I spent part of last week at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, the trade show where the pet industry shows the latest and greatest innovations to the buyers who will bring them into stores near you. The show isn’t open to the public, so it’s a great way to get a glimpse at things that the industry has planned that aren’t quite available yet.
The show itself is vast. It is three football fields long, and it seems like everywhere you turn, there’s another “what a cool idea!” moment waiting to happen. This year’s experience was a little different for me because Cupcake’s going places with me means I was looking into some of the booths I previously had mentally written off as “just for dogs.”
Top Finds in Cat Products
The coolest thing for cats, hands-down, is a new robotic mouse called Mousr, from Petronics. I have seen little remote-controlled mice before, but the Mousr takes it to a whole new level. The company was founded by engineering grad students who all have cats, and the little robots are amazing, rolling and squeaking in ways that look like they will entice any cat.
I took one look at the new faucet-shaped fountains from Pioneer Pet and fall in love. You would, too, if you had a cat as crazy about the water from the sink tap as Cupcake is. With one of these of her own, Cupcake might actually let me brush my teeth in peace.
Speaking of sinks, one of my favorite new products at the show is something perfect for cats who like to hang out in the sink. This NestEgg side table from Primetime Petz is part of their HausPanther collection. I love the idea that a cat who loves to hang out in the sink and used to have to be isolated to do that can now hang out right next to you on the sofa while you both Netflix and chill.
Cat Product Trends
One of the interesting things every year is seeing the trends going on around the pet products industry.
The legalization of marijuana in many states seems to have given a lot of companies similar ideas all at once. It seemed like every aisle at Global Pet Expo had at least one brand making some kind of hemp-based product for pets. I haven’t done enough research or had experience to endorse this product category on the whole, but I’m curious to see if there is enough market for this many companies to make it.
While all cats need food and nearly all cats need litter, hemp-based products aren’t a necessity. So I’m not sure whether there is enough demand for this many companies rushing into this part of the pet market. I’ll be watching with interest to see if the trend continues.
Everyone knows that cats love to scratch on cardboard, and there has been in uptick in cardboard beds and houses the past few years. This seems to have exploded this year. Where there were previously small, single-story houses for cats to nap in or scratch on, there are now multi-story cat palaces for scratching or sleeping.
Even more amazing, some manufacturers are really thinking outside the cardboard box to build activities for cats with cardboard. The most astonishing is this wheel that actually turns inside its cardboard frame. A smaller cat would fit comfortably inside to run on it like hamster might its wheel, while larger cats can scratch on the outside. That’s really clever!
Catification is creating a cat-friendly environment that satisfies a cat’s needs. These days, it also seems to mean it’s not your father’s cat tree anymore.
Some companies are innovating by using interesting new materials and shapes for perches and hiding spots. Others are rethinking how hard it is to put together cat furniture and are thinking of ways to make it easier for you to build your cats their dream environment without needing to use any tools. Either way, they are finding ways to make your home a better place for your cat to play, perch, and nap.
We’ll be back on Wednesday with more interesting sights from around Global Pet Expo.