Body and Mind

Sandy Robins//September 1, 2015//

Body and Mind

Sandy Robins //September 1, 2015//

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Cat health includes both mental and physical well-being. This opens up the playing field for retailers to incorporate a plethora of different products into a wellness section both in store and online.

Healthy Hydration

There’s no question that the key to good feline health is keeping them properly hydrated.

“Pet drinking fountains replicate running water that animals enjoy in the wild,” said Jason Hart, marketing manager of Petsafe.

The company has added two new colors to their popular Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain range, Himalayan blue and taupe.

“The Himalayan blue color was selected after the fountain (in this color) won the most votes in the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin 2014 People’s Choice Vote,” Hart said.

The falling movement of the water draws in oxygen, which helps prevent the growth of bacteria. The dripping sound also attracts cats to the water bowl.

The fountains are made from nonporous hygienic ceramic stoneware and the bowls can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning. The company also has another new design debuting this fall called the Orchid.

Supplementing Health

Maryland-based research firm Packaged Facts reported that pet supplement sales in the U.S. are ready to increase after enduring a modest compound annual growth rate of 4 percent between 2010 and 2014. The report predicts this increase to go from $541 million in 2014 to more than $697 million in 2019.

In line with this predicted trend, companies are crossing over more product ideas from the human market than ever before. Tomlyn Veterinary Science has introduced new prebiotic and probiotic supplements to support balanced microbial flora and intestinal health.

According to the company’s website, this water-soluble product is packaged in individual sachets. The formula is said to contain more than 4 billion colony forming units of probiotics per packet and is flavorless so that cats will be unable to detect any change to their food or water bowl.
Another new buzz in pet health is hemp supplements for pets.

“Cannavet is a line of hemp products designed to help reduce joint pain and improve a pet’s demeanor by reducing stress as a result of its calming effects,” said Sarah Brandon, DVM and director of research and development at TVS.

The company showcased its products earlier this year at the Global Pet Expo.

According to Brandon, the product line, which is made from 100 percent organic hemp, supports a normal immune system function and helps to maintain a healthy neurological function. It is also suitable as part of a end-of-life regimen of care.

Mental Health

There is nothing like electronic toys to keep cats mentally alert and in play-and-pounce mode. These toys keep minds sharp and encourage healthy activity levels that may help stave off obesity.

The Petsafe Cheese is a peek-a-boo game with small yellow mice popping in and out of the “cheese” to keep cats in hunt mode. The toy automatically switches itself off after 15 minutes of play to preserve the batteries.

New in the Petlinks range from Worldwise, Inc. is the Flitter Fly.

“Cats love erratic movements provided by electronic toys as it activates a cat’s natural instincts to stalk, chase and pounce,” said Aimee Diskin, director of innovation and product development for Worldwise. “All our newest electronic toys mimic these erratic patterns with whirling, jittery and spinning motions to awaken a cat’s curiosity and encourage healthy activity,” she said.

The Whirl-and-Catch Wind toy blows colorful butterflies and lightweight feathers around a clear bowl with a gentle fan that’s safe for cats. Cats delight in poking a pawing through the top opening, trying to catch the swirling insects. Sporadically, a feather will fly out of the bowl, inspiring cats to pounce. The variable speed fan speeds up, slows down and occasionally stops to captivate cats, and the timed auto-shutoff feature helps preserve the life of the included replaceable batteries.

“Cat owners can rev things up even more by sprinkling a bit of the complimentary Pure Bliss organic catnip into the bowl,” Diskin said.

Also new are the Petlinks’ Romp Around plush toys that jitter and dance, mimicking the movements of real prey. The critters are covered in soft fabrics and move on vibrating bristles, eliminating wheels and axels that can easily break and jam with hair and dirt. They are available in four designs.

These days, feline furniture has to be both functional from a feline standpoint as well as attractive from a decorative point of view. Furniture gives cats high areas to perch on and secluded cubbies to retreat into, allowing them to exercise natural behaviors.

Catastrophic Creations is currently an online Etsy store ready to make the leap into the pet specialty retail space with some truly innovative environment-enhancing feline playscapes such as their Indiana Jones Cat Bridge made from rope and wooden slats. It recreates the fun and adventure of an Indiana Jones movie in your living room from a feline perspective. It can be customized to fit any home.

The new award-winning Vesper line of stylish feline play and lounge-around home accessories from Rolf C. Hagen Corp. offers cat owners some futuristic and modern designs such as the multilevel V Tower that has two cube caves and a tunnel for both private time and fun. Not to mention plenty of surfaces to scratch—that’s a very important component of feline health, too!