The pet care market in China is rapidly gaining ground on the United States, the current largest market in the world. According to a white paper by iResearch, the industry in China is on track to surpass $60 billion in 2023, despite temporary setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research predicts a 14% compound annual growth rate in the market in the three years from 2020, with the market expected to reach a total of ¥445.6 billion (approximately $66 billion) in 2023.
The driving factors behind this significant growth include rising income levels and an increase in pet adoptions, influenced in part by the pandemic. Younger and tech-savvy pet owners are also contributing to the growth, with online consumption rising at a faster rate than offline channels.
The pet care market in China is experiencing significant growth due to increased time at disposal as a result of Covid restrictions. Pet owners are spending more time with their pets and paying more attention to their needs, leading to a surge in demand for pet care products and services. According to a 2021 White Paper on China's Pet Consumption Trends by consumer research firm iResearch, the new, young and educated pet parents may soon make up almost 70% of pet parents in China, with a vast majority of these neo-pet parents born after the 1990s.
Almost 90% of new pet owners are college graduates, who make up only 23.61% of the total population with university degrees. 52% of them have kept a pet for less than three years, and 19% have one pet for less than one year. However, they are expected to acquire more pets in the future, unlike those who have been pet owners for some time now.
Cats numbers and cat ownership is set to expand rapidly as singles with careers and busy lifestyles prefer cats who are relatively more independent than dogs. This could also be the reason for cats overtaking dogs in pet animal population in China in 2021. The consumption trend report said there was a total of 58 million pet cats and 54 million pet dogs in China in 2021.
However, despite the dog population being slightly lower than cat population as of 2021, overall spends on dogs far exceed the spends on cats. A 2021 White Paper on China's Pet Industry by Pethadoop with supervision from the pet industry branch of the China Animal Husbandry Association, showed that the dog therapy/treatment products market was at $2.1 billion, up 21.2% from 2020, while the cat therapy/treatment products market was worth $1.5 billion for a 19.9% year-on-year increase. It also showed that in China, the annual average spend per dog was $390.62 versus $270.79 for cats.