Case study 74 attitudes of cat owners to cat food

The following cover letter and questionnaire was made available for self-completion at numerous pet shops throughout the UK. The purpose of the survey was:

1 To identify cat owners' knowledge about the ingredients of cat foods and their cats' dietary requirements.

2 To discover what factors are most important in their choice of cat foods.

Rapid Research Chester

Dear Cat Owner

This questionnaire is part of a research project on cat foods being conducted to

(a) find out more about the feeding procedures followed by cat owners and

(b) determine the attitude of cat owners towards existing cat food products. Your cooperation and participation in this study will enable cat food manufacturers to better meet your cat's food requirements. Your name is not required in this study since we are only interested in aggregate replies. Please complete the questionnaire at leisure and place it in the box provided at the checkout next time you visit the shop. Your immediate cooperation in this study will be greatly appreciated.


Mark Twain Enclosure

1. Precisely how many cats are there in your household?_

2. Indicate each cat's breed and estimated value; then indicate the description that most closely describes the cat.

Description of cat Breed Estimated value Show cat Just a pet Other

3. Indicate the percentage of each type of cat food and frequency with which you feed each type of food to your cat.

Never 0%

Seldom 1-30%

Frequently 30-70%

Usually 70-90%

Always 90-100%

Table scraps


4. Indicate the brands of cat food you presently use [e.g. Tucker's treats, Paws].

5. What is the major health benefit to your cat from each of the following ingredients? [Indicate 'don't know' if applicable.]

Vitamins Minerals [i] Fats [i]

Proteins [i]

Carbohydrates [i] Benefit_


[ii] [

] Value unknown


[ii] [

] Value unknown


[ii] [

] Value unknown


[ii] [

] Value unknown


[ii] [

] Value unknown

6. Which ingredients do you feel are the most important requirements in your cat's diet?

[ ] Carbohydrates [ ] Vitamins [ ] Minerals [ ] Proteins [ ] Fats [ ] Don't know

7. If you buy canned cat food, indicate how important each of the following factors is in your purchase.

No Some Very influence influence Important important

Price _

Nutritional value of the cat food _

8. What type of meat do you think is generally used in most canned cat food? _ The same as we eat.

_ Meat that has not been passed for human consumption.

_ Inedible by-products [e.g. intestines, bones, etc.]

_ Other

9. Do you think canned cat foods satisfy the dietary requirements of your cat? [ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Don't know

10. Do you think some breeds of cat require special cat food? [ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Don't know

11. Do you supplement your cat's diet with vitamin drops or pills? [ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Don't know

12. Who usually purchases your cat food? _ Husband

_ Children

13. How do you think canned cat food can be improved?


What are the strengths and weaknesses of this questionnaire and cover letter?

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