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The global bentonite cat litter market size was valued at USD 2.83 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.96 billion in 2022 to USD 4.11 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.82% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with bentonite cat litter experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 5.50% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Cat litter is made from ash, wood, tofu, bentonite clay, and silica gel. These materials have a higher absorption rate or clumping ability, which assists in eliminating odor and makes it convenient for pet owners to clean the urine or feces of their cats. Bentonite has been the main component in cat litter due to its clumping abilities. However, bentonite production involves relatively expensive mining. The surge in the number of multi-cat households and an increase in cat population are driving the market growth. The shift to parenting from ownership of pets has been a significant trend, particularly in developing countries.
Bentonite clay is able to absorb about 15 times its original volume and can form clumps. The bentonite infused cat litter is either made from sodium bentonite or calcium bentonite. Furthermore, manufacturers are also practicing to introduce clay & silica mix ray material to further develop the blended cat litter products. According to the Company “A Pet’s Life,” clumping clay litter accounts for about 13% of their sales.
Furthermore, there has been a significant growth in cat owners worldwide owing to the rising willingness to own at least one pet, boosting the demand for cat litter. The wide availability of efficient cat litter and the convenience of maintenance are expected to boost the demand for pet cats.
Spike in Product Demand Amid COVID-19 Pandemic to Overcome Loneliness During Lockdown
In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global health emergency. The pandemic affected several industries, including the pet industry. The pandemic resulted in strict lockdowns as individuals were confined to homes. In addition, manufacturers faced manufacturing and supply chain challenges during the pandemic due to travel restrictions and closing of borders.
The pandemic caused a significant growth in pet adoptions. Rapid rise in pet adoption has made pets a significant part of the life of people living in studio apartments and high-rise buildings. Furthermore, the rising number of pet adoption has resulted in a rapid growth in demand for pet services. The adoption of pets is not just restricted to dogs, but an increasing trend in the adoption of cats and small animals including hamster. For instance, as per American Veterinary Medical Association the ownership of cats has observed a growth of around 40% during the pandemic. According to the American Pet Products Association, around 11.38 million households in the U.S. got pets during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, there has been a drastic increase in pet owners. Furthermore, pet products were considered essential items, and thus were sold even during the pandemic; hence, online pet stores had to implement a special workforce to deliver these orders. Pet shops have been allowed to remain open throughout the pandemic as pet food was considered under essential products.
Furthermore, pets have been known for assisting people in overcoming the side effects of isolation such as loneliness and despair. As due to lockdown and social restrictions, people were stuck in their houses with social interaction limited to virtual technology. Thus, to overcome the restraints and mental stress, ownership of pets and pet parenting assisted people to overcome these completely or partially overcome these challenges.
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Rise in Pet Humanization to Boost the Bentonite Cat Litter Market Growth
Consumer spending in the household and pet care categories has recorded consistent growth globally owing to the growing trend of pet humanization. Consumers have observed a shift in trend from pet owners to pet parents in recent times, which has been contributing to the growing demand in the pet care industry. In addition, pet humanization is set to continue to drive sales of pet products and services. The pet care category is becoming increasingly premium, as consumers are ready to spend more on products such as food, litter, and others. This is further expected to contribute to the health of their pets, nutrition, and improved living conditions.
The rising number of people considering pets as a part of the family is driving the demand for products designed to pamper pets. There are a growing number of companies ranging from startups to large pet retailers which are utilizing the rapid growth in the pet humanization trend and are developing and selling products to fulfill the elevated demand.
As per the American Pet Products Association, in 2020, 23 million U.S. households adopted new pets. Thus, adopting new pets has resulted in a jump in pet-product spending, accounting for USD 123 billion in 2020, which was USD 90 billion in 2018. Furthermore, even in the pre-pandemic period, spending on pet products has been observing an upward trend owing to pet humanization and an increase in the number of “pet parents,” which will further drive the market growth over the forecast period.
Growing Cat Adoption Worldwide to Impel Market Expansion
According to the American Pets Product Association, about 370 million cats are globally kept as pets, accounting for 70% of households that own a pet. As per the American Pets Product Association, during COVID-19, 23 million people added a pet to their family. Further, the U.S. pet industry expenditure was USD 123.6 billion in 2021. The rise in pet ownership and expenditure is driving the market growth.
