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Cat Marketplace: Cats Want Cozy Beds

Posted: Feb. 23, 2012, 8:40 p.m. EST

Retailers are giving cats a good place to curl up with a variety of heated, plush, portable and just plain stylish beds.
By Audrey Pavia

Cats are famous for their love of sleeping, and most cat owners enjoy providing their felines with snug places to make themselves comfortable. To answer that demand, manufacturers have come up with a number of innovative product lines designed to keep cats warm and cozy.

Snug Options
When it comes to producing cat beds, comfort seems to be the No. 1 priority for manufacturers, which strive to offer products cats find inviting.
West Paw Design in Bozeman, Mont., produces a cat bedding collection that is designed to allow cats to sleep in different positions.

“We set out to create a bed that’s extremely comfortable for pets,” said Spencer Williams, CEO. “The Bumper Bed allows cats to stretch out across the stuffed center pillow or curl up against the supportive bolster.”

Customers at The Pet Bar, a pet supply store in New York, seem to agree with Williams’ assessment.

Cat beds
Cats have different preferences when it comes to bed designs, but stocking a variety of comfortable, nestlike options is a good idea. Courtesy of K&H Manufacturing LLC.

“Out of the beds we carry, [West Paw’s] Bumper Beds sell the fastest,” said Genevieve Snow, store manager. “They’re very cushy, and people like their handsome colors and round shapes. In this neighborhood, people are very conscious about the environment, so they love the fact that the beds are made from recycled bottles.”

Many manufacturers are also well aware of the cat’s tendency to sleep curled up, and they often design bedding products to accommodate this preference.

“The most popular cat beds among our customers are nests,” said Wendy Guyer, president of Pet House, a 4,800-square-foot retailer in Goleta, Calif. “Cats love to be contained, and owners love to see them snuggled in a nest.”

Cats seem to especially like beds that are soft and plush.

“One cat bed in particular has proven very popular for us over the years—the Puffy Round Cat Bed,” said Chris Galloway, product manager of pet bedding for Petmate in Denver. “Soft fabric provides a cozy place to rest while the overstuffed bolster construction keeps the bed’s polyester fiberfill from shifting, providing exceptional comfort and security for cats who like to nest.”

At Pet Pangaea, a retailer in Los Alamos, N.M., owner Cyndi Wells said a cat’s personality plays a major role in the type of bed it will like.
“Pet Pangaea’s goal is always that customers leave with a bed their cat will use frequently and they will come back to tell us how pleased they are with the bed,” she said. “So, with cat beds, we spend a great deal of time asking the owner questions about their cat’s personality, their cat’s prior beds that they enjoyed particularly well, and their cat’s current sleeping area preferences. If the customer has a multiple cat household and their cats may want to snuggle up together, a larger-sized bed to accommodate all the cats might be in order.”

Functional Design
Cats also love warmth, especially when they are sleeping. K&H Manufacturing LLC in Colorado Springs, Colo., offers an electric bed that provides heat for cats that like to cuddle up in warm places.

Looking Good
Both function and fashion are factors in many cat beds, the result of manufacturers that take style into account when designing beds.

“We created Crater Dot to be a relaxing pet lounge equivalent to a stylish sofa or modern recliner for humans,” said Melony Lee, co-owner and product designer for Sleepypod in Pasadena, Calif. “The contoured 3-D dish allows pets to have something to lean against and settle into.”

Likewise, Petmate in Denver offers its Value Bedding for pets in a range of home décor colors and fabrics.

“We offer our bedding in a wide variety of sizes, styles and patterns to complement any home décor,” said Chris Galloway, product manager of pet bedding for Petmate.

West Paw Design’s Bumper Bed collection is popular because the outer bolsters and inner pillows can be mixed and matched to create 77 combinations, said Spencer Williams, CEO of the Bozeman, Mont., company.
“We recently expanded the line with a new solid slate-colored bed and two modern geometric pillow patterns, and we continually update the palette to keep the collection fresh,” he noted.

“Our most popular line of cat beds is our Thermo-Kitty Bed,” said Larry Cobb, vice president of sales. “These beds feature a low-wattage pet bed warmer that is safe, MET Labs-tested, and uses less energy than a night light while offering cats a soft, warm place to sleep. It costs pet owners 8 cents a month to keep it plugged in 24/7.”

Sleepypod, a pet bedding producer in Pasadena, Calif., also offers a heated bed option.

“A pocket in the base of the Crater Lounge was designed to hold an optional, electrical warmer pad to help keep a pet extra cozy,” said Melony Lee, one of Sleepypod’s owners and product designers. “The Warmer Pad, designed to maintain a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, plugs into a household electrical outlet or, with an adapter, can be used in a car when plugged into an auto electric outlet.”

Heated cat beds are sought after at Oakland, Calif.-based Pet Food Express as well.

“There is demand in northern California for heated beds, even though it seldom gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in our area,” said Michael Levy, the company’s president and founder. “The heated beds do very well.”

Designers at Sleepypod also recognized the desire for cats to sleep close to their owners, and they developed a bedding line that makes it easy to transport the bed from one room to another.

“Pets love to have their own space, while at the same time keeping a close eye on their owners,” Lee said. “The portable Crater Dot bed can be placed wherever pet owners are working or relaxing, and their pets will always be nearby.”

Customers appreciate a bed that is easy to transport, said Dimitri Kelembelidis, owner of Beasty Feast, a retailer with two stores in New York.

“The Sleepypod mobile pet carrier and bed is a big circle, and the top comes off so you can use it as a bed in the house,” he said. “This gets your pet comfortable with the bed part, so when it’s time to travel, you just put the top back on the bed and go. Cats are able to take a trip to the vet in their own bed.”

Thanks to the innovative products offered by pet bedding manufacturers, cat owners have a variety of bedding designs to choose from to keep their cats happy. Whether it’s bolstered, heated or transportable, there is a bedding style available for every feline preference.


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