February 27, 2015

Most felines nap away nearly two-thirds of their lives, which is just one more reason that selecting the right bed is so important. Whether felines prefer to cuddle, stretch out, perch or nest, there is a bed on the market developed specifically for every preference. To increase sales, it’s important for retailers to educate customers on the benefits that these products offer to both the owner and the cat.

My House, Your House

While most cats are content to snooze in the comfort of a cardboard box, cat owners tend to prefer a more stylish approach that focuses on attractive design as well as utility.

“Up Country’s Futons and Round Pet Beds are the perfect combination of comfort and style,” said Donna Bodell, director of marketing for Up Country, Inc. “We use gorgeous, high-quality upholstery fabrics that will hold up to wear and tear but are completely washable.”

“With the market for pet beds continuing to grow, customers are demanding higher quality products, innovative designs and easy maintenance,” said Natalie Hennessy, public relations and integrated marketing manager for P.L.A.Y., Pet Lifestyle and You. “We recommend that customers seek out practical and versatile beds for their cats. Cats sleep over half the day away and not always in the same positions; therefore, cat parents must look for convertible beds that meet the needs of these finicky fur babies.”

Know Your Cats, Know Your Style

The style of bed says as much about the cat owner as it does about the cat.

“When designing furniture for pets, you have two customers: the pet and the pet parent,” said Josh Feinkind, president of RefinedKind Pet Products.

“Each has their distinctive needs. We design our products to satisfy each; cat’s want to be able to climb, scratch and perch and could care less about the look of the product. However, pet parents who are concerned with aesthetics want not only their pet happy but pieces that flow with their decor.”
Knowing how a cat prefers to sleep is also important when selecting a bed.

“Our bedding is designed to support the specific sleep styles of cats,” said Aimee Diskin, director of innovation and product development for Worldwise. “Most cats sleep either curled up or sprawled out on their sides. Our Quilted Pet Bed with Pillow perfectly accommodates those cats that sleep cuddled up, while our Cat Lounge is open on the sides, allowing cats to stretch out.”

“I think cats enjoy houses as they are places where they can hide but still have a view and monitor activity,” said Ellen Tsuyuki, founder of Nekochan Enterprises, which introduced the luxurious Cat Napper to their line of popular cat products. “It offers them a sense of protection and allows them to ‘stalk prey’ passing in front of the opening. Cats just enjoy cuddling up in confined spaces for their naps.”

“Those in the market should be aware if their cat is a ‘bottom dweller’ or a ‘high climber,’” said Feinkind. “Bottom dwellers who lay under tables and couches may find a bed on the ground ideal, like our Kitty Ball Bed. Cats who tend to climb book shelves and armoires may be more keen on tall cat towers like our Lotus or wall shelves like our Cat Clouds.”

Designs for Small Living Areas

In small apartments, the challenge to find appropriate bedding can be difficult, but unique cat beds such as the Cat Crib can be a lifesaver.

“Our beds blend into the owner’s furniture,” said Greg Hora, founder of Cat Crib. “The cat hammock attaches right to the chair legs. They provide a comfy place where the kitty feels safe while taking up wasted space in the home. The Cat Crib blends right into the furniture in your home and gives your cat a sleeping area catered to their liking.”

Many cat beds even double as carriers, making travel much more comfortable for both animal and human. To simplify transport, the luxurious Sleepypod line features beds with a top that is easily removed or attached by a sturdy zipper.

“Cats like familiarity,” said Michael Leung, co-owner of Sleepypod. “The advantage of a mobile pet bed is that a cat will be in its own bed on short trips to the vet or on longer trips away from home, thereby helping to reduce anxiety.”

Outdoor Spaces and Enclosures

Cats that spend some time outdoors with their owners may enjoy a warm place to rest as well, and the KatKabin is perfect for them. It shelters them from the elements and keeps them safely tucked away in a private spot all their own. It is equally useful indoors, particularly in multi-cat households.

“The KatKabin has a weatherproof shell to keep outdoor or feral cats dry and cozy in adverse weather, as well as shaded in the summer. The unique dome shape makes it easy to hide in bushes, which cats love, and the removable cat door gives them an extra feeling of security while simultaneously blocking wind and weather,” said Pascale Deffieux Pearce, executive vice president of Brinsea Products, Inc.

Modern Solutions to Classic Boxes

For those stubborn cats that are committed to their cardboard boxes, fashionable solutions are available. The Whisker Box from Modko is a stylish alternative to the cardboard box and is constructed of high-quality, durable materials that are easy to wipe clean. An eco-felt core provides stability, flexibility and comfort, as well as retaining that “compressed” feeling that cats prefer.

“One of my favorites is The Cat Ball,” said Kate Benjamin, cat style expert and founder of Hauspanther LLC. “This is a completely unique hideaway cat bed that has two openings and a soft, cocoon-like form that’s irresistible to cats.” Made from foam and fabric, The Cat Ball is completely washable and fun for any feline that prefers an enclosed area.

In the end, there are many styles of cat beds available and knowing your customers’ needs is the most valuable information you can have.

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