Why Is There a Cat Food Shortage?

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John Fleming
John Fleming
John is a freelance writer and culinary enthusiast with over a decade of experience.

Why is there a cat food shortage?: Cats come under the family of obligate animals, especially carnivores whose body needs nutrition that is found only in an animal-based product.

A healthy cat is fond of protein, minerals, fat, and a significant number of carbohydrates in its diet. And feeding a cat at home somewhere lacks the nutrition which is essential to make your cat healthy. 

Cat Food as A Game Changer

In such a situation cat food enters the game. Cat food not only provides perfect and ideal nutrition for your cats but is also made according to the likes and tastes of cats. Cat food comes in a variety and is also available in dry, semi-moist, and canned-based food packaging.

Dry Cat Food

While talking about dry cat food it is not 100% dry instead it contains around 8% to 10% of water and depending upon the formulation it is dried with the minimum amount of water.

Dry cat food can be obtained using meat products, poultry products, grain by-products, fiber and milk products, vitamin and mineral supplements, and much more.

Sometimes the pet food manufacturing company even adds flavor enhancers to increase the taste of food supplements.

Semi-Moist Cat Food

Cat foods that contain around 35% of water come under the category of semi-moist cat food and these are also made using various food supplements and their byproducts. Moist foods are generally more expensive than dry ones and are more appealing to cats as well. 

Canned Cat Foods

The best and the most expensive cat food comes under the category of canned foods. In general, canned food for cats consists of around 75% of water and hence acts as the best food for digestion and longer shelf life until opened.

Key features of canned cat foods are they come in a variety and abundance of flavors and varieties and hence no matter how finicky your cat is it will be loved by your pet.

Why Is There a Cat Food Shortage?

Irrespective of the varieties available the concern is there is a shortage of cat food around the globe.

  • As per reports and statements claimed by experts it has been said that there are many reasons for the shortage of cat food which include the lack of ingredients available in the market, lack of packaging materials available, a disrupted supply chain, and a sudden increase in the number of cats. 
  • As per data, Americans have adopted more cats since the pandemic and hence causing an increase in cat food demand. 
  • While talking about the lack of ingredients available in the market we are dealing with the problems of the availability of meat and its supplement product available in the market. 
  • Packaging problems include the unavailability of aluminum cans and the material required for production and transporting the same to the stores.

Shortage of Meat and Meat Supplements

After the pandemic, it’s no surprise that the cost of meat and meat-based products are touching heights and hence affecting the  businesses drawn from and based on meat. Due to these reasons, the manufacturing of cat food is also struggling. 

  • Everything that can be replaced with meat is also expensive these days.
  • Meat packaging demands the best labor and hence post pandemic, companies are struggling with the recruitment of laborers.
  • Also, the manufacturing of cat food requires ingredients such as supplements of vitamins and minerals which are produced beyond borders and hence are needed to be exported.

Shortage of Metals Required for Manufacturing of Cans and Packaging

Since the demand for cat food is on an urge and hence the packaging demand has also been increasing.

Since packaging demands a significant amount of metal especially aluminum and steel which are not only expensive but also the production of these elements have been decreasing.

Most cat foods are packed in aluminum-based cans, but the problem which arises with aluminum base cans are;

  • Aluminum is used for the packaging of most canned products and hence the demand is very high.
  • Being a cheaper metal the competitors have more access to the metal.
  • Over the years and more effectively due to pandemics the demand for can-based products has increased.
  • Production of aluminum has been down as per reports by China which is currently the world’s largest producer of aluminum.

Increased Cat Adoption

Another reason which can be made responsible for the increase in the demand for cat products is the adoption of cats at a very high speed.

Increased number of pet owners, is a good practice, a sudden increase in adoption has also reflected a magnificent increase in demand for cat food.

  • Cats being human-friendly animals can be easily sheltered and nourished as pets.
  • The number of cat-loving people is also increasing and hence is turning to an increase in the adoption of cats.

Unmanaged Supply Chains Lead to A Shortage of Cat Food

Due to the crisis amid covid and post covid various products and their supply chain is unbalanced. For say, most cat food manufacturers are dependent on the countries of southern Asia for fulfilling the demand for meat and meat supplements required for cat foods.

However, post-pandemic the import and export rates have been remaining unbalanced and hence a small change is causing a greater impact on production.

