What About Waste?

While consumers are asking more questions about where certain ingredients are sourced, they’re also concerned with the waste these products create and the impact on the earth their disposables will have.

“Consumers are also very aware of wastage, particularly with daily consumables like cat litter,” said Anneke Van Den Broek, owner, founder and CEO of Rufus & Coco, an Australian company that makes corn-based cat litter, among other pet supplies. “Choosing a high quality, absorbent litter like Rufus & Coco Wee Kitty Clumping Corn Litter gives an immediate reduction in wastage. Wee Kitty absorbs up to four times its weight in liquid—this is six times more absorbent than paper litter, and four times more absorbent than clay.”

The Wee Kitty Clumping Corn Litter that Rufus & Coco produces is made from corn, vegetable starches and adhesives (also made from vegetables) that the company says offers “amazing absorbency and fast, effective clumping action once dampened.” It’s naturally biodegradable and flushable in small amounts, with a clumping mechanism, odor control and low dusting.

“Corn is really the perfect material for cat litter; not only is it natural and safe for use around your fur babies and human babies, but it also has amazing properties that enabled us to create the ultimate performance and an unbeatable list of features,” Van Der Broek said.

Increasingly, it seems pet owners are willing to part with a few extra dollars if it means better things for their pets and the planet. For many pet owners, even economic hardship has little influence over how they spend on their furry friends. In 2016, 73 percent of pet owners reported to the American Pet Products Association that the economy had no influence on their pet ownership.

“Educated pet parents understand that paying more for a better quality product is actually better value over time,” Van Der Broek explained. “Significantly paying more for a better quality product is actually better value over time, by significantly reducing the amount of litter required. The cost per day is lower for the customer, and it’s a lighter load for the planet to carry, too.

Of course, making such sales always comes down to retailers spending time with customers and making the effort to educate them.

“Retailers that take the time to educate their consumers and provide in-store demonstrations or sample packs to prove the benefits in person will provide pet parents with the efficient, environmentally friendly solutions they are searching for and secure loyal customers,” she concluded.