July 1, 2014

While most cats have no problem sleeping their days away in cardboard boxes, their owners would prefer to have something more stylish in their home.

Fortunately, the pet industry has answered that consumer demand with items such as space-saving hammocks that fit neatly under chairs, thermal-controlled cat nap mats and luxurious pet beds that double as practical cat carriers. The newest beds are eco-friendly, stylish and ready to attract any feline for a long nap, while also making customers happy.

One innovative product is the Cat Crib, a new space-saving hammock that fits directly under any already existing chair using secure straps.

“We were tired of the bulky cat beds [that our cats didn’t use] taking up space on our floor,” said Greg Hora from Cat Crib. “The cat hammock attaches right to the chair legs and provides a comfy place where the kitty feels safe while taking up wasted space in the home.”

Design will continue to be an important part of cat beds, but comfort is even more important. NekoFlies recently introduced Cat Nappers in addition to its line of popular cat toys. These luxurious napping spots cater to the cat that prefers to burrow into a chic “sleeping bag,” complete with ears and a tail, or a pet house that is easily folded and moved.

No matter where a cat prefers to lounge, there is an option available for them that will fit the style of any home, office or outdoor enclosure. Many cat beds even double as carriers, which makes trips to the veterinarian much more comfortable for both animal and human.

The luxurious line of Sleepypod beds feature a top that is easily removed or attached by a sturdy zipper and helps with simplifying transport. Crash-tested, they are proven safe on the road up to 30 mph and include accessories such as the electric warmer kit, the Air Mesh Hammock and a bike rack to fit easily with any lifestyle.

“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.”

When choosing a cat bed, it’s important to understand how an individual cat prefers to nap.

“Those in the market should be aware if their cat is a ‘bottom dweller’ or a ‘high climber,’” said Josh Feinkind, president, RefinedKind Pet Products. “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 bookshelves and armoires may be keener on tall cat towers like our Lotus bed, or wall shelves like our Cat Clouds.”

Eco-Friendly Style

Consumers are also on the hunt for items made in the USA from eco-friendly materials that are durable, aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting.

Companies continue to discover new ways to innovate and help the planet by creating beds from materials most people might never guess were recycled.

For example, Worldwise created an ecoAdvantages label, which identifies the environmentally responsible materials and processes used in each product, often including recycled plastics from industrial and consumer sources, as well as corrugated cardboard to develop everything from beds to toys.

Big Shrimpy utilizes a process called SmartFill and, since 2002, has recycled over 328,000 pounds of clean polyester fiber waste from North American manufacturers. Jax and Bones utilize an eco-friendly fiber made from recycled soda bottles.

“Our beds are all filled with Sustainafill, which is an eco-friendly fiber made from recycled soda bottles,” said Jessica Pope, national sales director for Jax & Bones. “We see many more Made in the USA products in the industry, which is very exciting for us. It’s compelling to see an industry so full of entrepreneurs that are building companies and products that are eco-friendly and sustainable.”

Take It Outside

Cats that prefer the great outdoors have not been left behind either, as the industry is seeing manufacturers create innovative, functional and outdoor designs. Even while cat owners are becoming savvier to the need to keep their favorite felines on a tight leash, they are also learning the value of enclosures and catios. The market is expanding to include beds for use both indoors and out.

“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,” said Pascale Deffieux Pearce, executive vice president of Brinsea. “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. Ultimately, we want to provide a safe getaway for cats, but if it’s not comfortable for the cats, they won’t go in it for the protection in the first place.”

No matter what type of environment a cat prefers, pet owners can find a bed that caters to their cat. The industry is changing for the better, according to manufacturers and consumers alike, as cats become valued members of the family.

“Pets play an important part in people’s lives,” said Fara Erspamer, director of sales and marketing for K&H Manufacturing. “This year, we saw pet owners evolve to pet parents, making pets more integrated in their daily lives and activities. We will see that quality of a pet’s life and longevity continue. As a result, we’ve developed outdoor kitty beds and houses that consumers are buying for feral and barn cats, as well as a new line of crates and carriers.”

Cat beds are an investment. Consumers expect them to be long-lasting, stylish and fashionable.

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