Kids are Key Factor to Resurgence in Products for “Gateway Pets”

Market research firm Packaged Facts forecasts steady and continued growth over the next five years for U.S. market for small animal products

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — There’s virtually no end to the number of loving, positive adjectives pet owners commonly use to describe their furry, feathered, and finned animal companions. On the flipside, words such as “expensive” and “time consuming” are also often associated with the realities and responsibilities of owning pets—especially dogs and cats. As a result, many families consider small mammals such as rabbits and hamsters to be the perfect gateway pet for children as a way to learn to how to care properly for another creature.

This “gateway pet” trend is helping drive a recent uptick in small animal products such as (i.e., bedding & litter, cages & cage accessories, food such as hay and treats, etc.), according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the new report Small Animal Products: U.S. Pet Market Trends and Opportunities. Packaged Facts’ June/July 2017 National Pet Owners Survey reveals that households with children are almost three times as likely as those without children to own a small animal as a pet.

“Many parents use these small animals as a test for their children, ensuring the child is able to handle the responsibility before ‘upgrading’ to a dog. However, for many parents, particularly those with many children or who are living in smaller spaces, a small mammal is the perfect pet for their children,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts. “Either way, children are the key factor in the equation in terms of which households have small mammals as pets.

The report goes on to reveal that despite declining ownership of small animals in 2015 and 2016, the small animal category for pet products has continued to grow in tandem with the rest of the pet market. Sales in 2016 for small animal products were up 3% from sales of $610 million in 2015. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% between 2016 and 2021, sales of small animal pet products will enjoy steady and continued growth over the next five years, Packaged Facts predicts.

About the Report

Small Animal Products: U.S. Pet Market Trends and Opportunities provides an in-depth analysis of the sale of products and foods designed for hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, and other small animals through all channels in the U.S. market, focusing on the key segments driving the market and highlighting sales trends. The report covers sales of food, bedding and litter, cages and accessories, and toys, discussing the top marketers in each segment. All information and analyses in the report is highly accessible, presented in concise text and easy-to-read and practical charts, tables, and graphs.

View additional information about Small Animal Products: U.S. Pet Market Trends and Opportunities, including purchase options, the abstract, table of contents, and related reports at Packaged Facts’ website:

About Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services.  Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.

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