Ancient Egyptians likely worshiped cats, and it seems modern civilizations aren't that different. In fact, we may be taking our love of these furry creatures to the extreme: We're now treating them as humans, if recent pet products are any indication.
What began with cat toilet-training kits has since expanded to a market that includes everything from cat ties to cat headphones. Owners of multiple cats (or those special folks who look after dozens of stray cats) can now differentiate between the animals with an assortment of colorful outfits.
For the first time ever, the overall U.S. pet industry passed $50 billion in 2011. Although veterinary costs make up 65 percent of the spending, services like pet grooming and pet hotels are on the rise, generating billions in revenue. And the number of people buying dogs and cats has risen slightly in recent years, while the popularity of other pets has declined.
According to the American Pet Products Association, nearly 40 percent of households in the United States own at least one cat, with upwards of 86.4 million total cats living in Americans' homes.
For those cat owners looking to give their felines some human flair, check out these anthropomorphic products below:
Sometimes your cat wants to listen to that Katy Perry song without your uninvited judgment. For that, there's Professor Meowington's cat headphones, developed by SOL REPUBLIC. Ad agency Rooster NYC promoted the product with <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/1844508/headphones-cats-just-one-idea-spur-new-one-stop-viral-video-shop" target="_hplink">a viral marketing campaign</a> featuring a <a href="http://roosternewyork.com/2012/08/02/cat-headphones/" target="_hplink">tongue-in-cheek video</a>. SOL REPUBLIC <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/professor-meowingtons-cat-headphones-deadmau5_n_1749049.html" target="_hplink">released a limited run</a> of 10 pairs of hand-painted headphones, <a href="http://www.solrepublic.com/meow" target="_hplink">each retailing for $999</a>. That's some high fidelity for your feline friend.
Cat DJ Scratching Deck
Electronic dance music is everywhere now, so why should your cat feel left out? Created by product designers SUCK UK, <a href="http://www.suck.uk.com/products/catscratch/" target="_hplink">the "Cat Scratch"</a> allows your pet to swipe its claws at a furry turntable, as opposed to your nice couch. Just don't let your cat develop an ego when the mixes of DJ Kitty Meow Meow start topping the charts.
Japanese children's toy creators <a href="http://www.takaratomy.co.jp/" target="_hplink">Takara Tomy</a> created a translator for cats. Made after the success of the "Bowlingual" for dogs, the $75 "Meowlingual" device attempts to read your cats purrs and cries and translate them into phrases like, "I can't stand it." The Bowlingual was able to read <a href="http://livetvcafe.net/video/X6R47664W52Y/BBC-ONE" target="_hplink">200 phrases or words</a> grouped in six different emotional categories: fun, frustration, menace, sorrow, demand and self-expression. While some may be genuinely curious as to what their cats are thinking, others may say this device is just purrrrr insanity.
Pet High Chair
Why give your pets table food when they can sit at the table with you? Illinois-based retailers Hammacher Schlemmer want to give your cat (or dog) the chance to have prime real estate at the table. The <a href="http://www.hammacher.com/product/78611" target="_hplink">$50 pet high chair</a> is said by Hammacher Schlemmer to provide an alternative for your pet to "sitting on your lap, running disruptively underfoot, or outright banishment" as "the chair assuages a pet (and its owner's) frustration, and promotes more refined behavior." A cat monocle does not come included.
There is a corner of YouTube where users can waste a lot of time watching <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5Xrcp6k8VE" target="_hplink">cats get high off catnip</a>. Clearly, cats have their vices too. <a href="http://www.kittycity.com/catnipcigar.html" target="_hplink">Kitty City offers $3 cigar toys</a> that can be filled with catnip. Combined with a rich brandy, the catnip cigar is another great gift for the high-society cat in your life.
Cat Sitter DVD
For when your cat just wants to kick back and watch a flick, there's the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Go-Cat-Sitter-DVD/dp/B000F6UOXC" target="_hplink">Cat Sitter DVD</a>, available for $14 on Amazon. The DVD serves as a means to keep hyperactive <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY8TATEEBUE" target="_hplink">cats focused on the TV</a> or to provide entertainment for them when they're home alone. The DVD's Amazon page features some ecstatic reviews, including one from a cat named Murray in Phoenix: "When my human gets home, I lead her straight to the TV. If only I had thumbs to operate the remote." Mavis in Savannah adds: "I'm positive it'll win this year's prestigious Hairball Award!"
Cardboard Vehicles For Cats
Not content with just giving your cat a DJ kit, SUCK UK also created <a href="http://www.suck.uk.com/products/catplayhouse/" target="_hplink">cardboard vehicles for cats to play in</a>. For $30, your cat can spend some time in an airplane, a tank, a firetruck or the appropriately-named "Catillac." The product's page features a large selection of user-submitted pictures of cats playing in their new vehicles.
Does your cat have a big interview coming up? Probably not, but you can still help your cat unleash his inner Don Draper with the help of assorted cat ties. A few <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/105274486/surf-and-turf-cat-tie" target="_hplink">independent designers</a> offer a slew of <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/105687743/pet-dog-cat-collar-accessory-red-necktie" target="_hplink">cat tie designs on their Etsy shops</a>, with prices ranging from $2 to $10. Surely <a href="http://www.quickmeme.com/Business-Cat/" target="_hplink">Business Cat</a> would be proud.
Pink Passion Kitty Wigs
If your cat is looking for a drastic change in hairstyle, <a href="http://www.kittywigs.com" target="_hplink">Kitty Wigs</a> has you covered. The $65 wigs come in <a href="http://kittywigs.com/wigs.html" target="_hplink">four colors</a>, including pink passion (pictured), bashful blonde, electric blue and silver fox. Creators and cat lovers Julie Jackson and Jill Johnson also published "<a href="http://kittywigs.com/book.html" target="_hplink">Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs</a>," a picture book filled with confused cats wearing the wigs.
Cat Toilet Training Kit
Who was really the star of the movie "Meet The Parents"? Robert DeNiro? Ben Stiller? Or Jinx, the <a href="http://www.womansday.com/cm/womansday/images/lu/06-Mr.-Jinx-Meet-the-Parents-famous-pets-from-TV-and-movies-1.jpg" target="_hplink">cat capable of using a regular toilet</a>? A three-step system developed by <a href="http://www.litterkwitter.com/en/index.php" target="_hplink">Litter Kwitter</a> promises it can get your cat off the litter box for good. As a plus, the cat will always be sure to leave the seat down.
<em>Acting furry, but I don't know why / Excuse me / While I lick my thigh</em> <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/ToScarboroughFair?ref=seller_info" target="_hplink">Etsy shop "To Scarborough Fair"</a> has all your cat hat needs covered. From a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/105576913/halloween-pet-hat-jimi-hendrix-hat" target="_hplink">cap inspired by Jimi Hendrix's top hat</a> to a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/30984622/cat-costume-witch-hat-garnet-red-cat" target="_hplink">witch's hat</a> or a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/76856192/cat-beret-wool-felt-pure-merino-wool" target="_hplink">French beret</a>, if you can think of headwear for your cat, chances are it's here.