The industry dynamics, such as increasing number of multi-cat households and the growing pet cat population, is expected to drive the product demand over the forthcoming years. In addition, the rising number of single-person homes and increasing willingness to own at least one pet are expected to boost market growth. Simultaneously, there has been an increasing demand for litter boxes that are better suited for small spaces and are highly efficient. Over the past few years, Europe has observed a rising trend for multi-cat households. The region has significantly contributed to the market growth.
For instance, according to the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF), the cat population has grown from 102.7 million in 2017 to 113.26 million in 2021.
Numerous consumers prefer ownership of cats compared to other pets due to the lack of maintenance coupled with the availability of efficient cat litter products in the market worldwide. Moreover, pet owners have time constraints when it comes to the cleaning responsibility of their pets due to busy schedules and modern lifestyles. This factor is expected to boost the product demand over the forecast period.
High Liquid and Odor Absorption Ability of the Product to Boost the Market Growth
Bentonite cat litter is gaining popularity due to its ability to absorb liquids several times its original weight. It expands to 15 times its original volume and forms clumps that can be scooped out without removing the rest of the litter. It is excellent at clumping, making it easy to remove toxic clumps from the litter box without replacing the entire substrate. It is also popular due to the incredible absorption of odors, so it does not need to be replaced daily. It provides good antimicrobial protection. In addition, bentonite cat litter is efficient and easy to clean as bentonite in contact with cat feces and urine creates clumps that are easy to remove. These factors are boosting the market growth.
An increasing number of cat owners worldwide is expected to impact the market growth positively. However, most cat owners prefer not to let their cats outside the house for various reasons, including human hostility and adverse weather conditions. In addition, the ability of bentonite clay to form clumps in moisture further assists in removing odor and controlling the effects of ammonia, and urine is removed more effectively. Thus, absorption, clumping, and odor control ability are expected to drive product demand during the forecast period.
Increasing Government Bans to Limit the Market Growth
As per the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2021, 46.1% of urban households had pets compared with 65.9% of rural households. The declining demand for pets such as dogs and cats owing to many urban residents living in tight quarters, is limiting the market growth. Furthermore, the governments of different countries such as the U.S., Singapore, the U.K., and others are introducing regulations to ban pet stores from selling cats and dogs. Thus, government bans on pet sales will further significantly impact the global market. The number of bans on pet cats will minimize the number of pet cat owners, limiting the market growth. For instance, in December 2022, the State of New York passed a law prohibiting pet stores from selling pet animals such as dogs, cats, and rabbits. The move attempts to halt the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline and stop abusive breeders.
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Growing Demand for Sodium Bentonite Cat Litter to Fuel the Market Growth
Based on type, the market is divided into sodium bentonite, calcium bentonite, and blend. Cat litter infused with bentonite is ideal for natural cat litter owing to the characteristics of the materials such as low dust & no waste, high absorption, instant & strong clumping, safety & hygiene, and natural odor control.
Cat litter infused with sodium bentonite is a clean and hygienic option for indoor pets. Furthermore, it contains an excellent absorption and odor lock formula, which helps absorb cat urine and eliminates odors from cat feces and ammonia. Cat litter infused with calcium bentonite is referred to as white bentonite cat litter and calcium bentonite clay is preferred by manufacturers owing to its natural healing benefits. The litter may stick to the paws of cats, and while licking the paws, which a cat often does, the cat may consume the litter. However, owing to the natural healing benefits of calcium, it is safe even if the cat mistakenly consumes the litter.
In addition, calcium bentonite clay helps the body in eliminating toxins. Furthermore, blend products combine bentonite clay and silica granules with a higher absorption rate and clumping. The blend segment shows a rapid growth rate in the forecast period. The blends are usually preferred to eliminate odor and maintain hygiene by users.
Ability of Clay to Absorb and Clump Faster to Drive the Market Growth
Based on composition, the market is segmented into clay and silica & clay mix. The clay segment dominated the market with a higher market share as clay is more economical for cat litter production and with the extensive availability of raw materials owing to vast reserves of calcium and sodium bentonite clay in Greece, Australia, India, Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., New Zealand, Germany, Turkey, and China. Bentonite is absorbent aluminum phyllosilicate clay.
