If it moves, it dies.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
FOR one, you will never find Special Cat anywhere else in the world but in the Philippines.
That's right, Special Cat is a fairly new premium dry cat food that is being manufactured exclusively for the Philippine market.
Back in 2014 when the United States experienced crippling port congestion that delayed the shipment of goods, including pet foods, Manila-based businesses were affected.
Pet Discount, Inc., which imports dog food from the US, had to look for an alternative source. They found Monge, a leading Italian pet food manufacturer, and ordered a shipment of their premium dry dog food called Special Dog. Then it occurred to Jehan Teng Sy, owner of Pet Discount, to ask Monge for a companion product for cats. From that simple question, a new product was born: Special Cat.
“If there's a Special Dog there should be a Special Cat – it's like a couple. So, we asked Monge if they could make a Special Cat for us and they agreed,” Sy told MetroPets.
To serve the Philippine market, Monge designed all-new packaging for Special Dog and Special Cat in English. They also made smaller bags to suit the local market's preference.
Sy said Special Cat is a premium yet affordable cat food. Pet shops retail the 7kg bag of Special Cat for P700 while online pet shops sell it for P795.
“We don't sell in groceries. We sacrifice our cost so it can reach consumers at a lower price. We are very confident about its quality because it's made in Europe, which has set higher standards for their pet food industry than elsewhere,” said Sy.
Available only in chicken and turkey flavor, the kibbles of Special Cat look like small florets or stars in dark brown color.
“Cats don't need kibbles in shapes that are not practical like the round ones with holes, or kibbles in different colors as they can't really see too many colors,” Sy said.
Special Cat is developed to be good for cats' at “All Life Stages” so its small pellets are particularly appropriate for kittens.
So, what else makes Special Cat special? Here's what the packaging says:
* Special Cat contains 32 percent protein and 13 percent fat.
* Its ingredients include cereals, meat and meat by-products (chicken and turkey), oils and fats (salmon oil), vegetables, fish and fish-by-product, minerals, yeasts and Yucca plant extract (reduces stool odor).
* Has probiotics Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) + Mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) which regulate gastrointestinal micro flora, and aids in absorption of calcium and other minerals.
* Has low magnesium content to protect the kidneys
* Has Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy and shiny coat
* Enriched with Taurine, Calcium and Phosphorus for strong bones and teeth
Since Special Cat's launch last year, Pet Discount says it has done much better than expected. The owners forecast that the brand will steadily gain a better foothold on the market as it matures. After all it's not everyday that an Italian company goes out of its way to produce something unique for cats here, giving our resident cats one good reason to meow out loud: “It's more special in the Philippines!”
* Meow Project makes cat cartoons that will stick with you