Pet Food

Pet owners on the prowl for cat food amid supply chain issues

LELAND, N.C. (WECT) – Many pet owners have noticed a new shortage lately, causing families to dig deeper into their pockets or venture out of their pets’ comfort zone.

“Well, I gotta burn a bunch of gas or get on my cell phone and start calling around — ’Do you have this’ or ‘Do you have that?’” said Leland cat owner ALex Fulcher. “You know, it’s just kind of aggravating not being able to find it. I’ll probably go to three or four different stores.”

Canned wet pet food seems to be hard to find lately, especially for cat owners. Some stores are better than others when it comes to empty shelves, but some pet owners will go store to store in search of their furry friend’s favorite meal.

“I’ll have trouble finding the pate cans,” said Fulcher. “I think they’re five and a half ounce cans. Usually, I get the 32- or the 48-count. We buy in bulk because it’s a little bit cheaper, but I can’t even buy that the last two months.”

It’s a problem impacting people across the country as supply chain issues impact which foods are delivered. Meanwhile, some brands wait for products still sitting on cargo ships.

Petsmart is just one store struggling to keep shelves stocked in some locations.

“Throughout the pandemic, more people have added pets to their families, driving an increased demand for pet food,” Petsmart said in a statement on the issue. “With this increase in demand, we have seen shortages from manufacturers of wet food that have affected our canned food supply in our stores and online. We are committed to doing all we can to help pet parents feed and care for their pets and are actively working with our manufacturing and shipping partners to ensure supply is increased to better meet the current demand.”

That’s pushed some pet owners to buy more expensive brands or shop online from places like Chewy or Amazon. If they’re lucky enough to find a story with stocked shelves, they’ll stock up.

“They don’t know whether one day next week they’re going to get it or not,” said Fulcher. “When it shows up on their back door, that’s when they know they’re going to get it.”

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