In just a few weeks, pet product manufacturers from around the world will be descending upon Orlando for the 2011 Global Pet Expo. Presented by the American Pet Products Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association, Global Pet Expo is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show, showcasing new items to help improve cats’ lives.

Below, pet lifestyle expert Tierra Bonaldi provides us with a sneak peek of some of the hottest new cat items.

Functional and Fashionable Cat Products
Clunky, unattractive cat scratchers, cat trees and more are being phased out in favor of stylish replacements. “There is a huge trend in pet products that can both accent home decor, but still be practical,” says Bonaldi.

  • SkratchKabin
    Brinsea Products Inc.
    The SkratchKabin is a stylish new indoor hideaway for cats. Your cat can scratch, play and sleep while you enjoy the cabin’s fun and minimalist cat shape. Bonaldi thinks it’s “great for keeping cats off the couches and it’s well-designed to fit in with the rest of the furniture.”
  • ModaPet Bowls
    : ModaPet
    Moda is Italian for “fashion,” so the name is perfect for these new bowls that sport bright, bold colors that are, again, meant to pair well with your home decor. “I love that they are BPA-free and the fun colors really pop in the kitchen!” says Bonaldi. (BPA is an organic compound used to make some plastics, resins and other materials. While tests in the U.S. continue to determine its safety, Canada last year declared it to be a toxic substance.) The bowls are made out of food-grade plastics. They are also skid resistant and dishwasher safe.

Good Cat Health Is Always in Style
Many of the new products that will be featured at the expo help to promote cat health, such as pet foods made out of quality ingredients. “Pet owners are shifting to healthier eating options, like all-natural and organic, and that is extending to the products they are feeding their animals,” explains Bonaldi.

How and what cats drink is also gaining new attention this year, as evidenced by products such as the following:

  • Drinkwell Pet Fountain
    Veterinary Ventures Inc.
    This fountain’s patented free-falling stream is enticing to cats and provides a functional, tranquil and convenient way to keep your pet properly hydrated. “Cats love running water,” says Bonaldi, “and the design of this fountain is really upscale and unexpected.”
  • Fresh Breath
    This natural water additive helps provide cats with daily oral care. According to the manufacturer, its ingredients promote healthy gums and eliminate bad breath for up to 12 hours. “Hygiene, especially oral care, has become a very important issue among pet owners,” Bonaldi explains. “In order for pets to live long, healthy lives, they must have routine preventative dental care. This can be difficult for cats, so the newest, most effective products are targeted at making dental care easier for cats and their owners.”

Cat Litter Box Odors Erased
Another group of products is helping owners with the dreaded litter-box maintenance and clean-up chores.

  • Always Fresh
    Talk to Me Pets
    Sprinkle Always Fresh in your cat’s litter box daily to help keep it smelling clean and pleasant. This moisture-activated litter freshener is safe for pets, people and the planet, according to the manufacturer. Bonaldi loves “that it is activated each time the cat visits the litter box.”

These are just a few of the more than 3,000 new products that will be showcased at this year’s Global Pet Expo, which boasts 11 football fields’ worth of pet products. The event will take place from March 16 to 18 at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information, visit the Global Pet Expo website.

Photo Credit: Allison Anderson, The Impetus Agency.