Joyce Lam
Joyce is a Senior Trends Analyst at Mintel, focusing on capturing consumer behaviour for the Asia Pacific market, as well as supporting the global Mintel Trends team to identify new consumer trends.

French pet food company Royal Canin has launched a new initiative that will provide stray cats and dogs with shelter and vaccinations, and help them to find a new home through adoption.



The pet food company will work with the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau to capture and provide shelter for homeless animals, with 14 pet hospitals for vaccinations and desexing, and local NGOs to put them up for adoption. In the meanwhile, Royal Canin and its partners will host lectures, and summer and winter camps to share expert guidance on pet rescue and adoption with children and young people.

Royal Canin is aiming to create a more harmonious human/pet relationship in China. In recent years, the number of pet owners and people who are willing to participate in animal rescue has grown significantly, as Mintel research reveals that nearly three in five Chinese pet owners have fed homeless animals.

However, knowledge and norms around homeless animals are still limited. In fact, the rise of pet ownership subsequently contributed to abandonment and unchecked reproduction, which have led to a growing population of strays and put pressure on the social environment. The fact that many families consider strays to be dirty, unhealthy and unsuitable has scared away opportunities to give homeless animals a better life. Education around these topics will be important to change people’s biases around stray animals and give the animals the opportunity to find a family that takes care of them.

Today, Chinese companies are putting more focus on protecting animal welfare. Earlier this year, technology company Baidu created a smart shelter for stray cats to help them survive Beijing’s cold winter. The smart cat shelter is equipped with an AI-powered camera that can detect if a cat is sick and inform associated volunteers for help accordingly.

What we think

With cute images and videos of cats and dogs flooding the internet, more and more people have become animal-friendly, and some even consider them as part of the family. The rights of pets are still limited, but this will change with more education. We will see more public spaces opening up for pets in China, such as parks, offices and restaurants. In addition, there are also opportunities for players in the travel industry to provide pet-friendly services, for instance, pet-friendly planes and hotels.