If it moves, it dies.
A START-UP is pioneering the use of water hyacinths to make beds for cats.
Fittingly called Alaga (pet), its two initial creations clearly show how it has the cats' and the environment's welfare in mind.
Water hyacinths are commonly used for basketry, but only Alaga has so far used them to make animal companion products in the Philippines. To do that, Alaga has tapped an urban poor cooperative in Las Piñas to weave dried up water hyacinths into cat beds and cat pods as designed by Alice Sarmiento, a writer, teacher, curator and cat lover. By choosing the prolific water hyacinth as material, Alaga helps put this rather invasive plant to good use while giving cat owners a “green” alternative when it comes to cat beds.
Alaga's Blissful Bed may look a bit ordinary, except that its entry point is located on one end and not on the front like in most cat beds. The Peaceful Pod is the more interesting one because its unique shape offers a private, cozy and cavernous space for lounging and sleeping. Both the cat bed and cat pod come with a thick oval-shaped mat in colorful fabric.
HIGH & LOW. MetroPets' cat reviewers give the Peaceful Pod a thorough inspection.
They say necessity is the mother of invention and Alaga is proof of that. While searching for affordable and washable cat beds, Alice realized she could instead have something produced based on her specifications.
“I was looking for an affordable bed for my cat that could easily be laundered and reused. The stitches on the heavily padded and cushioned ones tend to break when laundered. While the cushioned beds were comfortable, it was just as important to have the cheaper floor mats around as alternative,” Alice said.
“We developed a woven bed because I wanted something that is easy to wash and dries easily. I often foster cats rescued from the streets, and usually the ones who fell really ill could no longer walk to their litter box. So, washability was a huge consideration,” she added.
Alaga's Blissful Bed and Peaceful Pod can be simply washed with cool soapy water, then rinsed and dried. No intense scrubbing or strong water pressure required to avoid damaging the weave. If they are not too soiled yet, both cat “purrniture” can be wiped down with a damp cloth before letting them dry in the sun.
Alaga's products are labors of love as they usually take weavers about half a day to make the bed and a full day to do the pod. Alice said two to three people work on each, “because it takes one person to create the wire and wicker armature and another to do the weaving. The process is quite labor intensive, so each pod and bed tends to look slightly different.”
Those interested to buy the Blissful Bed and Peaceful Pod can put an order through Alaga's Facebook page. Delivery is done by Alaga and a third-party courier. Meanwhile, stay tuned for Alaga's next environment-friendly products, which may include a tiny divan for cats and a teepee that really looks more like a woven igloo, said Alice. -- Alma Buelva, MetroPets
STYLE and function should go hand in hand, especially for products made for discerning cats.
One that is about to roll out in Amazon on June 15 is the EZ Mount Window Bubble Pod Cat Bed. The clear plastic bubble window gives this cat bed a space-age feel to it. It's roomy enough for a big cat, with two entrances once it's been mounted on a glass window. Actually, it reminds us of those Japanese capsule hotels that feature pods with a single bed for every customer.
Manufactured by K&H, the new Bubble Pod Cat Bed can be mounted on a glass window using four heavy duty suction cups that can hold up to 60lbs. It comes with a free K&H kitty pad.
The beauty of this bubble pod cat bed is once your cat goes inside it, the cat can still see you through the glass and vice versa. If mounted against a glass window that looks out into the garden, the bubble pod cat bed then becomes kitty's own entertainment room—perfect for watching birds and butterflies flutter by while lying down.
The EZ Mount Bubble Pod Window Cat Bed is a great enhancement to an already popular product, the EZ Mount Window Bed which is like a cat's cradle that some cat owners have installed it inside their cars so their kitties can travel in comfort and style with a perfect view of everything outside. Watch this video of a cat having a first-class kind of travel while lazing inside a K&H window pod.
The new bubble pod cat bed, however, is even better and also ideal for car use as it is more snugly for cats who love the feeling of being boxed in.
The bubble pod cat bed will retail for $50.11 over at Amazon.com with free shipping and one year warranty. It is available for pre-order in beige and green.
This product should appeal strongly to those who have bought and used the trendy cat carrier backpack with a plastic bubble for window that makes the cat inside peering out to look like an astronaut. --- MetroPets
ANYONE who lives with a cat knows that they are creatures of comfort. They also love to be in a snug place that's high above with a good view.
A window-mounted cat bed like the one from Oster offers your cat all these kitty comforts; you only need to provide a big glass window to hang it from.
This no-frills cat bed doesn't take up much space at 12”x22”. Inside the box you will find four heavy-duty suction cups, a durable canvas cover and reversible comfy pad (both machine washable) and a four-piece plastic frame set. A pair of strong plastic strings attached to two of the suction cups help hold the cat bed in place.
ROCK-A-BYE BABY. MetroPets' resident reviewer, Papa Chong, warmed up to the Oster Sunny Seat in no time. We can almost hear him say: "The world is an "oster", go shuck it!"
The Oster Sunny Seat is a no-brainer to assemble and install. It requires no tools and it took us probably 20 minutes tops to put it together, hang it up and invite a cat to try it. Soon, we have a snoozing cat on it who obviously felt very much at home in his new soft cradle by the window.
At least two adult cats can sleep comfortably together in the Oster cat bed which can hold up to 50lbs. It also offers indoor cats a perfect place to watch birds or to wait for you. It is designed to give cats maximum comfort where they could see a slice of nature or the outdoors.
For our review, we decided not to line the canvas with the reversible comfy pad because it doesn't stay in place, especially when a big cat jumps on the bed.
One true test of a good cat product is how quickly a cat enjoys or warms up to it. In this case, our subject, a cat named Chong, immediately fell sound asleep on his brand new Oster Sunny Seat. Chong weighs about 6 kilos. He has since made the Oster Sunny Seat part of his expanded territory.
The Oster Sunny Seat is distributed locally by Pet Discount, Inc. and being retailed in pet shops that may have priced it differently.
* Meow Project makes cat cartoons that will stick with you