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Recently, Testpoint recruited respondents for a very particular market research: it was a taste test, but this time it was not the product to be tasted that was unusual, but precisely… the test participants. Yes, because it was about testing cat food and therefore the protagonists were our beloved felines! 

The taste test 

Testpoint has selected 100 cat owners in Rome who are willing to let their beloved furry friend test a new type of food. The cats had to be all healthy young adults and half of them had to test dry food (kibbles) and the other half instead wet food (cans). The test lasted one month: during this entire period, the cat participating in the research had to be fed exclusively with the tested food. 

One month’s supply was delivered by Testpoint staff directly to the cat owner’s home along with all test instructions. The products were “debranded”, i.e. in anonymous packages, identified only by a code. 

First, upon opening the package, the cat owner had to complete a paper questionnaire regarding the appearance, consistency and smell of the product; moreover, some information was requested on pet food purchasing habits (where it is generally purchased, what are the usual brands, etc.) 

After a couple of weeks, the owner, via an online link, was required to complete a questionnaire about how the test experience had gone so far (if the cat ate all of its ration, if it seemed to enjoy the meal, if it had digestive problems, how the fur looked, etc.). 

Then, after another couple of weeks of test, the owner was required to complete another online questionnaire about how much the cat likes the food and other aspects concerning the cat’s health in general. 

How the test was carried out 

We asked one of the participants to tell us about their experience. This is Elvira, 40, from Rome, owner of the cat Mimì: 

“My kitten Mimì is three years old. I have always fed her with wet food, paying attention to the quality of the product I choose for her. She’s also quite a picky eater and she doesn’t like everything. 

I was given enough food for a month (the cans were anonymous, I don’t know the brand of this product) and I followed the instructions carefully. Initially, I recorded my impressions about product look and smell on the paper questionnaire, then I started feeding Mimì with the tested food twice a day for two weeks after which I completed the online questionnaire. 

I continued to feed my kitten with this new food until the end of the month and then I again answered some simple questions on the online questionnaire. 

I gladly accepted to participate in this test because it seemed to me an interesting way to contribute to the choice of good quality food for our four-legged friends.”