Editors’ Choice 2020
Our Editors’ Pick List
We couldn’t get enough of these must-have products for cats
Cat products. We’re passionate about them, and we’ve been writing about them, testing them, purchasing them and using them for 20 years.
So, we’re really excited to bring back the Editors’ Choice awards that Catster did for years (as Cat Fancy). With a trio of very experienced
judges, we’ve pawed and clawed our way through more than 30 products in the categories of gear, toys, clothing, housewares, cleaning and tech
to find the ones we believe are at the top of their game in originality, ease of use, attractiveness to both pet and human, and usefulness. Here, in
no particular order, are the winners.
sturdibag “flex height” pet carrier
This carrier was designed with cats’ comfort and security in mind, with Velcro straps to hold open “curtains” and a soft, removable mattress pad. Some soft-sided carriers tend to collapse in on themselves, but this one stays fully upright. It’s strong and sturdy, and we all love the design. $74-$115 (depending on size). Sturdi Products; sturdiproducts.com
cloud nine silver vine
& little puff
The majority of our cat testers reacted immediately and enthusiastically to the silver vine (a catnip alternative). They loved the soft, silver vine-dusted clouds — rubbing their faces against them and wrestling with them, kicking them and batting them around. The clouds are strong and really stood up to the attention they received from the cats. Silver Vine: $5.99 (sampler); $7.99 (medium); $10.99 (large); Little Puff: ($10.99). Dezi & Roo; deziroo.com
catit vesper cabana
This was a big hit! One of our cat testers tried it out while it was still being built — then took a nice, long nap in the hammock. It’s the perfect size for smaller homes or apartments that can’t accommodate a cat tree. It’s also lightweight, so it’s easy to move it from room to room. $59.99. Hagen: Catit; catit.com
wiggly ball & wiggly wand
The Wiggly Ball was a favorite with all of the cat testers. The combination of the bouncing ball and the attached fluffy, wiggly tail makes it move the way their prey would. The tail also makes an appearance in the Wiggly Wand, which features several different attachments and a retractable wand for creating different lengths and for easy storage. $3.99 (ball); $11.99 (wand). Dezi & Roo; deziroo.com
This one is a winner with both humans and cats! It’s decorative, functional and really easy to put together. All of our cat testers enjoyed drinking from it. One of the biggest selling points: the LED light for nighttime.
The cats can easily see it, and it helps us humans avoid tripping over it. $29.99. Hagen: Catit;
“My cats loved this tree from the moment we brought it into the house. Even before we put it together, they were lounging on the soft fabric,” says one of our judges. We all found it attractive and easy to put together, and all of our cats love it for climbing, lounging and napping. This model is B5701. $129. AeroMark International, Inc.; armarkat.com
While sticky rollers are nothing new, these get high marks for usefulness and ease of use. The standard and giant sizes work great for clothing, while the mega size, which features a retractable arm, is perfect for furniture and carpet. The adhesive sheets are super sticky but not damaging to fabric surfaces. $4.99 (standard, 100 layer); $4.49 (giant, 60 layer); $12.99 (mega, 25 layer). Evercare; evercare.cleanerhomeliving.com
li’l pals printed
elastic kitten collars
These are just adorable. The small size makes them easy to acclimate your kitten to wearing a collar without having to wait for her to grow into one. We like the fact that the collars are breakaway, which is much safer. One of our judges used it to keep track of a foster kitten while he wandered around the house. $5.49. Coastal Pet Products Inc.; coastalpet.com
sushi cat collar
We all loved the fun, detailed sushi pattern on this collar. The hardware is firmly attached, and the collar is strong and sturdy yet comfortable and lightweight. You can adjust the collar to fit your cat’s neck, and it features a D-ring so you can attach an ID tag. And the breakaway feature makes it safer for your cat. $9.
