When it comes to cages and cage accessories, small mammal owners look for affordability, safety, quality and added value. They care about their small family members and want to know the products they buy are good for their specific pets.
“Pet owners are looking for an affordable habitat that maximizes space and enhances animal viewing,” said Paul Juszczak, director of sales and marketing for Marshall Pet Products in Wolcott, N.Y. “They’re also looking for features that will provide them more stimulation, social interaction and exercise.”
The American Pet Products Association’s 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey shows that 96 percent of small mammal owners have a cage for their pets. While one-half have one cage, households with multiple small animals tend to own more than one cage for their critters, the survey reports.
Retailers stated that quality is an important aspect when picking products to house critters. Mason Hakes, store manager for Miles of Exotics in Kansas City, Mo., said his customers want a one-time investment that is large enough and will last the duration of the animal’s life, and Glenda Bone, owner of Gallery of Pets in Austin, Texas, said small animal owners want something their critters can’t get out of, as many are escape artists.
Customers also want more than a basic cage.
“Trends are moving toward deluxe cages or kits,” said Mary Ann Loveland, associate brand manager for Kaytee Hard Goods of Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Central Garden & Pet Co. “Small animal owners always are interested in new and exciting products.”
As seen in dog and cat housing products, small animal owners also want attractive cages that look more like a piece of furniture rather than a wire enclosure, Juszczak said.
They also seek ways to interact with and provide interesting activities for their pets. This makes enrichment an important theme in this category.
“As pet parents look for new ways to add enrichment to their pet’s environment, the opportunity for success with high-quality accessories continues to grow,” said Lucas Stock, communications manager for Oxbow Animal Health in Murdock, Neb. “Pet owner data continues to show a trend toward purchases of more and more gifts for their pets. Positioned correctly, items like high-quality accessories can often land directly in the sights of purchasers such as these.”
Stock also said he sees a trend toward all-natural, edible accessories, which present added value, and Juszczak reported that accessories, toys and tunneling tubes are always in demand.
“Pet owners like to watch the interaction with their pet and certain toys while they’re in their cages,” he said. “And it also keeps them active.”
Providing these attractive, affordable and amusing products will keep sales in this category active for specialty retailers.
Post time: Jun-23-2020