OTC Cat Medicines Market size, Insights, Prospects, Growth Trends, Key Trends, Opportunities and Forecast until 2030

Over-the-counter (OTC) cat medicines refer to non-prescription medicines that can be availed by cat owners through pharmacies, online distribution channels or veterinary clinics.

The OTC cat medicine market is often viewed as a segment or sub-segment of the substantially larger pet medicine market. However, growth in the overall cat medicines market and OTC cat medicines in particular has led it to command a substantial market share and OTC cat medicines can now be attributed the status of a separate market.

OTC cat medicines cover a range of cat health issues including those required to remove ticks and lice, immunity system boosters, deworming tablets, cold relief, urinary tract infection treatment and also advanced health conditions such as diabetes and cancers.

Furthermore, domestic cats are also known to get into scrapes with other cats and small animals due to their territorial and predatory instincts. Such fights leave them with minor but painful injuries.

The developments in cat medicines and their increasing use has meant that the OTC cat medicines market has seen a steady growth curve in the past decade. However, the Covid-19 crisis has emerged as a major threat to the industry.

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OTC Cat Medicines Market: Growing Focus on Health & Wellness Driving Growth

Cat adoptions have seen a rapid increase over the past year, led mainly by youngsters and the older generation. Simultaneously, cat owners these days are willing to spend more on their cat’s health as cats are increasingly being humanized and viewed as family members. This has been the leading driver for the OTC cat medicines market.

Increasing internet literacy has also increased the ability of cat owners to diagnose their pet’s ailments, which has led to a decrease in their dependency on veterinary practitioners. This has further boosted the OTC cat medicines market.

Trends in the OTC Cat Medicines Market

There has been a growing trend of online purchases in the OTC cat medicines market, which has threatened traditional modes of distribution, especially retail pharmacy vendors. However, this has also led to retail vendors attempting to boost their visibility.

Though prescriptions are not required for OTC medicines, a substantial proportion of OTC cat medicine sales continues to be through through veterinary clinics. This is since cat owners often lack the medical expertise to diagnose their cat’s health problems and hence approach veterinary practitioners.

These factors have led to a diversification in distribution channels; manufacturers and wholesalers have hence needed to adapt. As a consequence, manufacturers have become keen on projecting their brand to consumers by increasing their presence and visibility.

Impact of Covid-19

Covid-19 is likely to have an impact on cat adoption trends since pets may be viewed as carriers of germs. This is especially true for domestic cats that are accustomed to leaving their homes unsupervised. A negative impact on cat ownership will correspondingly impact the OTC cat medicines market.

Another concern is the economic ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic, which will reduce the disposable incomes of consumers. This may lead to a decrease in the willingness of cat owners to address their pet’s health concerns.

On the flip side, the rise in health concerns may also propel consolidated cat owners to address health concerns of cats more promptly. This is likely to be most acutely felt in the case of feline ailments that are less known, putting the focus on veterinary distribution channels.

Region-Wise Analysis

North America and Europe have hitherto led the OTC cat medicines market, while Asia-Pacific has been the fastest growing market by a margin. The Latin American market has been the largest market in the rest of the world segment.

This trend may however change as the Covid-19 pandemic’s economic ramifications will alter the OTC cat medicines market’s dynamics. Countries that emerge earlier from their respective economic slowdowns are likely to see better growth in their OTC cat medicines market as well.

Competition Landscape

The competition landscape in the OTC cat medicines market is fragmented despite the pharmaceutical expertise required to manufacture such medicines. This is since several big players from the pet medicine market operate in the OTC cat medicine market and compete for the market share.

The impact of Covid-19 is likely to result in manufacturers attempting to streamline their production lines. This will be with the intention of making products more affordable for consumers to ensure that OTC cat medicines ae picked up.

Major players in the OTC cat medicines market include Elanco, Virbac, Merck Animal Health, Hartz Mountain, PetCo, Central Garden & Pet, Express Scripts, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Frontline, Vetoquinol, Chewy.com, Bayer Companion Animal, PetIQ, Ceva Animal Health and Zoetis.

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