Up Country; upcountryinc.com
hide and sneak
If your cat likes playing in paper bags, he’ll absolutely love this combination toy/hideout. One cat tester actually came running from another room as soon as he heard it being set up. He also enjoyed racing back and forth inside it and taking jumping leaps to make it skid across the floor. $13.99. Dezi & Roo; deziroo.com
a-lure-ring & oh-ring
Both of these toys were big hits with the cat testers. The Oh-Ring is a lightweight, three-ring design that’s easy for a cat to fling around or catch. The fluffy, wiggly tail from the company’s Wiggly Ball and Wiggly Wand toys makes another appearance on the A-lure-Ring. Both can also be attached to the wand for more wiggly fun. $4.99. Dezi & Roo; deziroo.com
These ridiculously cute ottomans come in three models: dinosaur, elephant and rhinoceros. They’re great footstools (or low side tables) for humans and fun cat condos for kitties. All of the cat testers took to their different models right away, either lounging inside or on top. The ottomans are sturdy, and we love the soft, high-quality fabric. We’re all happy to have these in our homes! $119.99. Prevue Pet Products; prevuepet.com
catit senses super
What a great idea! This clever ball-and-track toy can be configured in several different ways and provides mental exercise for cats. It’s a great toy to leave out for the kitties when we’re gone at work all day. Our test cats were captivated by it, and we judges had fun playing with it, too! $24.99. Hagen: Catit; catit.com
We all know that cats like boxes, but these have a couple of fun added features: a removable scratching pad and several peekaboo holes. These were a big hit with all of the cat testers. The boxes are very roomy (three foster kittens shared one box for a long nap), easy to put together and are available in different cute, quirky designs. $19.99 (retail); $24.99 (online). DôyenWorld; doyenworld.com
hpz pet rover xl & prime
If you want to safely give your indoor cat a taste of the great outdoors, these high-quality strollers are the way to go. The XL has perks like a cup holder and soft handles for the human, while the Prime version is a three-in-one product that also serves as a carrier. The cat testers loved lounging in it — and some really enjoyed the ride. $269 (XL); $299 (Prime). HPZ Pet Rover; petroverusa.com
turbo transform it tower
We love the concept of this toy —
it changes into different shapes to become something new and exciting. It’s easy to create the different shapes, which include a tower and several ball-and-track configurations, which also make good napping spots! It can be used as a standalone toy or added to the Turbo Scratcher (sold separately) for double the fun. $24.99. Coastal Pet Products; coastalpet.com
petsafe smart feed automatic dog & cat feeder
You can use this automatic feeder to control your cat’s mealtimes and portions, AND you can do it remotely from your smartphone when you’re not home! Just download the app, which notifies you when food is low or empty. It also works with an Amazon Alexa device. It’s a high-quality, attractive kitchen appliance for the modern cat home. $194.99. PetSafe; petsafe.com
petsafe deluxe crystal litter box system
If your cat isn’t used to crystal litter, it may require some acclimation, but two of the cat testers (who have never used crystal litter) took to it right away. Features like vents to ensure air flow; an absorbent, removable pee pad for an extra layer of protection; and an anti-tracking grid make this a well-designed system. $54.95. PetSafe; petsafe.com
MEET THIS YEAR’S EDITORS’ CHOICE JUDGES
Stacy N. Hackett
is a lifelong cat owner who has written about cats and other pets for more than 30 years. Her testing companions, rescue kitties Phillip and Cisco, live a very spoiled life in Southern California. Both cats appreciate the finer points of cat trees and catnip toys, and want to thank this year’s participants for recognizing their excellent judging skills.
Annie Butler Shirreffs
has worked in the pet industry for almost 20 years and is the senior editor of Catster and Dogster magazines. Her four cats (Agatha, Alastair, Jack and Mathilda) are veteran product testers and were very impressed with this year’s selection. Various foster kittens also participated this year — they especially liked all of the toys.
has worked in the pet industry since 2001. Her cats, Maddie and Sophie, (and husband Mark) acted like it was Christmas every time a package was left at their front door. The kitties seemed to know that this was all for them. They were honored to test each product and enjoyed every single one of them — as well as the packaging they came in.