulatory bodies in several nations are launching campaigns to promote the use of safe and healthy components that enhance cats’ general well-being. Also, they are in favor of ingredient transparency for cat food. In an effort to broaden their product offering, manufacturers are launching cat food varieties that are organic, natural, and gluten-free.

In May 2023, Nestle Purina introduced new cat snacks under the Friskies “Friskies Playfuls” brand. These rounded treats come in different flavors for adult cats, including chicken, liver, salmon, and shrimp.

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Sustainability Trend Fuels Market Growth

The growth of the global cat food market is closely influenced by sustainability efforts for several reasons. First, as consumers become more environmentally conscious and demand products that align with their values, including sustainable and ethically sourced pet foods, manufacturers continually try to meet this demand by supplying eco-friendly products using organic or locally sourced ingredients. Second, initiatives targeted at attaining sustainability within the cat food industry contribute to reducing the carbon footprint. This includes utilizing new packaging materials to reduce waste, sourcing materials from sustainable farms, and investing in renewable energy to create sustainable manufacturing facilities. This effort attracts environmentally conscious customers and helps reduce long-term costs and enhance efficiency.

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Wet Cat Food Dominates the Market

The wet food segment accounted for the largest market share, owing to its high moisture content and appropriate nutrients the pets need. As innate carnivores, cats obtain most of their water from their diet. Therefore, pet owners ensure they give their animals enough water by feeding them moist food, which is crucial for preserving their general health. Additionally, the high moisture content aids in preventing UTIs in cats.

Furthermore, a wet diet tastes better than a dry one as it has a more enticing texture and scent. Therefore, pets usually prefer eating wet food over dry substitutes. The wet food category also has an extensive range of tastes and textures. Wet cat food comes in a wide variety of brands and formulations, including options for limited ingredients, organic, and grain-free cat food. With this selection, pet owners can choose the ideal food to suit the dietary requirements and tastes of their animals. In July 2023, to provide cats with the nutrition that meets their biological demands, ORIJEN expanded its wet cat food range by launching the brand’s first wet cat food product, an ultra-premium pâté, which is packed with premium animal ingredients, delicious shreds of meat, chicken, or fish, and an 80% moisture content in each can.

North America Holds the Dominant Market Share

North America holds the largest market share in the cat food category. Higher acceptance of pet adoption in the United States and Canada is a major factor that drives the market growth. Some other factors affecting the market growth include rising disposable income, shifting perspectives on pets and their place in families, and advancements in pet nutrition and care. The percentage of American families with pets (86.9 million residencies) increased from 56% in 1988 to 66% in 2024, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Cats, owned by 46.5 million households, are the second most common pet category in the United States, after dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 40% of cat owners obtained their pets from an animal shelter or rescue, compared to 43% who obtained their pets from a pet retail shop. The growing urbanization, pet humanization, and need for companionship are linked to the rise in pet ownership in the region.

Future Market Scenario (2024–2031F)

  • Consumers view pets more as family members, leading to a greater emphasis on their overall health and wellness. Products that provide functional benefits, such as better digestion, enhanced joint health, or a supportive immune system, will gain traction as pet owners treat their cats with preventive care and seek their longevity.
  • As consumers demand greater transparency in pet food sourcing and production, manufacturers will invest in research programs to raise awareness of supply chains. This includes detailed information about raw material sources, manufacturing processes and quality control standards, ensuring the trust and loyalty of consumers.
  • With increasing concerns about the environmental impact of conventional meat production, alternative protein sources such as insect or plant-derived proteins will appear in the global cat food market. These methods provide sustainable and ethical alternatives to meet the nutritional needs of cats. For instance, in March 2024, the UK-based cultivated meat company Meatly introduced the first ever cat food cans using cultivated chicken as the source of protein.

Report Scope

“Cat Food Market Assessment, Opportunities and Forecast, 2017–2031F”, is a comprehensive report by Markets and Data, providing in-depth analysis and qualitative and quantitative assessment of the current state of global cat food market, industry dynamics, and challenges. The report includes market size, segmental shares, growth trends, opportunities, and forecast between 2024 and 2031. Additionally, the report profiles the leading players in the industry mentioning their respective market share, business model, competitive intelligence, etc.

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