Sydney, Australia: Whether it’s letting them take up most of the bed, or making sure they always have the latest pet accessories, there are no limits when it comes to Australians expressing the love they have for their feline friends. In fact, new research from Purina® Fancy Feast®, has revealed that Aussies are now spending $873 million annually, on caring for their cats .
It’s not just treats and toys cat owners use to celebrate their emotional bond. Australians are celebrating both the big and small moments with their cats, with almost half (46%) admitting to arranging a birthday party for their furry family member. A further one in five (17%) have even booked a cat-friendly hotel, to spend more time bonding with their fluffy companion.
However, like all good relationships, the foundations are built not on gifts of affection but on the power of communication - and conversations with our cats are no exception. To better connect with their feline friends, nearly three quarters (71%) of owners admit they talk to them as if they were human, with some (20%) even attempting to master the art of meowing to be better understood.
The new research reveals the extraordinary lengths that Aussie cat lovers are willing to go, to express how much they’re crazy about their cats. Which isn’t surprising, given more than half (53%) of owners admit that their cat completes them and one in ten (13%) love their cat more than their family or partner.
No stranger to being a proudly devoted cat owner, self-proclaimed former catchelor (‘cat bachelor’), Sam Mac, said:
“When someone says I’m crazy in love with my cat, I see that as an honour. I rescued by cat, Coco, ten years ago when I was living in Perth. She had been completely abandoned. My priority has been giving her the best life that she deserves - I’ve had her name embroided into her blanket and she was even the first cat to ever attend The Logies! There’s little I wouldn’t do for her!” said the TV Presenter and Fancy Feast® Ambassador.
Animal behaviourist, Dr Jo Righetti, confirms that expressions of love towards your cat - both big and small - can help strengthen the bond, when balanced with valuing their independent behaviour.
“Our cats do love us - they just have a slightly different way of showing it. When cats feel emotional bonds with their owners, they do things such as wanting to sit or sleep next to you, and by interacting with us through body rubs, head bunts and gazing. While they can’t say thank you after receiving a gift, cats show their gratitude by giving gifts, such as bringing you one of their favourite toys - it’s all part of their ‘cat chat’”, said Dr Jo Righetti.
One thing is for sure, those who give love and devotion to their cats get the same in return and when it comes to the lengths Australians will go to express their adoration, the cat’s finally out of the bag.
1 Antenna Research prepared for Purina® Fancy Feast®, August 2020. Spending includes, treats, toys accessories, general care (travel, pampering, vet fees).