Cat toys that are set to hit store shelves in the coming months include catnip products, treat dispensers and interactive items.
By Jaime McLendon
Retailers wanting to stock their shelves with cat toys this summer have a wide array of offerings to choose from. Products set to hit stores from June through August cater to all types of cat owners—from those seeking out catnip for their cats to go crazy over to those looking for a good value in feline playthings.
At this year’s Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla., Nylabone Products announced entry into the cat market. Previously servicing only the dog market, the company has a line of more than two dozen cat products set to hit store shelves in June.
The new offerings include Cat Dental Insert-A-Treat toys, Cat Interactive Airpowered toys, Cat Play Chase ‘n Pounce toys, Cat Play Electronic Sounds toys and Kitten Crinkle & Rattle Odd Balls.
“We have cat toys both with and without catnip,” said Mike Connelly, vice president of marketing for the Neptune City, N.J.-based company. “Some pet parents want catnip and others don’t. And not every cat likes catnip.” (According to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association, catnip toys are still the most popular. They’re purchased by 79 percent of cat owners.)
|Among the ball shaped-toys that are set to launch this summer are items that crinkle and rattle, release treats, feature catnip and yarn loops, and include feathers on them.|
Photo courtesy of The Hartz Mountain Corp.
OurPet’s Co. in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, the maker of Play-N-Squeak cat toys, has made good on its August 2010 acquisition of the Cosmic Catnip brand by making available an entirely new lineup. Slated for availability in July are 100% Catnip Filled Toys, which come in eight styles; Refillable Catnip Toys; Refillable Catnip Wands; Catnip Dispensing Toys; Catnip Peppered Toys; and Let’s Face It toys, which feature common digital emoticons and come with catnip.
Tubs, jars and gusseted bags of 100 percent North-American-grown catnip are also in the new line, as are Catnip Spray and Catnip Bubbles—both containing pure catnip oil to recharge toys and scratchers.
Time will tell if the brand will rein in the popularity of its sister brand.
“Not to toot anyone’s horn or anything, but the Play-N-Squeak toys by OurPet’s have really revitalized my cat toy sales,” said Tom Herron, owner of Fins, Feathers, Paws & Claws Inc. in Harleysville, Pa. “They look and sound like real mice and have catnip in them, so cats love them. The Backyard line and the At Night line sell very well.”
Also set to launch in July is the OurPet’s Go! Cat Go! line, which Rochelle Hartigan, director of marketing, said is aimed at value-driven customers interested in saving money but wanting a quality toy for their pets.
Products in the line include Zig-N-Zag Ball, featuring a self-winding mechanism that moves the ball unpredictably when a cat swats it; Play-N-Treat Ball, which provides a foraging experience by releasing treats as a cat plays; aromatic Catnip Flippers that flip and turn; a uniquely shaped Butterfly Ball with catnip; String Me-ow’t for interactive play with pet owners; Darn Yarn Balls that have catnip and loops that cats can use to fling the toys around; Dazzle Poms; Krinkle Puffs; Spiky Balls; Spring Time!; a feather-adorned Birdie Ball; and Three Twine’d Mice.
*This bonus content is a continuation of the Cat Marketplace article “Buying Trends Challenge Cat Toy Advancements,” which appears on pages 40 and 41 of the June 2011 issue. Please refer back to the magazine for the full article. Click here to become a subscriber.<HOME>
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