According to Imerys, bentonite can absorb around 3.5 times its weight when it comes in contact with liquid as it is a natural absorbent and does clumping. Bentonite does not support bacterial life, helping the litter box stay hygienic and odor-free. Thus, bentonite clay is the most preferred choice for cat litter due to its absorption ability.
Silica & clay mix cat litter is made of granular sodium silicate mixed with bentonite clay. The mix composition is relatively new and called blend cat litter. Sodium silicate has an incredible ability to absorb liquids, thus making it a suitable choice for cat litter manufacturers. Furthermore, silica-based cat litter provides a better absorption rate and further reduces ammonia's effect by controlling odor. Therefore, the blend has been preferred and is expected to grow at a higher CAGR over the forecast period owing to changing consumer preferences.
Rising Sales from Supermarkets and Offline Stores to Propel the Market Expansion
On the basis of distribution channel, the market is segmented into online and offline. The offline segment dominated the market with a higher market share. The offline segment includes supermarkets and pet stores. A supermarket is an enhanced version of a traditional store with self-service options. In addition, a wide range of products, such as packaged food, apparel, pet care, and other items, are available on large organized shelves. Supermarkets usually cover a large area and display various brands under one roof. Furthermore, these retail stores are available worldwide, becoming a crucial distribution channel for manufacturers.
The increasing penetration of online sales channels amongst individuals will drive market growth. Online distribution channels are convenient for retailers as it involves zero expenditure on physical outlets or stores. In addition, with a recent boom in internet services, e-commerce has become a preferred channel for the young generation. Furthermore, manufacturers such as MARS Petcare are launching products on e-commerce websites for higher market penetration and customer reach. For instance, in October 2022, MARS Petcare launched its cat litter brand CATSAN on an e-commerce distribution channel in India.
Europe Bentonite Cat Litter Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Geographically, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Europe has the leading bentonite cat litter market share in the global market owing to the higher adoption rate of cats in this region. According to the European Pet Food Industry Federation, in 2021, at least 90 million households in Europe had at least one pet, of which cats are the most popular pets in European households. The population of cats in Europe has been stable and was recorded to be 113 million in Europe.
The North American region is a significant contributor to the market growth owing to the increase in overall pet population. As per the American Pet Products Association (APPA), about 90.5 million families in the U.S. owned a pet during 2021-2022. The U.S. has a leading share in the North America market. The American Veterinary Medical Association states that cats have had a high preference as a pet in recent years in the U.S. Furthermore, the percentage of households that own at least one cat increased to 29% in 2022. Thus, a significant growth in the adoption of cats in the U.S. will further drive market growth.
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The developing regions such as Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa are expected to record a substantial demand for bentonite cat litter. This is driven by rapid growth in urbanization, rising middle-class families, and increasing number of pet adoption in this region.
Leading Companies Focus on New Manufacturing Units to Enhance Production
The market players focus on the launch of new manufacturing units, product development, acquisitions, expansion in new geographies, and advanced technological adaptation. Key players are launching different products to cater to the growing demand.
For instance, in September 2019, Intersand, a Canadian cat litter company, announced the launch of its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. The new plant will generate three dozen jobs and an estimated economic impact of USD 1.1 million over 10 years.
An Infographic Representation of Bentonite Cat Litter Market
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The research report analyzes the market in-depth. It highlights crucial aspects such as supply chain analysis, COVID-19 analysis, forecasts by region, competitive landscape, market dynamics, and forecast by type, composition, and distribution channel. Besides this, the report provides an overall cat litter market overview, insights into the market trends, and highlight significant industry developments. In addition to the aspects mentioned earlier, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market growth.
Value (USD Billion)
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.83 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach USD 4.11 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the global market value stood at USD 2.83 billion.
Ascending at a CAGR of 4.82%, the global market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2022-2029).
By type, the sodium bentonite segment is expected to dominate the market throughout the forecast period (2022-2029).
The rising adoption of cats and rapid growth in pet humanization worldwide will drive the market over the forecast period (2022-2029).
Church & Dwight Co. Inc., Minerals Technologies Inc., the Clorox Company, Imerys S.A, and Mars Incorporation are the leading companies worldwide.
Europe dominated the global market in 2021.
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