  • Export-import is struggling these days.
  • Transport from the manufacturer to local vendors is disrupted post-pandemic.
  • Due to increased demands, the manufacturers are unable to supply accordingly, and hence comes the distribution issues.
  • Issues also arise when state international boundaries come into the picture.

These are the biggest reasons responsible for a decrease in the availability of cat foods in the market leading to a shortage of cat food.

However, with the pace of demand, the manufacturers will cope with the need over time. 

How to Deal with Cat Food Shortage?

Most cats are considered to be picky eaters and finicky cats and hence their diet and likes and dislikes of foods vary. It will not be shocking if you struggle a lot to find cat food in the market and after a great search, you found a store with abundant cat food.

Instead of buying food that can be stored for certain months, choose to buy food for fewer days so that the rest of the food in the store can be used by other cats and hence circulating the cat food in the desired order.

  • Choose your cat’s favorite food and try to add the ingredients available at your home so that the need for cat food decreases a bit without costing nutrition and the taste of cat food.
  • Dry cat foods are easily available since it does not demand can-based packaging.
  • With proper knowledge and guidance, you can also prepare cat food at your home without compromising the vitamins and mineral supplements since they are easily available in the market. However, for this, you should consider having a conversation with a vet first.
  • A mixture of new and old food, also dry and canned products can be given to cats and over time the ratio of dry food can be increased depending on the cats.

Dealing with Specific or Prescribed Food

It will be no big deal if your cat is on a specific diet or is on a prescribed food, due to many reasons including allergies, health issues, or other medical issues. In such a case, it becomes more difficult to find the desired cat food. These problems can be dealt with if,

  • You talk to your vet so that other alternatives to the given food can be found.
  • By switching to different brands or by  having access to the manufacturers or distributors of cat food.
  • Visiting various online platforms and giving some time to search online can also help.

Issues Generating Due to Shortage of Cat Food

One of the main reasons for the unavailability of materials for the manufacturing of cat food can be the world politics between some great leaders and nations.

Since the world rotates around exports and imports and hence due to lack of material the supply chain is disrupted. But issues due to this can be life-threatening for animals especially.

  • Animals especially cats are not getting enough nutrition and hence costing their lives even.
  • With the increase in demand and lesser production, the price is also increasing and hence reaching beyond the pocket of consumers.
  • Undernourished cats are more prone to various diseases which can spread, and infect others harming humans and other animals as well.

FAQs Related to The Shortage of Cat Food

When Will the Cat Food Shortage End?

As per estimations made and the report says the disrupted Market of cat food causing a shortage can last up to the year 2022. Hence we can conclude after 2022 the shortage May gradually decrease.

Are We Running out Of Cat Food?

Yes, there is a shortage of cat food but post-pandemic the situation has been becoming better with every passing day, and hence the problem can be solved over time.

Will There Be a Shortage in And After 2022 of Cat Food?

If you look at the economic reports for 2022 the shortage of cat food is still significant. The data is similar to that of 2020, crossing the absence of cat food in pet stores and grocery shops. The issue of shortage May last for some other years

What to Do if You Don’t Find Any More Cat Food?

Try preparing cat food at home using locally available meat such as chickens without any spices or preservatives. You can also have pieces of beef, turkey and lamb if available. Go with small quantities in the beginning.

Can Cats Have Scrambled Eggs?

Eggs are a great source of nutrition like amino acids and proteins which are easily digestible by cats as well. A well cooked egg  can be a portion of great food for your cat.

Are Dairy Products Good for The Cat?

Milk and cheese can provide a great nutrition and protein source for your cat is nothing more than a myth. A cat has a very delicate digestive system and dairy products can upset it. One should always avoid providing dairy products to cats and try to feed them with meat.

Which Kind of Cat Food Is the Most Expensive?

As mentioned in the article, out of the three states of cat food available, canned-based cat food is considered to be the most expensive.

However, due to the shortage of food available in the market, switching to dry cat food or semi-moist cat food can be a good alternative to provide your cat with great nutrition without costing taste.

Conclusion

Cats always need meat since their bodies are designed in such a way that certain nutritions on which they rely are available only in the meat.

But due to various reasons including lack of ingredients available for manufacturing cat food, unavailability of metal especially aluminum for packaging, and supply chain issues between vendors, manufacturers importers, and exporters there is a shortage of cat food.  

It is being reported that these issues are going to last longer than expected. Switching to alternatives are trying other ways to feed your cat under proper Guidance with knowledge that can help in this difficult situation. 

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