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Pet economy booms

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-12 07:54
A visitor and her cat attend a pet fair in Guangzhou in May. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The company's sales team says more than 200 litter boxes are sold via Chinese e-commerce platforms every month, with each one costing over 5,000 yuan.

The World Cat Show recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association, a global organization for pedigree cats, was also held during the fair.

Qian Zheng, director of the cat zone of Pet Fair Asia, says over 200 pure-bred cats were brought to the show.

Qian, who is also a professional breeder of Persian cats, says that nowadays it is quite easy to contact professional breeders through social media as opposed to 10 years ago.

Speaking about her experiences, Qian, who bought her first Persian cat from a foreign breeder via e-mail, says: "At that time, no foreign breeder was willing to sell pure-bred kittens to a Chinese buyer. They didn't believe that we could look after cats properly, and rumors about Chinese eating cats certainly didn't help."

Describing what she went through to get her first Persian cat, Qian says she had to work hard to convince the breeder that there was no way she would spend thousands of dollars to buy a cat and not treat it well.

Now, Qian's Persian cats have won first place in the category at the CFA cat show for two consecutive years.

Speaking about how Persian cats have become popular in the country, she says: "Few Chinese pet owners attended the CFA cat show before. But now, new faces and new kittens from China appear every year."

She says she owns between 20 and 30 Persian cats, and that these fluffy little angels cost her between 600,000 and 700,000 yuan a year.

According to research by the China Agricultural University, the pet industry develops rapidly when a country's GDP per capita reaches between $3,000 and $5,000.

China's GDP per capita was about $8,800 last year.

The Pet Fair Asia event, which moved to Shanghai from Hong Kong in 1999, has grown exponentially, from a 15,000-square-meter space at the Shanghai Mart in 2003, to a whopping 140,000 square meters at the Shanghai New International Expo Center this year.

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