ness of the importance of recycling, and
consumers wind up with a great product
Lightweight litters are also in demand,
said Leslie Ellis, consumer communica-
tion manager for Healthy Pet in Ferndale,
Wash., adding that consumers also want
a litter that controls odor and cleans up
easily. Healthy Pet’s Ökocat products aim
to meet these demands. According to El-
lis, Ökocat is less than half the weight of
clay litter and lighter than many natural
litters, plus effectively controls odor and
While cat owners are on board with the
natural trend, the products must work for
them to see the full value in it. Consumers
will pass on litter that is ineffective, said
Cat owners will also pass on litter that
their cat doesn’t like, added Lorin Grow,
owner of Furry Face in Redlands, Calif. If
the cat is not using it, that value is lost.
“Much like anything involving cats, litter choice always comes down to a mixture of what the owner would like and
what the cat, or cats, will happily use,”
she said. “No matter what the owner
wants, the cat has to want to use it.”
CREATIVE AND EFFECTIVE DISPLAYS
Drawing attention to natural cat litters in
a store often comes down to education.
Supanich said it’s important that employees are educated on the benefits of such
products so that they can relay that information to customers. Oftentimes, it is a
conversation that leads customers to try
a natural product if they weren’t previously using one.
Endcap displays can also help pique
shopper interest—especially if they provide an opportunity for customers to see
or touch the product, Supanich added.
If you don’t have the space for an
ongoing interactive display, consider a
demonstration, suggested Spain.
“Have a demonstration day on natu-
ral litters,” she said. “Consumers will not
know the best product for their home and
pet if retailers do not provide the neces-
Oftentimes, the packaging of many of
the natural brands stands out, and that,
alone, can attract interest. Eliot Cundiff,
store manager for Daminger’s Natural
Pet Foods in Sewell, N.J., said that a well
designed bag can grab the attention of
a consumer considering a natural litter,
which, in turn, can lead to a conversation.
Ellis said that Ökocat litters tend to
stand out on the shelf due to the white
packaging and bright colors.
While display and marketing efforts
can certainly draw new customers, Cun-
diff said that the shoppers coming in for
natural litters often know what they want.
They’re the cat owners who have already
done their research and have a very spe-
cific idea in mind of what they plan to buy.
Of course, Cundiff said it’s still import-
ant for retailers to be educated when deal-
ing with customers who “know what they
want.” They might have questions about a
product they’ve researched, and retailers
must be prepared to educate them.
“Natural cat litter attracts a very specific market,” Cundiff said. “It may not
be for everyone, but there are always going to be cat owners who want a natural