Crisis does not affect pets

Pet owners are increasing the amount of money they spend on their animals despite the economic downturn, with a health-conscious grilled meat for cats among the most successful new products of year.

According to retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, the growth of pet pampering has helped increase pet food sales by 6.7 per cent to 1.5 billion Pounds Sterling in the past year.

Cats in particular have benefited as more owners splash out on gourmet foods.

The Grocer trade magazine highlighted the success of the Whiskas Simply range, which was launched in February to offer the nation’s cats steamed or grilled meat and fish with no artificial additives.

Sales are also booming of a new Gourmet A La Carte brand produced by Nestle Purina, which is designed to look as close to human food as possible with pieces of pasta and vegetable.

The report says that the rise in ‘pet humanisation’ has also led to a 26.3 per cent increase in the value of cat treat sales as owners show how much they care for their four-legged friends.

Experts say that a range of sociological reasons including an increase in single person households and loneliness brought on by longer working hours has meant Britons are forming closer attachments to their pets.