Sophisticats will have the chance to dine on gourmet fare such as steamed whitefish and grilled duck thanks to a premium new range from Whiskas.

Mars Petcare claims Whiskas Simply (rsp: £3.79 for 12 pouches), which rolls out to retailers this week, is the first catfood to be grilled or steamed rather than mass cooked.

The 12-strong line-up comprises Steamed Fish, Grilled Poultry and Grilled Meat sub-ranges and fills a gap in the market for consumers who want to give their cats the kind of variety they increasingly expect from their own meals, said Mark Johnson, MD of Mars Petcare.

“Gone are the days of simple meat variants. People are more and more discerning about what they feed their cats and dogs.”

Johnson predicted it would be worth more than £20m in first year sales. “We have pitched it at an accessible price point for cat owners,” he added.